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Wed 14 Jan: 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. Paris is ‘Open for Business’: tourism leaders


Paris’ tourism leaders are on a mission to reassure travellers France’s capital is safe and ‘open for business’ after fatal shootings in the city last week.

Representatives of Paris’ tourism industry are said to be setting off on an ‘Open for Business’ campaign next month, which will see the group attempt to ease travellers and agents’ concerns.

Tourism is one of France’s largest economic contributors, with almost 85 million international visitors spending around 150 billion euros annually. The industry delivers seven percent of the country’s GDP, Toronto Sun reported.

Read on


2. Is this the world’s most luxurious cruise ship?

Seven Seas Explorer lobby

When you think of luxury cruising you think of Silversea’s white-glove service, Ponant’s French glamour and Uniworld’s sophisticated five-star interiors.

But according to Regent Seven Seas, luxury cruisers haven’t seen anything yet.

The cruise line, which was recently purchased by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, says it is pushing the bar a little higher in the spoil-yourself sector and has declared its forthcoming vessel as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship.

Read on


 3. INCENTIVE: Go on a free Royal Caribbean cruise


If you’ve ever wanted to cruise Royal Caribbean [without paying for it] then here’s your chance.

Throughout January any agent that makes three or more bookings on select cruises departing in January 2015 will receive a complimentary cruise for two on a local Royal Caribbean itinerary of up to seven-nights.

Each of the four select itineraries sail round trip from Sydney and take in the South Pacific, calling at locations like Noumea and the Isle of Pines, Vanuatu; Lifou and Mystery Island. Departure dates include 17, 20, 28 and 31 January 2015.

To redeem a complimentary local cruise, agents need to send details of each qualifying booking, along with the details of the cruise they wish to request, to Inside Sales (Insidesales@rcclapac.com) by 13 February 2015.

Royal Caribbean is also having a three-day mega sale on a range of New Zealand, South Pacific and Australia itineraries, with prices starting from $81 a day.

For example, cruisers can book an eight-night South Pacific cruise departing 28 February aboard Rhapsody of the Seas from $649 per person.

Select itineraries will also be rewarded with up to $US200 onboard credit. Sale commenced on 13 January and will end 9:59am on 16 January 2015.


4. Travellers get the new TravelManagers’ look


The home-based agency group is moving into phase two of its rebranding – taking the new look and feel to the travellers.

TravelManagers unveiled its new branding at the company’s national conference in Singapore last year, which saw the old logo with planes and a cruise ship replaced with a clover mark and the new tagline ‘As Individual as You Are’.

Since, the company has rolled out the logo to all its consultants websites and social media sites as well as its own marketing and online products.

Read on


5. Some flights resume to Tonga

Image: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

Image: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

Tonga Airports have reopened, but not all  flights to the destination have resumed as volcanic ash from Hunga Ha’apai continues to cause visibility issues.

For more on the disruptions click here.

Air New Zealand’s Flight NZ6868 – an additional service operating between Auckland and Nuku’alofa this morning to assist stranded travellers – has returned to Auckland.

As a result the return leg – flight NZ6869 from Tonga to Auckland has also been cancelled.

The airline’s next service between Auckland and Tonga is scheduled to depart Auckland at 4.15pm today.

Meanwhile, a Virgin Australia spokesperson told KarryOn the airline has resumed its operations, with a flight that departed from Sydney to Tonga at 7.00am today.

The plane will go from Tonga to Auckland later today.

Virgin  has also scheduled 7.15pm flight from Sydney to Tonga and an additional service to minimise disruption will fly from Tonga to Brisbane at 5.00pm local time.

Fiji Airways said it is still assessing the situation before it decided whether to resume flights.

“The currently scheduled flight from Nadi to Nukualofa FJ211 at 7.10am tomorrow is still tentatively confirmed pending further review tomorrow morning.”

A supplementary flight is scheduled this Saturday to uplift disrupted passengers. Passengers are advised to contact Fiji Airways reservations on +679 672 0888 or +679 330 4388 for flight information and confirmation.


6. NY Times has named this Aus city a ‘Place to Go’ in 2015

Image: ymgerman/Shutterstock

Image: ymgerman/Shutterstock

Americans are being told to be sure to head to Adelaide in 2015 – the only Australian and New Zealand city to make the list.

