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Wed 8 Oct: 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. helloworld puts “You” in the drivers seat


Pictured: helloworld Head of Branded Networks, Julie Primmer.

Leading Australian based travel distribution company, helloworld has unveiled a new initiative at the Owners Managers Conference in Los Angeles that has a strong focus on customer service and building long-lasting customer relationships.
The initiative, hello You, was developed by leading global training expert and PeopleInProgress CEO, Terry Hawkins to empower customer-facing staff with the skills to positively influence and engage, and create strengthened, long lasting customer relationships.
“If all franchisees, their staff and all head office personnel are given the opportunity to partake in this training, then helloworld we will be unstoppable!” Manager at helloworld, Warwick said.

Read on for more.


2. Hollywood and Westeros boost Irish tourism


Image Source: Vogue.

Tourism in Ireland had already experienced a healthy boost after HBO decided to film their hit series, Game of Thrones among the republic’s lavish scenery. Now, after Hollywood newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose Ireland for their honeymoon, the republic has become somewhat of hot spot tourist destination.

Ireland’s Tourism Minister, Paschal Donohoe has stated that visitors to Ireland from Great Britain have increased by 11.3 per cent, with an extra 178,200 visitors on last year.

However, it isn’t just the Brits who have gotten a taste for all things Irish…

Read on for more


3. Queensland hosts instameet


Last weekend, Tourism Queensland organised an Instameet — where Instagram users were invited to share images from a specific destination on a specific day — on the same day of Instagram’s 10th edition of its Worldwide InstaMeet.

Since July, it had encouraged its thirteen regions — Tropical North Queensland, Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Bundaberg, Southern Queensland County, Outback, Capricorn, Townsville, and Gladstone — to host InstaMeets independently. In addition, it held three contests before the kickoff that partnered with Australian businesses, like PicturePostie and Crumpler.

The purpose of the mini-InstaMeets was to raise awareness, prep the hosts, and generate buzz for this past Saturday’s state-wide event.
Over the course of two months, they found that sharing tips on taking the best photo and best practices went beyond the interest of local travelers. Hoteliers and travel providers were looking for resources to create a stronger presence on Instagram. At the onset, their team had expected 50 events, but in the end that nearly doubled to 90.


4. United Airlines offers consultants to explore LA


To celebrate the launch of United’s new 787 Dreamliner service between Melbourne and Los Angeles, commencing 28 October, United and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board have teamed up to offer Australian and New Zealand travel consultants the chance to win a trip of a lifetime.

Consultants who sell the most United itineraries between 6 October and 7 November 2014, will be in with a chance to win a place on an unforgettable trip to the Entertainment Capital of the World, flying United. Consultants will be treated to the best Los Angeles has to offer, including staying at 5-star hotels, fine-dining, passes to some of Los Angeles’ best theme parks, tickets to watch the LA Lakers and live entertainment events.

“This new non-stop route between Melbourne and Los Angeles will be United’s first international service operated by the Dreamliner 787-9,” Alison Espley, United’s director of sales for Australia and New Zealand said.

“The launch is another milestone in what has already been an exciting year for United and we’re proud to partner with the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board to offer agents the opportunity to experience this game-changing aircraft.”


5. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels & Resorts to Expand Portfolio in Australia


DoubleTree by Hilton has announced the signing of the 180-room DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne – Flinders Street. The property will join Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of 22 hotels in Australasia on December 1, 2014.

Owned by M&L Hospitality and currently trading as Citigate Melbourne, the property is currently undergoing significant renovations in the lobby, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms and bedrooms. The newly refurbished hotel will be converted and unveiled as a new DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in December, and will be managed by Hilton Worldwide.

“We are excited to announce yet another DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Australia, extending our presence in one of our most important growth markets,” said John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton.

“Every aspect of this hotel is being thoughtfully renovated to ensure our guests enjoy a world-class experience throughout their stay. We look forward to welcoming guests at the DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne – Flinders Street with our DoubleTree hospitality and service culture which begins with a warm chocolate chip cookie presented to every guest at check-in.”


6. Scoot ushers in Dennis Basham as GM for Aus.


Scoot has announced the appointment of Dennis Basham to the role of General Manager for Australia. Effective immediately, the appointment follows Darren Wright’s move back to Flight Centre. Basham brings a wealth of airline industry talent, skills and contacts. He has spent the past fourteen and a half years building the Virgin Australia group’s products, commencing with Groups and Conferences in 2000, Travel Industry Account Manager in Sydney, National Wholesale Manager and finishing as National Product Manager for Virgin Australia Holidays. Prior to that he worked for Ansett.

