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Tues 23 Dec: 10 things you need to know today

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

1. The future of Brisbane’s waterfront

Tourism in Brisbane is getting a shiny makeover, with plans for new casinos, six-star hotels and water shows at the city’s waterfront.

This week the government unveiled two visions for Brisbane’s Queens Wharf.

The first came from Destination Brisbane, which is made up of Echo Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. The other was pitched by James Paker’s Crown Resorts and Chinese partners Greenland.

Read on


2. Travelport introduces a Smart-er-point for agents


Over the next few weeks agents will see new features added to the Travelport Smartpoint, including tools to help search and sell hotel and car rentals.

The upgraded travel commerce platform, now allows agents to access property and vehicle images, comparisons and maps within the Smartpoint screen.

Hotel ratings and reviews from TripAdvisor have also been added, as well as a new system that allows agents to generate quotes and email them to their clients directly from the program.

Read on


3. It’s a match! Malaysia Airlines sponsors Aussie tennis star

PK Lee and Nick Kyrgios forming their partnership.

It’s a ‘match’ made in heaven, as Malaysia Airlines signs up to sponsor rising Australian tennis star, 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios.

The partnership was sealed at an exclusive event in Sydney yesterday and will see the airline fly the sporting star to his games around the world. He will also display the Malaysia Airlines logo on his tennis racquet bag.

In addition, the player and Malaysia Airlines are planning a number of marketing initiatives, which will be announced in the coming year. These will include tennis clinics with Nick, consumer and trade promotions and advertising.

Born in Australia to a Malaysian mother and a Greek father, Malaysia Airlines’ PK Lee said the collaboration fits because the two share a common Malaysian heritage and desire for excellence.

Read on


4. itravel-s into Sydney’s west

iTravel 2

iTravel has officially opened its second retail store in a major Sydney shopping centre this month.

Owned by Rosemarie Church, itravel Liverpool is located inside on level one inside Westfield Liverpool next to Evolution Laser Clinic and Chromatic Hair.

Rosemarie’s business partner and itravel managing director, Nicholas Zaferis said he is excited to start this new venture with the ‘dynamic and innovative group’.

Earlier this month, Rosemarie opened itravel Hurstville inside the local Westfields.

Click here for more information.


5. The award for world’s leading airline – economy class goes to…

Oman Air

Oman Air is the world’s leader when it comes economy class flying, taking out the title at this year’s World Travel Awards.

Beating Emirates, Etihad and Singapore Airlines, the airline also won ‘Leading Airline Business Class and Economy Class’ in the Middle Eastern Travel Awards.

The airline’s chief executive said winning the award confirms Oman Air is impressing both travel judges and travellers around the world.

” It is powerful recognition of our outstanding Economy Class service and once again confirms Oman Air as the airline of First Choice.”

Peter Gregorowitsch, Oman Air chief executive

Earlier this month, Oman Air launched an expansion programme, which will see the carrier increase its fleet by 23 new planes in the next two years.

On order are six Boeing 787 Dreamliners; three Airbus A330s; and six Boeing 737-800s. In addition, there are six Boeing 737-900ERs on order, making Oman Air the first Gulf carrier to fly the aircraft.

Read more about the airline’s expansion here.


6. Santa’s travel insurance list

Image: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

Image: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

Find out what Santa has packed into the travel insurance list this festival season.

Read on


7. Passion for travel to supersede weakened dollar

Image: Milleflore Images/Shutterstock

Image: Milleflore Images/Shutterstock

Somebody tell Flight Centre they may have downgraded their profit expectations too soon, because a new study has found Australians are still keen on travel despite the weakened dollar.

A Travelex data released today revealed demand for US and European currencies has increased year-on-year.

Despite the weak dollar, top selling currencies for Australian travellers remain to be the USD, Euro, New Zealand dollar and British Pound.

This contradicts ongoing trends for Australians’ short-haul international travel habits, which sees travellers choose closer destinations where their dollar will go further. These include popular spots such as Fiji and Bali.

Travelex’s head of pricing said Aussies are savvy currency buyers and prefer to buy the major currency even during periods of increased volatility in the exchange rate.

“Despite the AUD continuing its fall below parity with the USD in recent months, interestingly USD and Euro are increasing their share in total sales.”

Miroslav Trisic, Travelex head of pricing in the Southern Hemisphere


8. Australia’s largest zipline opens

Illawarra Zip Line 1

Australia’s highest zipline has officially launched at Illawarra Fly Treetop Advenutres in the Illawarra region.

A whopping 34.8 meters off the ground, or 10 stories high, the zipline is not only a thrill-seekers dream, but offers breathtaking views of the area.

Constructed by the Merlin Entertainment Group the zipline is made up of 247 meters of cable and cost up to $1 million.

Illawarra Zip Line 3

Lcoal councillor and Mayor of Kiama, Brian Petschler said the addition of the zipline is a welcome boost to the local tourism economy.

“The Illawarra region is not only a beautiful place to live, but an amazing place to visit. We hope that the addition of Illawarra Fly’s Zipline Tour will appeal to a broader market of holiday makers looking for a bit more zing in their sightseeing.”

Illawarra Zip Line 2


9.  Le Boat wins long-haul award

Le Boat award

Congratulations to boating holiday specialist, Le Boat for taking out the award for Best Long-Haul Source Office at the recent Global Conference.

Based out of Europe, Le boat sells a selection of self-drive cruising itineraries along the region’s rivers, canals and lakes.

The company hosts groups of all sizes from couples to parties of 12 and nearly all routes require no boating experience.


10. How to travel like a spy

James Bond

You don’t need to be Jennifer Garner or Daniel Craig to travel like a spy, in fact all you really need is a smart-casual outfit and a relaxed attitude.

The advice comes from a CIA top-secret document leaked by WikiLeaks this week.

The document, which is classified as ‘NORFORN’ or ‘not for foreign eyes’ – offers tips to government spies on how to maintain their cover while travelling with false documentations.

And while we believe (and hope) that all KarryOn readers travel with legitimate documents, we thought we’d share the interesting (and extremely obvious) tips with you.

  • Do not to show ‘unusual nervousness or anxiety’
  • Do not switch lines at security
  • It helps to speak the language of the country that issued your passport (really?)
  • Don’t buy your ticket with cash from a destination where credit cards are common
  • Travelling without baggage and on one-way tickets raises alarms
  • Try not to look like a spy – a Venezuelan government courier was spotted by Salvadoran security because of the individual’s military style haircut, physical fitness, casual dress and little baggage
  • Look your ticket class aka don’t wear trackies if you’re travelling on a diplomatic passport
  • Answer questions without hesitation and maintain your story regardless of how much doubt is thrown your way

KarryOn tip: don’t put the wig on until after you’ve arrived.

Good luck!

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