Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best.

1. WIN with Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways are celebrating 10 years of flying to and from Australia, and to celebrate they are giving you the chance to win 10 amazing prizes!

All you have to do to enter is to snap a selfie of you and your colleagues celebrating with Etihad Airways (Think creatively here!) and upload your shot.

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2. Become a Switzerland expert & go in the running to WIN

Switzerland is celebrating the launch of its new e-learning tool for consultants by giving Travel Agents the chance to WIN a spot on a famil or receive gift cards and cheese hampers.

Recently launched, the ‘Switzerland Travel Academy’ is designed to equip Travel Agents with the information they need to sell tours of the country as well as encouraging them to become Australia’s certified Switzerland experts.

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3. Qantas reintroduces Port Vila codeshare flights

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Qantas has recommenced selling codeshare flights on Air Vanuatu operated services between Sydney/Brisbane and Port Vila, for travel from 16 June 2017 (subject to government and regulatory approvals).

This resumption of the sale of Qantas codeshare services follows repairs to the runway and a commitment by the Vanuatu Government to complete permanent runway works at Port Vila’s Bauerfield Airport.

Qantas will also continue to offer the Qantas code on Air Vanuatu’s twice weekly Brisbane-Santo (Luganville) services, which commenced in June 2016.


4. Emirates to launch third daily Brisbane service

Emirates A380

Australian travellers will have another connection to Dubai, as Emirates announced it will introduce a third daily service from Dubai to Brisbane from 1 December 2017, complementing Emirates’ existing two daily services.

The direct service, to be operated on a B777-200LR aircraft with eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 216 in Economy Class, will increase capacity on the route by 3,724 seats a week, inbound and outbound between Brisbane and Emirates’ hub Dubai.

The inbound service EK430 will depart Dubai at 22:00hrs, arriving in Brisbane at 18:15hrs the following day. While the outbound flight EK431 will depart Brisbane at 22:25hrs, arriving in Dubai at 07:00hrs the following day.


5. The first of Scenic Eclipse is laid

Scenic Eclipse

The keel-laying ceremony of Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht, took place on Friday 28 April at the Uljanik Shipyard JSC in Pula, Croatia.

To be delivered in August 2018, the 228-passenger 6-star ultra-luxury mega yacht is designed especially for polar cruising conditions. Scenic Eclipse features 114 all-verandah suites, from the generous 32 square metre Verandah Suites to the truly luxurious 247 square metre two-bedroom Penthouse Suite.

With intimate guest numbers comes a wealth of public spaces, including a choice of ten on board dining options, a number of spacious bars and lounges, a state-of-the-art theatre and a 550 square metre spa retreat. With an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio, Scenic Eclipse is the epitome of 6-star luxury.


6. Contiki’s new 2017-2018 Winter Europe brochure is here

Contiki feature

Contiki’s new 2017-2018 Winter Europe brochure has arrived and is jam packed with cool travelling experiences from skiing in the Alps to bathing in hot springs in Iceland.

New and improved for 2017-18, the European Encounter 16-day itinerary following the same route and including Berlin, Prague, Salzburg & Cinque Terre. After the success of its inaugural departures last year, the off-the-beaten-track Iceland itinerary is back, with a visit to the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon and an excursion to see the famous Northern Lights.

The 2017-18 Europe Winter programme hits up some of the best Christmas markets on Contiki’s Christmas in Paris, taking travellers to the Champs Elysees markets and a Cabaret show and Champagne at the famous Moulin Rouge.


7. TravelCube is having a Sightseeing Sale

Travel Cube

With sightseeing tours now one of its fastest-growing products in Australasia, TravelCube is giving Travel Agents even more reasons to book by cutting prices on a wide range of popular activities across Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific by up to 60 percent.

The Sightseeing Sale covers everything from helicopter rides over the Las Vegas Strip to bike rides around Beijing and dinner in a vineyard in Florence, with discounts available for bookings before 30 June 2017 and travel before 15 December 2017.

In Europe, selected sightseeing experiences – such as an Ancient Rome Walking Tour and a small group tour of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia – have all fallen by 10 percent, while in the US discounts range from 15 percent off the cost of entry to USS Battleship Missouri to 40 percent off a sunset walking tour of the Hollywood Hills.


8. Watch the show then join Anne of Green Gables with Collette


Collette is celebrating the recent release of Netflix’s adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous story, Anne of Green Gables by reminding travellers of its tour ‘Maritimes Coastal Wonders’.

The itinerary includes a visit to Anne Green Gables House and the landscape of the acclaimed novel.

Alison Mead, General Manager Collette Australia said Eastern Canada is one of the brand’s top regions and expects the show to remind holidaymakers “of this stunning part of Canada”.

Click here for more on the tour.


9. Aqua Expeditions releases 2017/18 hosted departures

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Aqua Expeditions has unveiled its 2017-18 four-colour glossy brochure focussing on the leading luxury cruise operator’s hosted departures on its boutique Aria Amazon and Aqua Mekong cruises.

The new brochure provides fully illustrated details of 3, 4 and 7-night cruise offerings being hosted by Aqua Expeditions CEO and Founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro and Aria Amazon Executive Chef, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and a special focus on cruises being led by champion of ocean conservation and environmental protection, Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Click here for more information.


10. Jean Kittson christens Scenic’s new ship


Jean Kittson, the eternally witty, popular Australian performer and writer – and now Godmother to Scenic’s first river cruise ship on Portugal’s Douro River, Scenic Azure ­– christened the ship on Saturday 29 April. Scenic Founder and Chairman Glen Moroney was also in attendance.

