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Wed 26 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. Australia could allow scissors on planes

Image: Rawpixel/Shutterstock

Image: Rawpixel/Shutterstock

Passengers could soon take their travel scissors, metal cutlery and small tools on planes, if the Australian government decides to change airport security measures on ‘low-risk’ travellers.

The Australian Office of Transport Security this week recommended a review on airport security that will allow staff to focus on more dangerous items and ‘high-risk’ passengers.

Changes suggested include removing less risky items off the proscribed or banned list.

Read On


2. helloworld’s Frontliners head to Adelaide

helloworld for website

Helloworld agents will be inspired and rewarded over the weekend at the agency group’s annual conference.

Held in Adelaide’s Convention Centre, head of branded network, Julie Primmer said the ‘helloworld Frontliners Conference’ will give the city the chance to live up to its reputation as one of Lonely Planet’s top ten must visit cities for 2014.

“What a perfect destination to celebrate the success of this year and inspire our frontline staff for the next 12 months and the years ahead.”

Julie Primmer, helloworld head of branded network

The conference will start on Friday evening with a ‘welcome to Adelaide’ cocktail party at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Read On


3. Evergreen cruises onto the Mekong


Evergreen Tours is expanding its business into the Mekong, with its first ever program sailing from Vietnam and Cambodia.

Starting with 10 cruise dates between February 2016 and April 2017, the tour company will operate an eight-day Mekong River Cruise aboard 68-passenger RV Mekong Navigator.

The cruise departs from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap and visits Cai Be, Anh Kiet House, Phnom Penh, Tuol Sleng, Kampong Chhnang; Wat Hanchey; Chau Doc; and Tay An Pagoda.

The cruise will be added to five tours: the 19-day Vietnam & Cambodia Explorer with Mekong River Cruise; the eight-day Magnificent Mekong Cruises; 16-day Highlights of Vietnam & Cambodia with Mekong River Cruise; 12-day Mekong Discoverer Cruise; and 10-day Best of Vietnam.

Click to view, download or order Evergreen’s South East Asia brochure.


4. New program makes agents Fiji ‘Matai’


Tourism Fiji has launched a new online training programme to turn agents into Fiji Matai (experts).

The new Fiji Matai Specialist Programme and website goes live on the weekend and includes educational content on Fiji designed to equip agents with the knowledge they need to the destination.

Members will also receive exclusive incentives and monthly e-newsletters featuring updates on Fiji, the industry, famils and other training updates.

Existing Matai Specialists and Matai Agents will automatically transfer to the new three-tier programme when it launched. However, they will need to complete one refresher module within 12 months to maintain their status.


5. Travel deals of the week

deals 2

Get some inspiration for your next holiday or your client’s next trip, with some of the best travel deals of the week.

This week we have incredible savings on Trafalgar’s CostSaver itinerary plus a free upgrade at the Sheraton Fiji Resort. Scenic Tours has fly free and complimentary upgrades in France and Europe and there’s also Thailand six-night holidays starting from $626 per person from Travel Indochina.

Read On


6. Consolidated Travel Group & CWT get accredited


Image: ducu59us/Shutterstock

Agents from the Consolidated Travel Group and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) join nearly 2,400 other travel agents from around the country as the latest to become ATAS travel accredited.

Welcoming the two groups, AFTA general manager Gary O’Riordan said they joins a network of travel businesses that offer quality, credibility and a professional standing.

 “ATAS recognises Australian businesses which have sound operating practices. It provides consumers and industry suppliers a way to recognise appropriately qualified and professional companies with whom they should be dealing.”

Gary O’Riordan, AFTA general manager

Mr Riordan said the number of ATAS accredited agents is approaching 2,400. He expects 80 percent of the industry will be accredited before the end of the year.


7. APT’s top achievers set sail around the Med


APT rewarded 14 of its top achievers with a ‘cruise of a lifetime’, sailing through Turkey and Greece aboard the line’s luxury expedition ship, MS Island Sky.

The 12-day cruise set sail from Istanbul, stopping at Turkish ports such as Canakkale, Kusadasi and Bodrum before heading to Rhodes and then on to explore tiny Greek islands throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

The picture above was taken in the theatre at one of the best-preserved Roman ruins of antiquity, Aspendos in Antalya, Turkey.


8. Oceania purchases a Princess vessel

Ocean Princess

Norwegian Cruise Holdings has purchased Princess Cruises’ 684-passenger Ocean Princess, with the intention of adding the vessel to Oceania Cruises’ fleet.

The announcement follows Norwegian Cruise Holdings’ recent acquisition of Prestige Cruises and its two cruise lines, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas.

Once the ship is delivered she will undergo a 35-day, $40 million makeover to become Oceania Cruises’ fourth R-Class vessel.

She will be renamed to Sirena and receive Oceania touches such as, Toscana and Polo Grill restaurants.

Sirena will also sail on new itineraries. Further details will be released early next year.

The ship is expected to officially start operations under the Oceania umberella from April 2016.


9. Two minutes of Canada

The Canadian Tourism Commission asked locals to share clips of their best travel experiences around the country and the results were incredible.

The tourism bureau received up to 65 hours of video from over 7,000 subscribers, which they culled down into an amazing two minute video.

The vide, uploaded to Youtube, showcases the country’s adventurous side from water rafting, skiing and diving to hockey on ice, walks along the beach and gorgeous icy landscapes.

Hit play above the see Canada through the eyes of locals.

Warning: watching this video will make you want to hop on a plane to Canada.

What are some of your favourite spots in Canada? Let us know below.


10. What excited Australian travellers in 2014?


Online booking site Viator.com reviewed in 2014 bookings to determine what excited Australian travellers in 2014.

According to findings, Tokyo was a popular destination amongst Aussies this year, with an increase of 140 percent in tour and attraction bookings year-on-year.

Aside from experiencing the bustling city, travellers were keen to experience its quirky side on tours such as the Tokyo Robot Evening Cabaret Show – a one hour show featuring flashing lights, taiko drums and techno music. There’s also glitzy girls dancing with a giant panda, dinosaurs and ninjas.

Another hot spot for Australians this year was Dubai. Tour and attraction bookings in the UAE destination were up 75 percent compared to the prior year.

There’s also been growth in domestic exploration, with tour and attraction bookings to Ayers Rock alone surging by 125 percent. Darwin also excited Aussies this year, with 85 percent more day tour bookings.

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