AYANA awarded Worlds Best Spa by Conde Nast Traveller

first_imgThermes Marins Bali Spa has been awarded the World’s #1 Spa at the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Spa Awards 2010, in the latest accola de bestowed upon AYANA Resort and Spa Bali following its rebranding.AYANA was also awarded Favourite Hotel Spa in Asia and Indian Sub-continent at the prestigious ceremony in London, which followed an international survey of Conde Nast Traveller readers. The news follows AYANA’s listing on the Conde Nast Traveller 2010 Gold List (Best Hotels in Asia) in January and a World Travel Award as Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort last November, just months after the resort rebranded. It was also just awarded #2 Best Hotel in Bali by Destinasian magazine. “It’s a great honor to win Conde Nast’s highest award in this prestigious survey of international travelers,” said AYANA’s Director of Spa and Business Development (Japan), Michi Sonoda. “The spa industry worldwide has undergone significant change in recent years as modern travelers seek the type of holiday where they can completely rebalance and revive their senses, to ease the stress of their increasingly hectic lives. This award recognizes our position as a world leader in both Thalassotherapy and traditional Indonesian remedies, and nothing gives us more pleasure than sharing the benefits of our wellbeing philosophy with our guests.” Set in beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, Thermes Marins Bali is the only Thermes Marins spa in south-east Asia. The 22,000sqm facility incorporates spa villas, treatment rooms, beauty salon, reflexology and relaxation lounge, and the Spa on the Rocks treatment villas anchored on rocks amidst the ocean. It is also home to one of the world’s largest Aquatonic® Seawater Jet Pools, supplied direct from the underlying ocean and warmed to optimum temperatures to provide the curative and preventative properties of seawater. The spa menu offers ancient Eastern healing and modern European treatments including Thalassotherapy, massage, facials, hair, nail care, anti-aging and slimming treatments. The highest quality products are used including La Mer, Thermes Marins, Guinot and Decleor. Formerly The Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort & Spa, AYANA rebranded on 1 April 2009 after a management change initiated by the owner, who’s invested millions of dollars to strengthen the property’s position as Southeast Asia’s premier resort. Facility upgrades include the new Rock Bar, located on natural rocks abutting the ocean, and renovations of Padi restaurant, Damar Terrace restaurant and AYANA Ballroom.  The 77-hectare property retained the vast majority of its 950 staff and selected West Paces Hotel Group led by Horst Schulze, former president and founder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, to provide management expertise. General Manager Charles de Foucault brings more than 30 years’ experience, including 17 with Ritz-Carlton hotels. Source = AYANA Resort and Spalast_img read more

Rockhampton Airport set to reopen

first_imgRockhampton’s airport will reopen to commercial operators on Monday after its runway was inundated for two weeks.Qantas and Virgin Blue planes will operate out of the airport from Monday, however Tiger Airways will not resume flights until 29 March.Queensland Fire and Rescue volunteers are working tirelessly to clean the 2.6km runway and 1.6km section on the tarmac to ensure it is operational by next Monday.The last aircraft that departed Rockhampton Airport prior to its closure was a Virgin Blue 737 at 1:45pm on 1 January.At the time of publishing, the Brisbane Airport Corporation reported that staff are raising over $100,000 for the Premier’s Flood Appeal by volunteering to convert one day of annual leave into cash. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img

