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. Visiting the fam drives up domestic tourism
Visiting family and friends is a key reason for Aussies to travel around their backyard, according to new figures.
Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey published today, revealed for the year ending September 2014 Australians spent $53.7 million travelling around the country. That’s four percent more on the same period last year.
Domestic overnight trips also experienced major growth of five percent to 79.7 million and visitor nights were up seven percent to 302.4 million.
2. Flying to Asia is now easier than ever
Asia is becoming more and more accessible to Australian travellers, as airlines add new, regular services between the two destinations.
According to recent Australian government statistics, China is popular destination for Australian travellers, with the number of Australians travelling to the region jumping to 3.4 million last year. An increase of over 100,000 on the prior year.
Of those travelling to the region, the majority headed to Bali (801,000) and Thailand (568,000) – destinations with regular services operating from Australia.
3. Hello Cover-More insurance deal
Helloworld and Cover-More Group Limited have entered a new agreement for Cover-More to be the sole preferred travel insurance supplier for Helloworld’s retail network.
The five-year agreement commences on 1 January 2015 and will see the insurance company provide unique products for the helloworld group. And franchise members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback and be part of product development.
Proposed new product suite will launch early next year.
Helloworld’s chief executive said the deal will meet clients’ desire for customised insurance covering individual circumstances.
“The structure of the arrangement will provide clear benefits for Helloworld, our franchisees, members and our customers.”
Elizabeth Gaines, Helloworld chief executive
4. INCENTIVE: Earn Scenic rewards
Scenic is offering agents $150 worth of Scenic Rewards on new 2015 Scenic Tours Europe or France luxury river cruises booked by 31 January 2015.
Bonus points will be uploaded to members’ Scenic Rewards account within two weeks of deposit. This means you won’t need to wait for your client to travel before receiving your points.
The line is offering two points for every nett dollar booked.
However, points relating to the tour/cruise will be deposited when the guest travels next year.
All points can be redeemed on an expanded catalogue of over 4,000 products and experiences.
5. Changi takes flying into the future
Wow – that’s all we can say after watching the video above.
The future of travel is coming and Changi Airport is ushering it in with an Eden-like glass dome.
Scheduled for completion in 2018, the 3.5 hectare multi-use complex will have ten levels – five above ground and five below.
Described as an ‘Eden’, the dome will feature thousands of trees, plants, ferns and shrubs as well as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall (13-feet high), which will offer light and sound show at night.
There will also be a 13,000-square-metre space named the Canopy Park, which will have walking trails, playgrounds and food-and-beverage options.
Every shopaholics’ dream will come true on the other side of the dome where 300 stores offering local and international brands will be situated.
There will also be a 130-room hotel operated by YOTEL in the complex.
Costing around $1.7 billion to build, Lee Seow, Changi Airport Group chief executive, said Changi won’t just be a gateway for flights, but a tourism destination its own right.
“Faced with intensifying competition, we challenged ourselves to rethink what an airport could be.”
Lee Seow, Changi Airport Group chief executive
6. Brochures of the week
New tours, new destinations and early bird savings. The internet may have changed the way travellers do their research, but brochures are still one of the best and popular ways to obtain travel information.
This week we have new brochures and tours in Madagascar, South Africa, Fiji, Japan and worldwide cruises aboard Silversea ships.
7. TravelManagers get naked
No they don’t do it everyday, but on 5 December some of the guys over at TravelManagers worked completely nude to celebrate ‘Work in the Nude Day’.
The day was created by micro business community, Flying Solo, three years ago to rejoice in the freedoms of working by yourself from home.
Kylie Gretener was among the TMs that stripped down last week. She said she spent the day working nude from the beach to promote the benefits of working from home and making her own lifestyle choices.
“For me, that includes a quick dip in the ocean most days at lunchtime. It is very easy to think ‘I am too busy – I don’t have time to go for a swim today’, but then I remind myself that flexibility is the reason that I chose to work from home.”
Kylie Gretener, Personal Travel Manager
8. Middle Eastern escape
A group of CT Partner members were recently treated to a famil in the UAE, with visits to Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
Organised by Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas – the group spent three days in Zighy Bay to immerse themselves in the Six Senses experience before taking on adventure activities like paragliding and snorkelling.
The group enjoyed the best of Arab and Western cuisine at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and the Chedi Muscat.
9. Korean Air goes a little ‘nutty’
A Korean Air executive has stepped down from her role as head of in-flight services after she delayed a plane over the way a flight attendant served her nuts.
Heather Cho, who is also the daughter of the airline’s chairman, Cho Yang-ho, was flying first class from New York to South Korea when she raised an issue with the flight attendant.
According to reports, the crew member served Ms Cho’s macadamia nuts in a bag – not a dish.
Ms Cho said this was against airline regulation and summoned the plane’s cabin crew chief and asked if the attendant was following directions in the in-flight service manual.
When the chief could not answer properly she demanded the pilot return the plane to New York to remove the chief.
This put the flight 11 minutes behind schedule.
Since, South Korea’s Transport Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident.
Korean Air has also apologised for the incident and said although Ms Cho had stepped down from her role, she would remain the airline’s vice-president.
10. OMG! A royal on a regular person plane!
Yes, that is exactly who you think it is!
Prince William aka the Duke of Cambridge was spotted boarding a commercial flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York earlier this week.
The Prince was travelling to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in DC where he was expected to meet US President Barack Obama.
Of course, passengers were quick to pick up their phones and snap pics of the royal boarding the aircraft. And we’re so glad they did because knowing he’s comfortable travelling with regular folk just made him so much dreamier.
— Willy Pumarol (@willypumarol) December 8, 2014
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