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Tue 16 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. If it looks too good to be true…

According to Qantas, then it most likely is.

A fake Qantas Facebook page has been detected that offers visitors a chance to win a $(AUD)1500 voucher to fly anywhere in Australia in honour of the company “seating 20 million passengers since 2013.”

The page then prompts Facebook users to click on links that contain malicious malware that can hijack a user’s personal profile, extract their information, or completely take over their computer. Read on for more on this story.


2. Tigerair Australia growls to the tune of 15 million


Tigerair Australia is celebrating flying its 15 millionth passenger since domestic operations first began on 23 November 2007.

In honour of the event, the airline is offering a special three-day sale commencing from 3:00 pm AEST today, featuring 1,500 seats on sale until midnight tonight from just $15.00 for selected travel in 2015.

Today’s sale features four popular routes with 1,500 seats available from just $15 to fly either way between Sydney and Adelaide, Melbourne and Adelaide, Brisbane and Cairns and Gold Coast and Sydney.

Tomorrow, from 3pm until midnight, another 1,500 seats will go on sale on another four selected routes and the same will occur on Thursday 17 September, the final day of the three-day sale.

Tigerair Australia’s Head of Communications, Vanessa Regan, said that today’s celebration marks yet another significant milestone for the airline.

“Wherever we fly we not only provide consistently great value fares, but also bring healthy competition to the market,” she said.

Tigerair’s 15 millionth passenger sale offers will span over the three days or until tickets are sold out. Read on for more on this story.


3. Strength-to-strength for Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Airways has released combined Cathay Pacific and Dragonair traffic figures for August 2014 that show a year-on-year increase in both the number of passengers carried and the amount of cargo and mail uplifted.

The airlines combined have carried a total of 2,849,359 passengers in August – an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the same month in 2013.

The growth, according to Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management, Patricia Hwang was due to long-haul route demand to and from North America and the introduction of additional frequencies on the Chicago route.

“August was the busiest month of the year so far for our passenger business with new highs recorded for passenger volumes on both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair,” she said.

The brand also experienced an encouraging pick-up in demand to Bangkok, but Korea remained the most popular destination for leisure travellers out of Hong Kong.

“Demand in the premium cabins continued to be ahead of expectations,” she said.


4. Augusta Margaret River ushers in UnionPay

In reaction to the 630,000 Chinese tourists visiting Australia per year, the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association (AMRTA) has introduced UnionPay to its centres – the most popular method of transaction for Chinese visitors.

The China Market poses an estimated annual spend of $4.6 billion in Australia and its growth is an extremely important and lucrative opportunity for Australian tourism businesses.

To introduce UnionPay, the AMRTA recently changed banks to National Australia Bank (NAB) – the only Australian bank that offers its customers complete access to Asia’s largest payment card through NAB Merchant terminals, ATMs and online, allowing Chinese visitors to purchase in their local currency (RMB) and incur no conversion fees.

The AMRTA’s Chief Financial Officer Keith Meyer advised that it was a strategic move which was certain to result in significant economic benefit to the Association and the Margaret River Region.

“NAB has a been a market leader in UnionPay so we decided to switch over in order to better service this rapidly growing visitor market,” said Mr Meyer.

“This means that Chinese visitors to our centres do not have to withdraw cash to pay for accommodation, tours and retail items – their spending power is capped only by their credit card limit,” he said.


5. Viking Cruises conquer sales


Viking Cruises has sold most of their much anticipated Ocean 2015 itineraries on the beautiful Viking Star.

The Star covers the Baltic, the east and west Mediterranean, as well as the Norwegian fjords.

Following this success, Viking announced the building of two additional ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, to meet the overwhelming demand for Vikings entrée into ocean cruising.

“As we usher in a new era in ocean cruising, the launch of Viking Star in Bergen, Norway in May next year will represent a distinct change in ocean cruising,” says Teresia Fors, Managing Director of Viking River Cruises, Australia and New Zealand.

“Light, intimate and elegant, this new all-veranda ship with a capacity of 930 Guests offers amenities and services on board that will yet again impress and delight discerning travellers.”


6. APEC makes regional travel easier with Macau Declaration

A new set of measures, introduced by APEC’s 21 economies, have ensured a smoother ride for the Asia-Pacific travel and leisure industry.

The Macau Declaration, adopted at the 8th APEC Ministerial Meeting, is aimed to keep in toe with changing consumer trends and advances in technology.

The Declaration introduces a new set of initiatives that are set to facilitate tourist travel and promote smart digital technologies in modern tourism management. It dedicates APEC to the development of sustainable, low-carbon tourism destinations.

