Thu 25 Sep: 10 things you need to know today

We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for our top ten travel industry news stories of the day we think you need to know.

We’ve done all the hard work, so you don’t have to! Read on for our top ten travel industry news stories of the day we think you need to know.

1. Major tourism prospects for Australia

The Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, yesterday made the inaugural annual Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Investment. In his address, the Minister highlighted the crucial role foreign investment plays in supporting our nation’s key drivers of growth, and the importance of investment in tourism infrastructure – one of the government’s identified National Investment Priorities – to realise our potential in the tourism market. Tourism will be a major driver of growth, Minister Robb said.
“By 2020, almost 200 million Chinese tourists are expected to travel internationally, a doubling of current numbers,” he said.
“Australia is well placed to capitalise on this rising demand.”

Read on for more.


2. BYOjet and check-in.com.au tie the knot


Disruptive Investment Group (DVI), owner of Check-in.com.au, today announced the acquisition of online travel agency BYOjet. The deal will mean Check-in.com.au will be merged with the BYOJet Group with the BYOjet Founder and CEO to become a major shareholder in DVI. The transaction creates a major online travel agent boasting FY14 Total Transaction Value (TTV) of approximately $87 million and a combined customer database in excess of 400,000 travellers.
The Directors of DVI see the merger as an exciting opportunity to lift the DVI travel division to the next stage of its development.
“This transaction represents an excellent and logical fit, creating a new major Australian online travel agency group,” Dr. Adir Shiffman, Chairman of DVI, said.

Read on for more.


3. “Restaurant Australia” spreads good Aussie tucker globally

This week sees a trio of international roll-outs of Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign with high profile launch events taking place in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Korea. A pop-up restaurant in London, running from 22 to 27 September in the Grand Room of Australia House, will give British diners a delicious insight into the food and wine of Australia with each night hosted by a different renowned Australian chef and themed by a different state/territory of Australia. The Korea launch of ‘Restaurant Australia’ took place on 23 September in Seoul with up to 100 VIP guests, trade and media attending an outdoor event at the Australian Ambassador’s residence. The Singapore launch on 26 September will focus on Tasmanian seafood and involve Tetsuya Wakuda, an internationally-renowned chef with strong culinary connections to Australia, cooking up a ‘Tasmania Seafood Seduction’ meal at his Waku Ghin restaurant at Marina Bay Sands.
The lineup of chefs also include Maggie Beer, Luke Rayment, Matt Stone, Shannon Bennett and Rachel O’Sullivan.


4. Five charges for in-flight and feisty

Thirty-four year-old,Richard Ewan Leishman, is facing five Commonwealth charges including ­assaulting crew, endangering the safety of an aircraft and ­interfering with crew or an ­aircraft following the incident on the Qantas flight between Bangkok and Sydney. The plane landed in Cairns on ­Sunday morning to offload Mr Leishman, who had to be ­restrained after allegedly ­trying to steal whiskey from a service area.
The aid worker, who had spent time in Cambodia after working for Destiny Rescue, whose aims are to rescue children from the illegal sex trade, was returning to Australia to get married.
He was granted bail in Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday after flying up from NSW for the hearing.
His parents were ordered to foot the $10, 000 bill as as one of several conditions of bail.
Leishman has also been ordered to live with his parents in Bradbury, south of Sydney, surrender his passports, not fly internationally and report weekly to the Campbelltown police station.
The matter has been ­adjourned until 2 October and the court heard the defence would attempt to have it moved to NSW at the next ­appearance.


5. Tune Hotel offer: music to the ears of international travellers

Pictured: Mark Lankester, Group CEO Tune Hotels.

Pictured: Mark Lankester, Group CEO Tune Hotels.

The Tune Hotel Melbourne will experience an influx of tourists from Mainland China after striking a marketing collaboration deal with  Plateno Hotels.
As of today, 14 Tune Hotels’ properties in Asia, Australia, England and Scotland are to be featured on Plateno’s booking engine.
To celebrate its collaboration with Plateno, Tune Hotels is having a special promotion, exclusively for members of the Plateno Club. From now until 30 September 2014, Plateno Club members will be able to book Tune Hotel rooms from as low as RMB61. Only a limited number of rooms are available on a first come, first served basis.
“We are delighted to be working with Plateno on this outbound cross marketing collaboration,” Tune Hotels Group CEO Mark Lankester said.
A total of 97 million Chinese residents travelled out of the country last year, a 16.8 per cent increase from the year before. As of August this year, the year-on-year increase for the corresponding period is a staggering 17 per cent.