Mixed responses to QF grounding

first_imgThe travel public is left with mixed after-thoughts over Australia’s flag carrier after Qantas grounded its entire fleet late Saturday afternoon.Although the carrier resumed operations yesterday with an international service between Sydney to Jakarta taking off at 3.41pm and a domestic Melbourne to Sydney service flying from 3.58pm, one e-Travel Blackboard commenter said chief executive Alan Joyce “clearly” had stepped over the line and is eager to see the head replaced.“Taking all his clients and workers hostage to enforce a workplace dispute is taking it way too far,” the commenter explained.“Alan needs to be replaced by someone who can be trusted as CEO – Both from the point of clients and workers.”Another commenter concurred, questioning the result of Mr Joyce’s actions while a third e-Travel Blackboard reader and ex-Qantas employee said he/she had not flown with the carrier in over 21 years and had no intention of “doing so in the near future”. However, not all travellers disapproved with Qantas and its head, with one reader highlighting that Mr Joyce used the same tactics implemented by the Transport Workers Union and Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Associaiton only weeks before.“…so it is ok for a union/ worker to hold a company and client to ransom but not for a company to withold its services – when it cannot rely on a stable workforce?”While an international reader questioned the entire situation as well as the unions motives.“Should the unions in these dispute[s] be allowed to dictate where a private company can spend their money or the money of their share holders?”Meanwhile the airline said late yesterday afternoon travellers booked to fly with the airline can expect to see operations back to normal within the next 24 to 48 hours. “Qantas sincerely regrets the impact on customers of industrial action over recent months and looks forward to a rapid recovery and period of stability,” a statement from the carrier read.Still on Team Qantas? Let us know where you stand by leaving a comment below.    Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Joyce Airports need to keep costs down

Qantas boss responds to high airport parking charges. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has urged Australian airports to keep parking charges down after a recent study found costs had escalated over the years.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report found Sydney Airport had the highest parking fees in the country at AU$16 per hour, followed by Melbourne Airport with AU$12 per hour, Yahoo reported.Parking revenue at Australia’s five airports had increased by 3.7 percent to AU$340.7 million in 2011/12 compared to the prior year.Speaking in Darwin, Mr Joyce said Australia needs to be more competitive in the current economic environment and to “maintain consciousness about” parking fees.”We are talking about encouraging more and more tourists to come in and with the high Australian dollar we know Australia has become a lot more expensive,” Mr Joyce said.”I think the whole experience is very important.”A Sydney Airport spokesperson defended the gateway, claiming the study only looked into standard drive-up rates and dismissed online bookings, which can help travellers save up to 73 percent on parking.”For most Sydneysiders, our online offers compare favourably with catching a taxi to and from the airport.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ read more

Queenstown voted one of worlds friendliest cities

first_imgReaders thought Queenstown could get by on its “picturesque looks alone”, but that it “goes above and beyond with its hospitality”. The list of the Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities In The World is a part of an annual Readers’ Choice survey where over 46,000 readers voted on everything from cities and islands to airlines and cruises. This “all-seasons jewel” is “clean and inviting”, delivering “mountains, lakes and vineyards” that are “a feast for the eyes and the palate”. Queenstown’s stunning scenery, friendly people and diversity of experiences have earned it a top place on Conde Nast Traveler’s list of 20 of the world’s friendliest cities. “It’s a great acknowledgement that travellers from around the world feel that Queenstown delivers such a fantastic experience on all fronts. “We’re very passionate about where we live and love sharing it with others.  We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by stunning lake and alpine environment which makes for a great natural playground and lifestyle.  Combined with a melting pot of cultures and friendly, down-to-earth people with strong entrepreneurial spirit, it makes it a really special place to visit.”center_img Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd was delighted with the result and said gaining recognition from actual travellers through such an influential travel source was something to be celebrated. Source = Destination Queenstown “The city itself is breathtaking, and it has so many areas that are close by for scenery and adventure sports.” Queenstown came in at No 4 on the list with a readers’ rating of 91.8.   Conde Nast readers said the “tranquil and peaceful town” boasted an “excellent outdoor vibe” paired with “down-to-earth, nice people.”last_img read more

Rex initiates services in Queensland

first_imgRegional Express (Rex) has commenced three new Queensland regulated routes on 1 January 2015.The move comes after the Queensland State Government awarded Rex all five regulated routes that it applied for in a competitive tender process in October 2014.The five regulated routes include Townsville to Winton to Longreach and return, Townsville to Hughenden to Richmond to Julia Creek to Mount Isa and return, Cairns to Normanton to Mornington Island to Burketown to Doomadgee to Mount Isa and return, Brisbane to Toowoomba (Brisbane West Wellcamp) to St George to Cunnamulla to Thargomindah and return, and Brisbane to Toowoomba to Charleville to Quilpie to Windorah to Birdsville to Bedourie to Boulia to Mount Isa and return.Rex general manager network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge, said that Rex staff has worked hard to obtain the Area Air Operator’s Certificate (AAOC).“The Rex team has worked tirelessly over the past 10 weeks to ensure that the new regulated air services to 16 new Queensland airports can commence on 1 January 2015,” Mr Lodge said.“Our team have been liaising with the local communities and have made two visits to each of the 16 new ports on the routes. We look forward to continuing to build these relationships as services commence.”“Rex is honoured to be selected by the Queensland Government to deliver these essential services that provide critical linkages between Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville to 20 regional communities that span the entire state.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Hong Kong Airlines partners with Alitrip and UUYOYOcom

