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. Tourism Australia + Virgin Australia increase partnership
Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced plans to increase the value of their three year marketing partnership to (AUD)$20 million, making Virgin Australia the largest airline partner of the national tourism body.
Both parties will jointly spend more than $10 million during the 2015 Financial Year in a bid to promote Australia to leisure travellers in the United States and New Zealand.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said the latest expansion to its marketing partnership with Virgin Australia was significant, and would further strengthen inbound tourism from two of Australia’s highest volume markets.
“The funding announced brings the total value of our three year marketing partnership to a significant $20 million, making Virgin Australia now our most valuable commercial airline partner,” he said.
“This is a partnership which continues to evolve with Virgin Australia now making significant contributions to Tourism Australia’s global campaigns and marketing activities, as well as some of our industry’s most important trade and business events.”
Read on for more.
2. Royal Caribbean unveils world’s first smartship
Royal Caribbean International has taken delivery of the newest addition to the cruise line’s fleet, Quantum of the Seas, from Meyer Werft Yard.
With Captain Srecko “Felix” Ban at the helm, the ship will begin her journey today to Southampton, U.K., where she will welcome her first guests on 2 November, for a trans-Atlantic voyage to her home port of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey.
Both ships offer new unprecedented features, such as RipCord by iFLY, the first skydiving experience at sea; the North Star, an engineering marvel that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; as well as the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr which features the world’s first robotic bartenders.
Read on for more.
3. Mum and bub kicked off flight at Melbourne airport
First-time mother, Henny Tekiri was ordered off a Tigerair flight from Melbourne to Perth because staff said her five-day-old baby, Malakai, was too young to fly.
Ms Tekiri told Seven News she was planning to fly the new arrival home with family members and had successfully booked everyone on to the flight, birth dates included.
But once on board the aircraft and ready to take off, staff realised her baby was less than a week old and ordered her off the flight.
International guidelines state that children are allowed to fly 48-hours after birth. Though, seven days is preferable.
Each airline has its own policy. Tiger states that flight is permitted a week after a child’s arrival.
The airline has since apologised to the family and have taken full responsibility for what they refer to as a “human error.”
They were placed in accommodation, courtesy of the airline and they will be placed on a flight as soon as possible.
4. Virgin Australia to new destinations to international itinerary
Virgin Australia will add two or three new international destinations to its route network within three years, the airline’s chief executive John Borghetti has revealed.
“You wlll see us fly to more international destinations over the next three years,” Borghetti told the Tourism and Transport Forum’s Leadership summit in Canberra on Wednesday.
“Two [destinations], maybe three, certainly two, but obviously we are not going to talk about that at this stage.”
Virgin today operates a limited long-haul network flying five Boeing 777-300ERs between Sydney and Abu Dhabi and from Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles. The airline also has short-haul international flying with 737-800s to Bali, Phuket, Pacific Island destinations and on the trans-Tasman.
It has long been speculated that Virgin would look to expand its long-haul international network into Asia, but that would require adding additional widebody aircraft to its fleet, or redeploying the 777s or the six Airbus A330-200s currently used on the important transcontinental domestic market.
5. CLIA adds new tier to accreditation program
With the number of travel agents seeking cruise training at an all-time high, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has announced it will add another tier to its accreditation program.
The Cruise Ambassador level will become the second tier in CLIA’s training program, positioned between Accredited Cruise Consultants and Master Cruise Consultants.
The new ranking will be available to agents who have already attained their Accredited status, have accumulated 200 accreditation points, undertaken an additional two elective modules and sailed for an additional three nights minimum onboard a ship belonging to a CLIA cruise line member.
“As cruising grows in both Australia and New Zealand, our training programs have swelled and there are now 1725 active accredited agents across both countries,” CLIA Australasia General Manager, Brett Jardine said.
6. Shangri-la unveils latest offering in Hainan
Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort and Spa, has officially opened featuring 45 acres recreational facilities, including an Adventure Zone and Kids’ Water Park.
