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Tue 4 Nov: 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. Melbourne Cup Carnival a big win for Victorian tourism

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Reigning Myer Fashions on the Field winner Chloe Moo, atop a P&O.

It may well be the race that stops the nation but it is certainly the carnival that jump starts Victorian tourism.

Year on year, a flock of interstate and overseas travellers have made their way to Flemington for the prestigious event, pouring an excess of revenue into the accommodation, fashion, food and beverage industries – a much needed push for Victoria’s enduring economy.

In 2013, business information analysts, IBISworld, predicted that the total Melbourne Cup Carnival spending would hit the $455.5 million mark.

The gross economic benefit to the Victorian economy that cup nested at $364.5 million. It attracted 56,424 event-motivated visitors. Just under 8000 extended their stays which added a large chunk to the $25.6 million the accommodation sector experienced.

We are yet to see the full, unadulterated impact the world-renowned race will have on the tourism industry.

Nonetheless, several industry giants have gone the extra distance to assure that this year’s race day week will trump the efforts of Cups past.

Read on for more.


2. Pichler to bid farewell to Fiji Airways

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Pictured (Supplied): Stefan Pichler.

Stefan Pichler has been asked by the German Government to help turnaround Germany’s national airline – Air Berlin – and will return home in February next year to do so.

Pichlers successful tenure has seen a turnaround in the airlines fortunes including the re-branding to Fiji Airways from Air Pacific in June 2013 as well as the introduction of new services and code shares, an increased fleet and record profits.

Most recently, Pichler was appointed Chairman of Fiji Tourism for three years and has since fostered a closer relationship between both the airline and the Tourism Board.

Chairman, Nalin Patel, said that the Board of Fiji Airways makes this announcement with great regret but respects Mr. Pichler’s decision to respond to the call of his country.

Mr Patel said the Board of Fiji Airways would immediately begin a search for a suitable successor to lead Fiji Airways into the next exciting chapter of its history, which includes more aircraft, more flights and new destinations.

Read on for more.


3. Emirates unveils new travel app

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In a bid to empower its airport staff and streamline the airline’s customer service, Emirates has unveiled Journey Manager, a custom-designed application that enables the Emirate’s team to get real-time information that will enable them to respond to customers’ needs with greater efficiency.

Developed by Emirates in cooperation with Samsung and Etisalat, Journey Manager runs on the recently launched Samsung Note 4.

“Emirates has always been in the forefront of innovation, and our aim is to continue delivering excellent and more personalised service to our customers,” said Mohammed H Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Airport Services.

Emirates airport staff use Journey Manager at the transfers area to assist transit passengers. By scanning a passenger’s boarding pass using the device, staff can readily provide customers the most up-to-date information on gate assignments – thus significantly reducing the need for people to queue.

Transfer staff are also using the application to check on delayed flights or where passengers have short connection times. The application allows staff to identify these passengers and pass on the information to the gate supervisor at the connecting flight. For passengers who have missed their connections, staff again can simply scan the boarding pass to see what flight re-bookings have been made and direct them accordingly.


4. Countdown begins for Global Achievers Queenstown


Celebrating it’s 21st anniversary this year, the Global Achievers Program will later this week see 150 of Australia’s top International selling agents make the trip over to New Zealand’s South Island playground for a weekend of fun, adventure and rewards.

The agents, hailing from Australia’s metro cities and regional areas to as far-away as Kununurra in Western Australia’s top end have all qualified individually to become this years Global Achievers by being the top sellers of Qantas Holidays, Viva Holidays, Rail Tickets, Travel Indochina and ReadyRooms for Agents.

Their personal reward package includes 12 months of recognition and status as Global Achievers, which begins at this weekend’s lavish event including pre and post famil options to some of New Zealand’s most famous landmarks and experiences.

And with an itinerary naturally missing any work commitments and instead full of immersion in the destination’s highlights, plus nights of fun and festivity, it’s simply all about agents letting their hair down and together enjoying the rewards and recognition of their outstanding efforts over the last year.

Read on for more.


5. The Barossa voted Australia’s top wine destination

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According to research* involving over 5700+ Australians by leading travel and lifestyle website, lastminute.com.au South Australia’s Barossa has been voted as Australia’s favourite wine region.

lastminute.com.au’s spokesperson, Louise Ryan, revealed that Barossa is such a popular choice for Australian travellers due to its world class wine, delicious fresh produce and the close proximity to South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, making it a quick and easy weekend escape for Adelaide locals, and interstate travellers alike.

“Obviously the incredible wineries make it a favoured destination of many Australians, however the region has so much more to offer, in particular fresh, flavoursome local cuisine by some of our country’s finest foodies,” she said.

“The region’s distinctive German influence and history also gives it a unique cultural feel that is very different to other Australian wine regions.

Other wine destination that round up the top five include: the Hunter Valley, Margaret River, Yarra Valley and Clare Valley, South Australia.


6. International tourist arrivals worldwide grow by 5 per cent

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According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, despite geopolitical challenges and a lingering economic recovery, the number of international tourists (overnight visitors) travelling the world between January and August 2014 reached 781 million.