6. Aussie golfers tee off in Jakarta

Jakarta’s first coordinated international golf tourism promotion has unveiled of a new campaign aimed at Australia and other key markets called Enjoy Jakarta Golf. The initiative comes as Jakarta prepares to host the fourth Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) organised by global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO, in April 2015.
“Today we begin a six-month program of promotions in Australia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Korea and the Philippines to deliver a clear message to golfers that they should consider Jakarta for their next golf break,” Hari Wibowo, Manager of International Promotion for Enjoy Jakarta, said.
The campaign will include a range of activities. Among them will be:
Broadcasting Enjoy Jakarta Golf on TV, in-flight TV and other digital platforms worldwide Launching a Enjoy Jakarta Golf website in multiple languages
Promoting Enjoy Jakarta Golf in golf and travel publications in key markets across Asia/Australasia
Communicating with more than 500 golf tour operators worldwide
Attending the International Golf Travel Market in Italy in October.
IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton said Jakarta is a vibrant and accessible city that offers an exceptional golf product with exceptional value for money.
The Asia Golf Tourism Convention will take place from 27-30 April 2015 at the Balai Sindang Jakarta Convention Center.


7. Virgin Australia unveils next evolution in Business Class

Virgin Australia has announced the next evolution in the airline’s premium experience, unveiling a major redesign of the Business Class and Premium Economy cabins on board its wide-body fleet of aircraft.
The redesign involves the introduction of suite-style seating in Business Class and an extensive upgrade of the Business Class and Premium Economy cabins, including more spacious seating configurations and new bars on the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft.
Inspired by the interiors of some of the world’s most premium automotive designs, Virgin Australia enlisted the support of renowned design agency, Tangerine London, who led the industrial design of the new seats and cabins to create the premium and tailored new-look Business Class experience. B/E Aerospace was chosen as the manufacturer and has named the new Virgin Australia Business Class suite the ‘Super Diamond’.
“Today marks a new era for our premium customer experience both domestically and internationally,” Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said.
“We believe the sophisticated new suites will set a new standard in Business Class travel, not just in Australia but around the world.


8. Airpoints: strength in numbers

Air New Zealand has announced a significant expansion of the Airpoints programme with the addition of more than 100 new earning partners.
The launch of the online Airpoints Mall, the first of its kind in New Zealand, will see dozens of well-known brands including the Apple Online Store, ASOS, Topshop, eBay, Neiman Marcus, Marks & Spencer, Hallensteins, Glassons, The Disney Store and Banana Republic conveniently housed in one online hub.
Airpoints members are able to earn Airpoints Dollars at each online retailer at a rate of one Airpoints Dollar per NZ$100 spent, with double earning available until 31 October 2014.
Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Value Hamish Rumbold says online shopping is now a way of life, with Kiwis spending $2.8 billion dollars over the past year.
“Not only are we bringing the most popular online retailers together in one place, our 1.3 million New Zealand based members can now earn Airpoints Dollars doing what they do every day,” he said.


9. See the best of Britain for less


Albatross Tours is inviting couples to book early and save up to $600 on their newly-revamped 16 day ‘Best of British’ tour where travellers can enjoy an exclusive overnight stay in the magnificent Leeds Castle.

Priced at $6,989 per person twin share, travellers can save $300 per person if they book and deposit before 15 January 2015.
Also included are numerous visits to heritage sites, country mansions and beautifully landscaped gardens with unique excursions such as a special William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace guided tour of Stirling Castle, the Captain Cook trail and Tintern Abbey in the Welsh Borderlands.
Cruise on Lake Windermere, ride on a steam train across the Yorkshire Moors and spend a day in the enchanting Cotswolds.
At Leeds Castle, guests will enjoy a private tour of the castle before pre-dinner drinks in the Library and a final farewell feast in the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall.
Fully escorted by an experienced tour manager the tour includes transport in a first class touring coach, 15 nights’ accommodation in authentic style hotels with porterage, breakfast daily, 9 dinners, sightseeing, excursions and entrances as per the itinerary plus more!
The 16 day Best of British tour offers departures between May and September 2015.


10. Get set for Melbourne Cup at Merivale

Merivale is set for a sensational Melbourne Cup with over thirty fever-pitched events across its range of restaurants, bars and pubs.
ivy, Sydney’s inimitable lifestyle and entertainment precinct, will be abuzz with guests enjoying the race day excitement. At the stunning rooftop oasis, Pool Club, revellers can slip into their poolside threads and enjoy one of the hottest tickets in town ($130). The Den will come alive for an elegant soiree with roving drinks, canapés and a buffet feast ($95) while ivy’s VIP booth packages provide corporate hospitality at its best with personal waiter service and private screens ($150).
For a more intimate and relaxed Cup Day experience, The Royal George will offer a three-course meal with a glass of sparkling wine or beer ($50) while The Bottle Shop’s Tasting Room can be booked exclusively for 22 people ($175). For those who would prefer to enjoy the fun and frivolity at one of ivy’s incredible restaurants, the Italian pool-side Uccello ($250), French Bistro Felix ($175) and European tapas bar Ash St. Cellar ($110) offer beautiful dining packages.
For more information on other Merivale Melbourne cup offers, please visit their website.


What’s your reaction to todays news? Share your comments below and start the conversation.