These are skills that the two year-old airline will utilise as its network grows with the arrival if its first Dreamliners later this year. His primary focus at Scoot will be to continue to bolster support and new initiatives in trade and distribution, and building on the brand recognition that the airline has built in two short years.

 “It is great to be back in a group of aviation specialists, that has worked together previously, and to be amongst a successful, friendly and innovative young team,” said Basham.

“I look forward to ensuring the colour yellow is instantly recognisable and associated with our young and fresh brand, Scoot.”


7. Luke Vaughan becomes most-awarded travel manager of 2014


Personal travel manager Luke Vaughan, representative for Hawthorn East in Victoria has been recognized as TravelManagers most awarded personal travel manager for 2014. Vaughan was awarded the Most Improved Personal Travel Manager of the Year, Most Improved Travel Manager by State, was one of the Top Ten Personal Travel Managers and received the Personal Travel Managers Choice Award as announced at its recent National Conference.

Although absolutely thrilled at winning the awards, it was receiving the Choice Award from his peers that Vaughan found the most humbling.

“I feel so honoured yet completely humbled to be recognised for simply doing what I love! Being able to share experiences, knowledge and work collectively with the other personal managers simply comes naturally to me,” he said.

“It was on my seventh birthday, when a neighbour presented me with an atlas that I became intrigued by other cultures and places. Following my round the world adventure years later, I decided a travel career was for me and I haven’t looked back.”


8. Travel Adventure to hit Townhall in November


Image Source: Daily Telegraph.

The Adventure Travel Expo comes to Sydney in November bringing with it twenty years experience creating trips to remember and prizes to help plan yours. On Saturday and Sunday, the 8th and 9th of November, Sydney’s iconic Town Hall will open its doors to travellers of any age and destination.

Vendors at the expo include both national and international operators so it is as easy to get info on a Jungle Safari Lodge in Nepal as it is to go on The Rock Tour in Alice Springs.

Adventure travellers get the opportunity to meet tour operators, hear from adventurers in the Travel Talks Room and win amazing travel prizes through the Expo’s Selfie competition
with a top prize of $1000 towards the lucky winner’s next adventure.

Our Adventure Travel Ambassador Jeremy Scott, cycled 52 000 km’s around the world after having open heart surgery, will be sharing his experiences in the Travel Talks Room.

There are also a bunch of buy one get one free travel packages including:

10 Day Adelaide to Perth Wildlife Adventure package valued at $1495

9 Day Perth to Adelaide Wildlife Encounter valued at $1395

6 Day Secrets of Esperance valued at $770

6 Day Eyre Peninsula Secrets valued at $870

2 Day Southern Ocean Wildlife Adventure valued at $855


9. MTA 2014 Conference delegates seize on professional development opportunity


Using technologies to get ahead: main theme of MTA conference, 2014.

With the MTA – Mobile Travel Agents  ‘Imagine-Believe-Achieve’ themed National Conference due to commence on Friday afternoon, more than 75 per cent of the 200-plus delegates attending have now registered for two of the event’s key professional development sessions.

MTA’s IT support manager Nik Donovan will be presenting on how to achieve the best results from the ever-evolving MTA Virtual Office (VO) while TechCoachHQ consultant Megan Iemma will demonstrate how the MTA Members can effectively harness and utilise the tools that have become an every part of working life in the digital age.

MTA co-managing director, Karen Merricks said that given both events were aimed at increasing MTA Members personal productivity, it was gratifying to see so many of the conference delegates taking the opportunity to enhance their overall business capability.

“While Nik’s presentation is designed to instil ever more knowledge on itinerary and invoicing downloads as well as other newly introduced aspects of the VO, he will also be focusing on the best ways with which the MTA Members can extract maximum use from the recently rolled out website skins,” Merricks said.


10. Flights delayed and cancelled as typhoon sweeps across Japan


Japan’s two largest carriers have been forced to cancel around 80 flights after Typhoon Phanfone made landfall. ANA grounded domestic flights to the western island of Kyushu and Japan Airlines was also forced to cut a number of services. Both airlines warned that international flights from Tokyo’s two main airports would be affected by the bad weather.

Winds have gusted at speeds of 134mph and the storm is expected to dump around 100mm of rain on Tokyo. At least one person, a US serviceman who was washed away by high waves, has been killed.

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