This figure is 36 million more than in the same period of 2013.

The peak months of June, July and August, which account for about one third of the total of the year, saw an increase of 4 per cent compared to the same months of 2013.

By region, the strongest growth was registered in the Americas (+8 per cent), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+5 per cent) and Europe (+4 per cent).

“International tourism continues to grow above expectations despite rising global challenges”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

“Yet, increasing geopolitical uncertainties and the fact that the global economy shows signs of weaker and uneven growth require our attention.”

Commenting on the possible impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa on tourism, Mr. Rifai said “Although it is too premature to assess the full impact of the outbreak on the tourism sector, at this point we do not expect a major effect on the sector globally.”

“International tourism in countries where there is widespread transmission (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) represents less than 1 per cent of all international arrivals to African destinations. Yet we have to be aware  that misperception about the outbreak is affecting the whole of Africa.”


7. Topdeck increases Australian sales team

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Following a year of unprecedented growth, the team at Topdeck Travel have appointed two new Business Development Managers to their Australian sales team.

Sarah Hoskin has been appointed as the third member of the NSW and ACT on-road sales team, after a three year stint as a Topdeck European Trip Leader.

Tom Heffernan also returns home from Europe where he worked as a Topdeck Trip leader for several years. Within his Australian appointment Tom will become the second member of the Queensland trade sales team for the youth travel brand.

Topdeck General Manager Asia Pacific & Americas, Sarah Clark says the new appointments will be a valuable addition to the expert knowledge base and incredible passion of the Topdeck sales team.

“We’ve found that in order to offer the highest possible sales support to our trade partners, our team members need to be sales professionals who are truly passionate about the product they are representing,” Ms Clark said.

“Sarah and Tom are perfect examples of this, having delivered Topdeck Trips first-hand.”


8. Travellers Choice welcomes Mark Brady as new board director

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Travellers Choice members today approved Mark Brady, one of the group’s most experienced travel agency owners, as the newest member of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Brady has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian travel industry, having joined Qantas in Sydney in 1982. He moved across into the retail travel sector in 1990, opening his first agency in Cairns.

Today he owns three of Travellers Choice’s most respected agencies: Ballina Cruise & Travel (NSW), Byron Cruise & Travel (NSW) and Runaway Bay Cruise & Travel (QLD).

Brady says he joined the Travellers Choice Board in order to make a contribution to Australia’s leading independent retail travel group and the broader travel industry.

“I’ve been in the travel industry for a long time and as a non-consulting agency owner I believe I can add helpful insight and knowledge to our Company’s Board,” says Brady.

“It is an honour to represent my fellow Travellers Choice member shareholders and I’m looking forward to embracing a new and exciting challenge.”

Mark replaces Moss Vale Cruise & Travel Director Anni Baillieu, who stepped down at this year’s AGM after six years’ service to the Board.


9. Silversea to offer up a smashing repertoire

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Image Source: StoneHouseTravel.com

All-new, visually exciting musical experiences are coming to the stages of Silversea Cruises‘ five ultra-luxury ships. The new production shows will feature live singing, complemented with musical tracks recorded exclusively for Silversea by such renowned artists as London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Seven different shows, featuring rich costuming, imaginative set designs, and special visual effects, will spotlight the talents of an international ensemble of accomplished vocalists, known collectively as the Voices of Silversea.

Musica Maestro is a grand ballroom is the elegant backdrop for this signature show, a 45-minute tribute to popular operatic arias and classical crossover music. Led by renowned conductor Richard Balcombe, its captivating musical score has been arranged, performed, and recorded by London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra exclusively for Silversea guests.

Mind the Gap showcases mod fashions and the iconic imagery of a London tube station propel this lively journey back to the 1960s and the British Invasion that conquered the airwaves with such legendary pop and rock stars as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Lulu, Tom Jones, and more.

Don’t Stop the Music welcomes guests to don their best retro dancing shoes to join in this foot-tapping, sing-along homage to the disco era’s pulsating rhythms and colourful funky fashions.

Four additional shows will be rotated among the ships to provide guests with a total of four full-scale musical productions on each sailing.


10. Tourism Tweets up, podcast style

The launch of the much anticipated podcast series Tourism Tweetup – the Podcast was held at The Forresters in Sydney last week.

An evolution from the immensely popular #TourismTweetup live events which have been running  in Sydney since 2011, the podcast series interviews tourism industry and marketing leaders on topics from marketing and social media to destination development.

Go Future Media’s Holly Galbraith, the force behind both initiatives, developed the podcasts as a way to share insights and bring industry professionals closer together.

“At the #TourismTweetup live events we were having such great discussions, tapping into some really helpful and important material, but only the people who attended the events were getting value. It seemed such a waste,” she said.

“Also, my guests at these events are limited to professionals based in or visiting Sydney at the time. Now with the Podcast we can tap into tourism discoveries from all around the world and people can listen in at anytime” said Ms Galbraith.

Guests to date include Michelle Mason, who manages social media and digital activities for Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, this eposide discusses social media and events. Also high profile professional travel blogger Melvin Boecher from TravelDudes.org, who discusses global destination blogger campaigns.

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