first_img Alitrip Online Travel Platformclick here Hong Kong Airlinesbook and fly here Source = Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong Airlines Partners with Alitrip and UUYOYO.comHong Kong Airlines partners with Alitrip and UUYOYO.comHong Kong Airlines, an internationally-acclaimed Skytrax 4-star airline yesterday announced a joint-promotion with China’s leading online travel platforms – Alitrip and UUYOYO.com to launch a series of travel products, revealing the charm of Hong Kong. Joining hands with Hong Kong Disneyland, T Galleria and HK Outlets, Hong Kong Airlines and the online travel platforms aim to promote Hong Kong tourism, attracting more Chinese tourists to experience the beauty of Hong Kong and Macau.In the past two decades, China’s outbound tourism market has been growing rapidly. Since its first record in 1998, statistics have showed that the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad has increased over 10 times, from 8.43 million to over 100 million in 2004, in which 65% traveled to Hong Kong/Macau. Popularity of Hong Kong as their destinations among Chinese tourists is beyond doubt. To further showcase the glamour of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Airlines joins forces with Alitrip and UUYOYO.COM to launch a special travel product – “Charismatic Hong Kong – 5d4n Hong Kong/Hong Kong & Macau Tour” (“Charismatic Hong Kong”), bringing them the most fascinating travel experience in Hong Kong.“Charismatic Hong Kong” is the fruit of joint efforts by four well-known enterprises – Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Disneyland, T Galleria and HK Outlets. Travelers can experience the realHong Kong from the airlines’ quality services and have extra fun in Hong Kong Disneyland’s new attractions celebrating its 10th anniversary. All tourists joining the tour will receive a scarf from international top brand (valued RMB$3000 or above) and exquisite cosmetics gift pack from T Galleria. The travel package is now exclusively available for pre-sale on Alitrip website. Users simply have to pay a deposit of RMB$299 to book, and settle the balance on or before 11 November to complete the payment.And to welcome the famous shopping fest in Mainland China “11·11″, Hong Kong Airlines is rolling out a series of attractive promotions on Alitrip starting from yesterday. From 15 October to 11 November, air ticket auctions will take place 6 times a day, attracting all Chinese netizens to fight for RMB$1* one-way air ticket from Hangzhou to Hong Kong. On the other hand, Hong Kong Airlines is extending the sales platforms of AIRPASS from official website and mobile APP, to Alitrip online platform exclusively from 11 November to 11 December. It offers various combinations in either four or six sets of Economy Class to be used within 6 months, starting from 1 January to 30 June 2016#. The minimum price of 6 sets of one-way Alitrip AIRPASS between Huanan region (Fuzhou and Sanya) and Hong Kong is just as low as RMB$2400, which means it is RMB$400 per set only.Mr. Li Dianchun, Commercial Director of Hong Kong Airlines, said over the press conference, “Development of aviation and tourism are complementary. As a Hong Kong-based airline, Hong Kong Airlines adheres to the concept of ‘Fresh and Very Hong Kong’, and is committed to provide quality service which best shown the beauty of Hong Kong. By cooperating with Mainland enterprises, we are dedicated to offering passengers with an extraordinary flight experience, promoting the long-term development of Hong Kong and Macau tourism. With our attentive service and professional fleet, we strive to expand the route network and fleet size, bringing more passengers to Hong Kong and contributing more to the industry.”*Tax and fuel surcharges not included. Travel period is available between 1 December 2015 and 15 January 2016 (Excluding 31 December 2015 -1 January 2016).# Blackout departure dates include 30 January – 21 February 2016.last_img read more

