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Thurs 4 Dec: 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. Hello Sydney! Cathay 777 arrives

Cathay 2

In the midst of pilot disputes and storms in NSW, Cathay Pacific’s Boeing 777-300ER landed at Sydney Airport last night, kick starting the airline’s plans to increase capacity between Sydney and Hong Kong.

The airline currently operates 28 flights a week or four daily services between Hong Kong and Sydney.

The Airbus A330-300s have been operating on all services until last night when the larger Boeing 777-300ER took over three flights per week.

Read On


2. Shanghai chasing MICE with Disney

Shanghai 3

Mickey won’t be the only mouse running into Shanghai over the coming years, with new developments expected to attract more meetings, conferences and events.

Mike Smith, the city’s tourism representative in Australia, told KarryOn that Shanghai is on a mission to become a global meetings and events centre – even planning to top major Asian competitors Tokyo, Beijing and Bangkok.

He said while the current market is growing, particularly from Australia, three new buildings will further boost the sector to new heights. Literally.

Read On


3. INCENTIVE: Get onboard Scenic Spirit


Scenic is celebrating the launch of Scenic Spirit on the Mekong by giving travel agents the chance to win a suite onboard the vessel in the first year of the ship’s sailing.

Consultants will receive one entry into the draw for every 2016 luxury Mekong river cruise booked and deposited by 30 April 2015.

The 68-passenger luxury river ship will commence eight-day cruises between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap from January 2016.

Along the way guests will visit Cai Be, Sa Dec, Phnom Penh, Tonle Sap, Kampong Chhnang, Wat Hanchey and Kampong Cham where they will disembark.

Scenic Spirit will be the largest all-balcony ship on the river. All 34 suites feature a separate bedroom, living room and balcony. They start from 32 square meters for Deluxe Suite to the 80 square metre Royal Panorama Suite.


4. Click to chat to Princess

dawn Princess- Melbourne-

Princess is making it easier for agents to sell its ships, with a new ‘click to chat’ option on its trade website OneSource.

‘Click to chat’ allows consultants to instantly message Princess with queries. Following the conversation, all information will be email to the agent for future reference.

The feature is now available for consultants in New South Wales and will be rolled out to other states in the coming year.


5. Happy New Year! Here’s some free wifi

free wifi

Working travellers rejoice! StayWell Hospitality Group is introducing free in-room wifi at its Park Regis and Leisure Inn properties from January 2015.

The offer will be available at the group’s 11 Australian properties including Park Regis City Centre in Sydney, Park Regis Griffin Suites in Melbourne and Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill.

StayWell Hospitality’s Simon Wan said the decision to roll out free wifi was a response to guest feedback.

It also gives the company’s hotels a point of difference to competitors.

Guests will be able to download up to 250MB of data across five devices. This is roughly 25,000 emails; spending 125 hours on the internet; or streaming live music for nine hours.

Guests requiring higher data allowances will be able to purchase wifi packages.


6. Agents rail around Europe

In the story

Ten top selling agents were swept off to Europe and the UAE for a ten-day famil supported by Rail Europe.

The group, made up of ten ladies, booked the most itineraries with Viva Holiday and Infinity Rail over a period of a month earlier this year.

Over the ten days the group visited Rome, Florence, Nice, Barcelona and Dubai and stayed in luxurious Jumeirah and Ritz Carlton properties.

The ladies also got to experience first hand Europe’s rail connections, with many impressed by the high-speed services of the NTV Italo between Rome and Florence.


7. 88-year-old hotel to reopen its doors

Canberra hotel

Canberra’s heritage listed Hotel Kurrajong Canberra will reopen its door on 16 December after undergoing major restoration work.

Located between Lake Burley Griffin and Capital Hill, the property was originally opened in 1926 as one of two hotels with equal walking distance from the Old Parliament House.

It’s also famous as being the home of World War 2 Prime Minister, Ben Chifley.

As part of its restoration, Hotel Kurrajong’s 1920s décor has been mixed with modern influences.

147 rooms will be available, 26 of which located in the heritage wing. There’s also a Chifley’s Bar & Grill steakhouse with food created by chef Michael Chatto.


8. Hotels opening up in Fiji and Bangkok


The hospitality industry continues to grow, with two new additions in Fiji and Bangkok.

This week, Hilton Worldwide announced it will open the first DoubleTree Resort by Hilton on Sonaisali Island in Fiji early next year.

The former Sonaisali Island Resort closed in November to be re-branded and renovated into a DoubleTree property.

Located 30 minutes from Nadi International Airport, the property will reopen with 123 rooms; a swimming pool; various new restaurants; and conferencing facilities.

There will also be a 24-hour business and fitness centre and complimentary high-speed internet access in public areas.

Meanwhile, Thailand received its first Avani Hotel in Bangkok this week.

The 23-storey hotel has 568 guest rooms and suites; social and private spaces; an all-day dining restaurant; and a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant Benihana.

There’s also a Connect Zone where guests can email or chat online, surf the web, print boarding passes and charge devices.

Other features of the property include a 24-hour tour desk and seven meeting and function rooms.


9. World Leading Cruise Lines turns one!

agents on ship

More than 200 agents and industry partners joined World’s Leading Cruise Lines first anniversary celebrations in a series of events across Australia on their ships.

The group launched earlier this year, combining a range of cruise lines under one umbrella.

Names like P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, P&O Cruises World Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn were the first to join.

To celebrate a successful first year, the industry group wore hats, while dining onboard different ships in Fremantle, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne throughout November.


10. Aus pilot to fly CZ planes


No, that’s not Richard Geer in ‘Officer and a Gentleman’, that’s Captain Adrian Bosco one of ten Australian pilots to join China Southern Airlines.

Announced this week, the airline now has 14 serving Australian pilots and four more in training. They join China Southern’s 90 pilots enlisted from outside China.

Melbourne-born pilot Captain Adrian Bosco has been flying for over 20 years. His resume includes time with Qantas, Jetstar and Ryanair.

He will now be based out of Guangzhou where he will fly the A330 from China to Australia and Europe.

“It’s good to be a part of an expanding airline at a time when China is becoming an important player in world aviation.”

Captain Adrian Bosco

According to the airline, international recruits help increase diversity and the international experience of its pilots.

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