The 96-passenger river cruiser is now sailing through the sun-drenched Douro Valley from World Heritage-listed Porto down to Vega de Terron over the Spanish border.

Speaking on her role of Godmother, Jean said: “It is an honour and thrill to be asked to be the Godmother to the stunning Scenic Azure.”


11. WATCH Angelenos stand together for a massive ‘welcome’

Earlier this month, a plane full of Aussies were welcomed to Los Angeles in the most eye-catching way when some 1,000 locals came together to form a giant ‘welcome’ signform a giant ‘welcome’ sign.

The initiative was organised by the city’s tourist board, L.A. Tourism, as a means of counteracting the ‘anti-welcome’ sentiment surrounding the United States at the moment.

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12. Antarctica cruising with a difference

Fundraising cruises, celebrity hosts and more… As if sailing around otherworldly Antarctica wasn’t special enough, Chimu Adventures is taking things to a whole new level.

Antarctica cruising season is only a few months away and it’s promising to be an exciting one, thanks to Polar specialist Chimu Adventures putting a range of ultra-unique exclusive charter experiences on the menu that could see your client set sail with a celebrity, raise funds for charity or cruise the White Continent in the wake of the early Antarctic explorers.

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13. The ultimate check-list to planning a beach wedding in Thailand

Thailand is quite possibly the most romantic country in the world. The landscape is absolutely gorgeous, the weather warm and pleasant, and the smiling locals and warm hospitality brings out the best in us.

So it makes perfect sense to tie the knot with the love of your life in the Land of Smiles.

Indeed, beach weddings in Thailand are dreamy, romantic and oh-so-affordable, and the country has enough professionals to tailor make your ideal wedding, from start through to finish.

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14. Short & sweet escapes so close you can almost touch them

You don’t have to venture too far at all to find whatever it is you’re looking for in a holiday – whether that be adventure, relaxation, exotic food or exhilaration. Australia is perfectly positioned in that way…

It’s amazing what a short and sweet escape away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can do for the body, mind and soul!

Here are four destinations that are easily accessible on a short flight from home that promise amazing experiences and lifelong memories.

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15. 5 compelling reasons why you should captain your won cruise in Canada

Nothing beats tucking into hot pancakes drowned in maple syrup and sipping freshly brewed coffee as you sit at your breakfast table admiring the views onboard your very own boat.

But such things need to be experienced to be truly appreciated…

Thankfully, starting in 2018, Le Boat is launching a new product into its sailing inventory – Canada cruising along the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rideau Canal in Eastern Ontario – giving the average traveller the chance to don a captain’s hat and cruise their own way through some of the most gorgeous natural landscapes this side of the Milky Way.

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The Magellan corporate team take on Chicago

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In partnership with United Airlines and AccorHotels, Magellan Travel Group’s National Manager Corporate & Business Development, Scott Darlow, recently hosted a business delegation to Chicago.

Amongst other things, the delegation spent a day at United Airlines’ impressive Head Office in the imposing Willis Tower where they learnt the finer details in managing a global corporation such as United’s. Precise planning, forecasting and crisis management were just some of the topics showcased at the state of the art Network Operations Centre.

A key highlight of the trip was a personal audience with Dave Hilfman, United Airlines Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales who outlined United’s vision for the Asia Pacific Region as well as discussing and cementing a closer relationship between United Airlines and the Magellan Travel Group.


MTA team out in force at 2017 ‘Cruise 360’

MTA Travel

MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Cruise & Wholesale Product Manager, Rhona Rodgers with MTA Members Valma Herb, Kylie Duncan-Tiver and Julia Black attended the world’s largest official cruise industry event, Cruise Lines Industry Association’s ‘Cruise 360’ in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A packed program across seven days saw Rhona and the MTA Members hard at work participating in key product seminars while also taking the opportunity to go face to face with representatives from several national tourist offices, cruise lines and international hotel chains attending the event.

The foursome also had the opportunity to inspect several vessels including Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Harmony of the Seas and Holland America Lines’ new ‘Vista-class’ MS Zuiderdam and ‘Royal-class’ Royal Princess.


AAT Kings appears on Sunrise

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AAT Kings featured on Channel 7’s Sunrise breakfast show last week, showcasing the very best of Sydney during a live weather crosses with much-loved presenter, Edwina Bartholomew.

From the Harbour Bridge to Circular Quay, followed by various iconic locations through to Brekkie Central in Martin Place – AAT Kings took the Sunrise crew and a host of lucky guests on a morning tour of the Harbour City and engaged passers-by with ‘random acts of kindness’ in the lead up to Mother’s Day.

Giving morning commuters a bright start to their day, guests handed out chocolates and bunches of sunflowers to spread some #smileKings love to Sydneysiders.


Infinity Agents soar to new heights on Ovation

Infinity Holidays 2

Twelve of Royal Caribbean’s top-selling Infinity retail Agents recently departed Singapore on a five-night cruise via Penang and Phuket on the legendary Ovation of the Seas.

The energetic group – most of them cruise rookies – were thrilled to experience the “Only on Royal” onboard features, including bumper cars, the iFly skydiving and Flowrider surfing experiences – which they all well and truly mastered – as well as her spell-binding entertainment, incredible dining options and the North Star which transported the agents more than 90 metres in the air.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below.