The countdown is on for Ovation of the Seas Australian debut

first_imgThe biggest, most incredible cruise ship to ever be based in Australia makes her debut in exactly 12 months.Ovation of the Seas, more than half way through construction in Germany, will arrive at her first local port of call in Fremantle on 6 December 2016 to kick off her maiden Australian season.The US$1 billion cruise ship will be the biggest and first ever brand new ship to sail local waters.“Ovation of the Seas represents the single biggest investment in Australian and New Zealand cruising by any cruise line. She’s the biggest, the newest and the most technologically advanced cruise ship to ever sail these waters, and she’ll call Australia home,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial director, Royal Caribbean International.“This is a game changer. This is big. Never before has a cruise line brought a new-build megaliner down under; truly this is a testament to our commitment to Australia, and our belief in this market as the future of cruising in this region,” he continued.The 5,000 guest, 348 metre long Ovation of the Seas is the third ship in the ground-breaking Quantum Class. She will introduce a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences to Australia including robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar, Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that will transport guests as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, a circus school and more. Ovation of the Seas has also reimagined cruise ship dining with the introduction of “Dynamic Dining” where guests can choose from 18 unique restaurant concepts, including Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian, Michael’s Genuine Pub, the enchanting Wonderland and Royal Caribbean favourites including Chops Grille steakhouse and Izumi Japanese.The ship will also feature the Quantum Class’ transformative space, Two70 – an expansive lounge boasting 270 degree ocean views by day which becomes an immersive, multimedia entertainment spectacular at night, fusing technology with entertainment using robotic video-screens, dramatic digital projection and high-flying aerialists and performers to thrill and excite guests.Technology has been amped up on Ovation of the Seas with high speed internet offering more bandwidth than all other cruise ships combined so guests can stream, video call and more as fast as they would onshore.New radio frequency smart bands also mean you can get into your stateroom and make onboard purchases without the need for the cruise card. While the Royal iQ app makes keeping track of your onboard schedule simple with all bookings and cruise details stored and updated automatically.Ovation of the Seas will be the fifth ship in the Royal Caribbean International Australian fleet for 2016/17 cruise season, making it the largest cruise brand operating in Sydney during the summer season.Ovation of the Seas will be joined by Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas in Sydney and Legend of the Seas in Brisbane – offering Australians the newest, most modern and exciting style of cruise holiday in the region. Ovation of the SeasLearn more hereSource = Royal Caribbean Internationallast_img read more

ITC Hotels renews its partnership with Starwood Hotels Resorts

first_imgITC Hotels renews it’s partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts ITC Hotels and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HOT) today announced that agreements have been signed to extend their existing partnership for 11 ITC Luxury Collection hotels and one hotel under the Sheraton brand, in India.Further strengthening their partnership, the two also announced three upcoming ITC hotels under The Luxury Collection brand in India. The addition of the ITC Kohinoor in Hyderabad, ITC Narmada in Ahmedabad and ITC Royal Bengal in Kolkata will take the inventory up to 15 hotels over the next four years.Speaking on the extension of the partnership, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited, said, “ITC Hotels is pleased to extend the association with Starwood into its fifth decade in India. ITC’s luxury hotels are an archetype of the culture and ethos of region they are located in and continue to be the preferred choice of the global traveler.The strengthening of our alliance for three upcoming ITC luxury hotels in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad embodies our commitment to showcase the rich diversity of the country to both business and leisure travelers to India.”“Starwood is experiencing strong growth momentum in India with signings of new hotels in the past 12 months representing nearly 30% of our current operating footprint in the country,” said Thomas Mangas, Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.“India remains one of our fastest growing markets and much of our success can be attributed to our long, collaborative partnership with ITC.  Together with ITC and our highly experienced local team, we look forward to offering our guests and customers more choices in more places, and our continued mutual success in the country.”“Through this extension, we have further strengthened our partnership with ITC Hotels to offer international and Indian guests unique experiences in these new destinations,” added Dilip Puri, Managing Director India and Regional Vice President, South Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.This long standing partnership between the two companies started in 1979 with the Sheraton brand. In 2007, both companies signed an agreement through which Starwood introduced The Luxury Collection brand in India, which presently includes 11 hotels. The Luxury Collection brand philosophy of offering unique experiences indigenous to their destination complements ITC Hotels’ own ethos of being rooted in the Indian tradition of warm, personalized service with Responsible Luxury at its core. ITC HotelsSource = ITC Hotelslast_img read more