To commemorate the nominations, KarryOn has published a special City Guide on Adelaide covering things to do, local culture, shopping, food and bars. Read on

South Australia’s capital landed the 24th position, just behind New Orleans in Louisiana.

Milan was named the number one place to go this year, followed by Cuba and Philadelphia.

Other Asia-Pacific cities to make the list include Singapore – 6. Seoul – 33, Shikoku in Japan – 35, Denang in Vietnam – 43, Chengu in China – 44 and Shanghai – 46.


7. Brochures of the week

Image: HelenStock/Shutterstock

Image: HelenStock/Shutterstock

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 itineraries in Bali, Hong Kong and China. There’s also new packages in Europe and on the Med.

Read on


8. Travelport’s Spirit of learning & Vistara distribution

Agents in the story

Travelport has signed a new agreement to distribute all fares and offerings for Singapore Airlines’ new India-based carrier Vistara.

The airline official took off early this week, with its inaugural flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Click here and scroll to #8 for more info.

As part of the agreement, Travelport-connected agents will have access to search, compare and book Vistara fares and ancillary services through their existing desktop workflow.

Vistara has also agreed to participate in Travelport’s suite of airline merchandising solutions via its Travelport Merchandising Platform.

This week, the travel commerce platform also took a select group of agents out to sea aboard 2,124-passenger Fun Ship Carnival Spirit [pictured above].

Onboard the travel commerce platform group held its annual Learning and Development Forum where attendees discussed key issues in the industry.

The group was made up of Travelport representatives and teachers from tertiary colleges across NSW that offer courses on Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform.

Travelport also announced the winner of last year’s ‘Agent of the Future’ program.

Sarah Evans, a recent tourism graduate took out the award and she won a trip Ireland.

Read on


9. If this airline could ban one thing it would be this


AirNorth says it wants to ban passengers who exploit ticket loopholes such as choosing the cheapest option available for flying between Darwin, Gove and Cairns.

Currently, the airline offers discounted flights from Darwin to Cairns via Gove. This was done in response to ‘aggressive competition’ on the route.

However, AirNorth has maintained higher prices from Darwin to Gove, where it is the only operator, News.com.au reported.

Travellers are bypassing the expensive ticket by purchasing the cheap full flight to Cairns but hopping off at Gove during the stopover.

Michael Bridge, AirNorth chief executive said the airline is keeping tabs on a number of passengers who are taking advantage of the loophole, which is against fare rules in the airline’s conditions of carriage.

He added that the airline is considering banning those passengers from flying with the airline to ensure the profitability of the Darwin to Gove service.

“(Taking advantage of the loophole) has the potential to not only impact a passenger’s future travel on Airnorth but will also have a wider impact on the ongoing viability of air services for Nhulunbuy residents and those in the surrounding communities.”

Michael Bridge, AirNorth chief executive


10. Meet the solo flyer! Literally, he was the only person on the plane – for a minute

No one making noises next you, no one kicking your seat from behind and no babies crying from the front row.

It’s every travellers’ dream come true, an entire plane all to themselves (well aside from staff of course, cause how else will you get to your destination).

That’s exactly what happened to Brooklyn man, Chris O’Leary when he boarded his Delta plane on Monday to find he was the only passenger onboard.

His good luck came after a string of bad luck the day before, including the cancellation of his flight. Chris was finally rebooked on another Delta flight and when he boarded found he was the only one. That was until staff reconnected the jet to the bridge just before leaving the airport to let another passenger on.

Despite the company, O’Leary said it was a ‘peaceful’ flight and he barely spoke to the passenger.


Need to Know Extra: Kicking goals with Oman

Oman Soccer

The Sultanate of Oman last night hosted twenty travel industry professionals (including KarryOn) at the Asian Cup Group game at ANZ Stadium in Sydney between The Socceroos and Oman.

The guests also included two lucky Omanis (pictured) who won a competition to fly out and stay in Sydney to watch the game.

Sadly for them The Socceroos ran out 4-0 winners but everyone enjoying a great evening in a corporate box with delicious food and entertainment. The Socceroos qualified for the quarter finals with Oman unfortunately having no further chance to qualify for the next round.

The Socceroos play their final group game in Brisbane on Friday evening against South Korea at 8pm.

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