The 340 room resort, situated in Hainan, is the brand’s first resort to open in mainland China boasts 300 metres of pristine beachfront and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and hills.
It is tailor made to suit travellers of all ages, and offers options for families travelling with multiple generations as well as groups looking for a scenic and stimulating setting for a wedding, meeting or incentive event.
Activities are spread out across two designated areas (Oasis and Sands) with five activity centres.
In addition to the Water Park and Adventure Zone, the resort features two free-form pools; jogging and bike trails; a beach football field; sand volleyball court; water games; a state of the art gym with an outdoor deck for activities such as Tai Chi and yoga, and additional recreational activities that are complimentary for guests.
7. Government scrambles to keep the reef out of strife
The Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest living structure — generates some $5.6 billion a year in tourism revenue for Australia. But like many of the world’s reefs, its future is in jeopardy. Climate change, invasive fish and pollution have killed off much of the reef.
Now it’s in such bad shape that the United Nations has warned it could list the World Heritage site as “in danger” next year.
The Australian government proposed a 35-year plan last month to restore and protect the reef. It aims to cut pollution, combat invasive sea life and limit nearby port developments.
“We are all passionate about ensuring that it’s here for the long haul, for our kids and our grandkids,” says Andrew Powell, Queensland environment minister.
“This 35-year plan is about achieving that outcome.”
8. Qantas farewells the iMac
Qantas has removed most of the Apple iMacs from its three Sydney airport domestic lounges as part of a month-long trial to see if today’s laptop-lugging and tablet-toting business travellers really need desktop computers.
The Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge and even the invitation-only Qantas Chairman’s Lounge are now largely desktop-free zones, except for a handful of iMacs.
The lounges all have wireless printers which can be accessed on any Windows or Mac laptops as well as from iPads.
In addition, there are five Apple iPads available for short-term loan at each lounge.
The space previously occupied by the iMac machines is still being used as a working area for travellers with BYO tech.
Qantas says the trial will run until late November, after which the airline will evaluate if other lounges around Australia should have most or even all of their iMacs carted away.
9. China becomes prime contributor to global tourism
China, the most populated country on earth, has added another industry leader title to its belt, taking over the West as the contributor to the global tourism industry.
Last year China recorded 97.5 million outbound travelers to occupy the number one position in world tourism market, spending a collective (US)$128 billion abroad.
The data, released yesterday at the third Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, shows China’s outbound travelers are also fuelling a revival in Asia’s tourism industry, which is expected to receive approximately 535 million tourists by 2030.
The Joint Annual Report on Asia Tourism Trends drafted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Economy Research Center shows the region attracted a total of 248 million international tourist arrivals in 2013, about 23 per cent tourists from around the world.
This share is expected to reach 30 per cent by 2030, reaching 535 million international tourists.
10. Blue Mountains revels in the return of the Hydro Majestic Hotel
After almost six years of detailed planning and review, one of the most famous tourism landmarks in the Blue Mountains, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, will open its doors once more tomorrow.
The public opening follows an exclusive media preview in the new-look Wintergarden today attended by NSW Premier Mike Baird and more than 150 VIP travel and tourism guests.
The Hydro Majestic venues will open to the public tomorrow with a series of five exclusive high tea events in The Casino Lobby and The Wintergarden.
Venues such as The Boiler House will also open progressively from Friday, 31 October, and other venues such as The Salon Du The in the coming weeks, bringing the Hydro back to the people of Australia, celebrating its wonderful history and providing a broad palette of dining, event and public facilities.
The challenge of adding the next layer of history to these remarkable buildings has not been taken lightly. Architect Ashkan Mostaghim of Mostaghim & Assoc has created the revised formula for the site including the new Hydro Majestic Pavilion and interpretation of the old Boiler House to create a provocative and exciting café environment with a vista over the Majestic Point Lookout.
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