Scoot launches Hokkaido Japan route

first_imgScoot, the long-haul, low-cost wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore AirlinesScoot, the long-haul, low-cost wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, will launch three-times-weekly services to Hokkaido Prefecture’s capital of Sapporo (New Chitose Airport) via Taipei from 1 October 2016 and Australians can get a dose of shopping, skiing, slurping udon and spicy Singapore noodles, by teaming the two destinations together.With fares from Perth starting at AU$639 per person return, Fly (economy) and $740 per person return from Gold Coast or AU$759 per person return from Sydney or Melbourne, Hoakkaido will appeal to families, skiers and inquisitive travellers.Scoot’s Singapore-Taipei-Sapporo service will be the first regularly scheduled direct flight between Singapore and Sapporo, the main gateway to Hokkaido, just in time to commemorate the 50th year of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan.Sapporo will be Scoot’s third destination in Japan after Osaka and Tokyo, bringing the number of services Scoot operates a week to Japan to 16, from 13 presently.“Hokkaido has long been a favourite with Australians for winter skiing holidays, but there is so much else to see and do in Hokkaido throughout the year!” Scoot CEO Mr Campbell Wilson said.“The perfectly cool year-round climate, even in summer, makes it a breeze to enjoy Hokkaido’s famed seafood and agricultural produce, luxuriate in the freedom of self-drive tours, and appreciate its wealth of natural wonders like the renowned flower fields.“Being relatively unspoilt, Hokkaido also draws many outdoor lovers such as skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons, and cyclists, campers and hikers when it’s warmer. With Scoot, you can now experience the well-loved wonders of Hokkaido all year at unbeatable value!”As the world’s first all-787 Dreamliner operator, Scoot’s Singapore-Taipei-Sapporo services will be operated using spacious, wide-bodied 787 Dreamliners with improved humidity and cabin pressurization, the largest windows of any modern jet, more overhead compartment space, and which produce 20 percent less noise compared to conventional aircraft.Guests can choose from two cabin classes, depending on their needs and budgets. ScootBiz comprises a full leather seat with 38” pitch, 30kg checked-in baggage, perfect for ski bunnies with boots and skis, and up to 15kg, of cabin baggage, inflight entertainment that can be streamed to guests’ own devices, and meals and drinks included, along with priority boarding and check-in.In Economy, guests can enjoy a peaceful journey in the ScootinSilence quiet zone, or other sections of the Economy cabin with comfortable seat pitches ranging from 31” up to 35”. Regardless of cabin, guests can expect warm inflight service with a uniquely cheeky dose of Scootitude.Say “sayonara” and scoot to Japan at unbeatable value now! Fly Scoot Japan National Tourism Organisationdiscover more about Japan with JNTO Source = Scootlast_img read more