These changes will make it easier for tourists to travel throughout the region in a bid to meet APEC’s new target of 800 million tourists by 2025.

APEC members also plan to work on improving visa processes and shortening wait times for tourists at airports to help boost tourism industry growth.

By improving visa processing, APEC stands to gain up to 57 million additional international tourist arrivals by 2016 and an estimated 2.6 million new jobs, according to the United Nations World Travel Organization and the World Travel and Tourism Council.


7. LATAM feel the love with passenger increases


LATAM Airlines Group, the leading airline group in Latin America, today reported its preliminary monthly traffic statistics for August 2014 compared to August 2013

System passenger traffic increased by 5.5 per cent while capacity increased by 1.0 per cent.

As a result, the Company’s load factor for the month increased 3.6 points to 84.5 per cent. International passenger traffic accounted for approximately 52 per cent of the month’s total passenger traffic.

Domestic passenger traffic in LATAM Airlines Group’s Spanish speaking operations (Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia) rose 9.2 per cent, while capacity increased by 1.6 per cent.

Domestic passenger traffic in Brazil increased by 2.9 per cent, while capacity increased by 0.4 per cent.

International passenger traffic increased by 6.0 per cent, while capacity increased by 1.2 per cent. Accordingly, the international passenger load factor for the month increased 4.0 points to 87.6 per cent.

Cargo traffic for LATAM decreased 1.9 per cent as capacity decreased 5.6 per cent.

The decrease in cargo capacity is a result of a reduced freighter operation in addition to decreased availability in the bellies of passenger aircraft. Cargo traffic decrease was driven by weaker imports into Latin America.


8. Malaysia Airlines says hello to Earlybird airfares


Malaysia Airlines has released special Earlybird deals in all cabins for travel in 2015, offering Australians the opportunity to experience Malaysia Airlines’ A330-300 and A380 services to Europe and the UK at exceptional value ticket prices.

Recently launched, the Airbus A330-300 features a new MH Gourmet service offering fine-dining in Economy Class±, and spacious seating boasting a comfortable individual economy seat space of 32 inches.

Passengers travelling to London or Paris will also connect to the airline’s premium superjumbo A380 service all the way to Europe from gateway Kuala Lumpur.

The economy seats have not been left out, either.

The Early Bird return economy airfares to UK/Europe start from just $1328 to Istanbul, $1350 to Amsterdam, $1385 to Paris, $1429 to Frankfurt and $1572 to London.* Business class fares to UK/Europe start from $4943 to Istanbul.

Early Bird deals are available for travel between 1 April and 10 August 2015. Bookings must be made by 19 September 2014.

For more information, visit www.malaysiaairlines.com.


9. Investment Corporation of Dubai and Kerzner redefine luxury


Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) and Kerzner International Holdings Limited (Kerzner), have unveiled a $1.4 billion plan to forever enhance the landscape of Dubai with The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences.

Located on the crescent of The Palm and next to the iconic Atlantis resort, this new generation of distinctive luxury will offer a sophisticated lifestyle experience, edgier than any resort in the region, with infinite ocean views, accented with lush green spaces, encapsulated in dramatic architecture.

“This next phase of Atlantis, including the luxury residences of The Royal Atlantis, will continue to drive the growth of Dubai forward,” said H.E. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Executive Director and CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai and Chairman of Kerzner International.

H.E. Mohammed Al Shaibani reiterated the importance of this investment for Dubai and its strengthening hotel and tourism industry as the Emirate prepares to host the Expo World Fair in 2020.

Features of the new project will include nearly 800 new guest rooms and lavish suites with spectacular architecture from Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and interior design by GA Design. The project also includes the creation of 250 luxury residences, designed by Sybille de Margerie Design, providing exclusive doorstep access to exciting restaurants and entertainment, as well as unsurpassed resort experiences with definitive signature service.

The Royal Atlantis Resort will stand 46 storeys tall and feature spectacular ocean and palm views, allowing guests to feel that they are literally floating between the sky and sea.


10. It’s that (face)time of the year!

This Wednesday, KarryOn, sets to host a fun networking event at the Hotel CBD, providing the travel industry an opportunity a night of networking, prizes, love and laughter.

Free drinks, finger food and live entertainment will be provided, along with the chance to win an array of fabulous door prizes.

Doors open at 6PM.

For those that haven’t secured their place yet, please RSVP to KarryOn’s Business Relationship Manager, Sally Matheson on sally@karryon.com.au or (02) 8096 6510


What’s your reaction to today’s news? Share your comments and feedback below or send us your news stories for the next edition of Need to Know.