New 2018 Sunshine Coast Holiday Planner hot off the press

first_imgNew 2018 Sunshine Coast Holiday Planner hot off the pressVisit Sunshine Coast (VSC) will distribute 120,000 copies of the 84-page premium guide through Sunshine Coast Visitor Information Centres as well as travel and trade outlets around the country. The guide highlights the region’s appeal from hinterland and coastal activities to local flavours and is aimed at increasing visitation and length of stay in the Sunshine Coast tourism region.The new publication offers a lot more than just sightseeing suggestions according to VSC CEO, Simon Latchford.“People want to immerse themselves in a region when they go on holidays which is why our latest guide highlights the diversity of the region to convey the region’s overall naturally refreshing brand.“The new version has been created in a more popular and compact A5 size and includes inspiring images and information to motivate and encourage visitors to stay and play in the region.“We’ve recognised many visitors might be coming for a third or fourth time, so we are showcasing experiences that suit a wide range of interests and time-frames,” Mr Latchford said.“With 2018 set to be another big year in the region for national and international events, the guide features an eight-page calendar with a full line up of sporting, cultural and arts events. The guide also has a handy map and 120 advertisers are listed by categories including accommodation by location, attractions and activities, events, food and dining, car hire, transport and services.“With an increased distribution from 2017; this will be the main piece of collateral produced in print and for digital by VSC to market the Sunshine Coast in 2018,” added Mr Latchford.The Sunshine Coast Holiday Planner 2018 was created in-house and printed with environmentally friendly paper stock by local company, Express Print and Mail, based in Maroochydore and will be distributed across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, as well as north and western Queensland regions. In addition, it will be available nationally through the Visitor Information Centre network, including at airports and key gateways, as well as travel agencies and at Australian and international trade and consumer shows.The electronic version of the guide is available to view and download at visitsunshinecoast.com/holidayplanner or copies are available to order via linklogic.com.au.About Visit Sunshine Coast Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC), is a not-for-profit, membership based, destination marketing organisation. VSC promotes the Sunshine Coast as a premier holiday and business events destination locally, nationally and internationally in order to achieve maximum social and economic benefit for the local community, residents and businesses. As the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO), VSC is responsible for marketing a geographical area that encompasses the Glass House Mountains in the south, to Rainbow Beach in the north and Hinterland and Mary Valley to the west and includes three council regions – Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie.Source = Visit Sunshine Coastlast_img read more

Personal Travel Managers Shanghai Surprise

first_imgSource = TravelManagers TravelManagers’ Georgina Grandi, Erin Ross, Nicole Edgar, Carli Hester, Kerstin Rheinlander, Mel Whyte, Lyn Tyson (L-R) enjoying the colour and history of the ancient Chinese water town of Wuzhen, near ShanghaiPersonal Travel Managers’ Shanghai SurpriseThe city of Shanghai is China’s largest by population: an enticing mix of ultra-modern and traditional, and a showcase of what happens when the worlds of East and West combine. China Travel Service recently arranged a five-day famil of Shanghai and the neighbouring cities of Suzhou and Hangzhou exclusively for TravelManagers, with nine personal travel managers (PTMs) taking part.It was a first-time China experience for all the PTMs, including Carli Hester, who is representative for Mount Duneed, VIC.“I was never overly keen on visiting to China previously,” Hester notes, “but I decided that this famil was a great opportunity to find out what I was missing out on. The first-hand knowledge I have now acquired will definitely assist me in advising my clients, but I would also love to return to Shanghai one day for my own sake – it’s an amazing city.”After assembling in Shanghai, the group were taken to the nearby city of Suzhou, where they had time to explore the Humble Administrator’s Garden, which is considered one of the most beautiful in China.“The Garden was originally constructed in 1509 by a retired magistrate,” explains Hester. “The garden itself is stunning, but I also really loved the cruise along the city’s Grand Canal – it’s hard to ignore the feeling that you have stepped back in time. “From Suzhou, the group continued further south, making a stop at a silk factory at which they were able to observe the fibre’s process from caterpillar to fabric, and learn about the history and culture of silk in China.“The silk factory was very interesting,” according to Lyn Tyson, representative for Pymble, NSW, “and I would definitely recommend this fascinating region of China to my clients.In Hangzhou, the famil group were treated to an unforgettable boat ride on the serene waters of the modestly-named, West Lake. Known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ and often described as China’s most beautiful lake, the group relished their time here before continuing further south to Hangzhou.“We saw so many beautiful gardens and parks in the course of our journey,” says Tyson, “and every one of them was exquisite. In fact,” she adds, “I was quite pleasantly surprised by just how clean the air was and how tidy it was everywhere we went.”Hester, Tyson and their TravelManagers colleagues were also provided with the opportunity to visit the world-famous No.1 Tea Plantation and try their well-known Dragon Well Tea – widely considered to be the best green tea in China.“From Hangzhou, we headed back north to Shanghai, where we spent our final evening as a group in China,” says Georgina Grandi, representative for Terranora, NSW. “I will definitely be recommending that my clients follow in our footsteps and head for the rooftop bar in Shanghai’s Hotel Indigo, from which we were able to soak up a magical night view of the city skyline.”Grandi says she was surprised by how family-friendly the destinations they visited during the famil were, and she already has several families in mind that she believes would enjoy a family holiday in and around Shanghai.“I actually found Shanghai to be very similar to Singapore in many ways,” Grandi says, “in that it’s safe, clean, easy to get around and has a great public transport system. There’s also a great range of Western-style eateries so that if you’re a little anxious about trying more traditional Chinese dishes, you won’t be forced to go hungry.”Tyson says the three cities that form the Shanghai triangle have made a lasting impression on her, and she is very much looking forward to a return visit sometime in the not-too-distant future.“I was also really happy with the standard of service we experienced when flying between Sydney and Shanghai with Qantas – they surpassed my expectations in all areas of their service.”The famil participants were hosted by China Travel Service, who put together the itinerary and organised local guides wherever they thought it necessary to enhance their experience.“The benefits of having a local tour leader and/or organiser cannot be overstated,” says Mel Whyte, representative for Devonport, TAS. “And having first-hand knowledge of the destination means I can provide good advice when it comes to the finer details of a client’s trip, such as opting for pre-booked shuttle service to get from the airport to the hotel in Shanghai or providing a list of recommended restaurant options in a destination.”Having enjoyed a taste of what China has to offer, all nine PTMs say that they are eager to return at a later day to explore this fascinating country in a little more depth.“Shanghai is a vibrant, exciting and futuristic city and it has so much to offer to its visitors,” Edgar confirms. “Without a doubt, I will be returning.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers is Australia’s market leader and biggest home-based travel business operating in all States & Territories. A wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independenttravel company which has a forecast turnover of $2 billion for 2019, TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel. TravelManagers is solely dedicated to providing the best possible support to its network of more than 560 personal travel managers throughout Australia, through a dedicated team at the company’s National Partnership Office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer funds in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases. This is supported by a Trust Account Fidelity Risk insurance policy to protect all clients’ funds in the unlikely event they are missing from, or not paid into the Insured Trust Account.last_img read more

Premium economy attracts corporate flyers reveals Sabre study

first_imgSabre, in its ‘Corporate Travel Practices Survey 2015′ has found that despite a “relatively limited provision” of premium economy seats in the Asia Pacific region, bookings for these products have jumped more than 10% among one-fifth of the corporate travel agents surveyed, and looks set to climb further and faster in the future.The report declared that tightening travel budgets are responsible for driving the demand for premium economy. Currently, many travellers are only permitted to travel economy class, but corporate travel policies often include premium economy within this bracket. Therefore, many business travellers are nowadays requesting a switch to airlines that offer premium economy.Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents reported this type of request, as part of the “tendency to demand more than what is permitted by policy”.While a similar number (23%) of respondents said they have been asked to change clients’ regular economy bookings to premium economy seats.According to the report, premium economy has also attracted movement from other classes. While half (51%) of respondents said they had observed or managed downgrades from business class to economy to reduce costs, 41% had also seen moves half-way down the plane, taking premium economy seats instead.last_img read more

Russia lifts Far East visa requirements for 18 countries

first_imgRussia has recently announced that it will lift visa requirements for 18 countries. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recently, allowing citizens of 18 countries visa-free travel to the Russian Far East starting August 2017.The list includes Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, India, Iran, Qatar, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey and Japan.The new rule could dramatically increase the number of tourists to the region, according to the Ministry of Far East Development.Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East, Pavel Volkov, said, “We’d like to see an increase in tourism to the region by at least 30%. Given the fact that every wealthy tourist spends at least $1,000 in the territory, we assume this will significantly increase the opportunities for the development of the region, trade turnover, and currency flows.”last_img read more

Sabre Corporation hires Axel Bench as their Regional Director in Asia

first_imgSabre Corporation has appointed Axel Bench as Regional Director– Asia, who will be responsible for South Asia, North Asia and Southeast Asia. Along with this new appointment, the Sabre Airline Solutions business in the APAC region will be restructured into three regions:• South Asia, North Asia and Southeast Asia led by Axel Bench• Pacific region and Japan led by Scott Barratt• Mainland China led by Peter WuBench joins Sabre with more than 25 years of experience in senior sales and account management roles. Earlier, he was the Global Sales Director for the Harris Aviation Solutions Group and has worked for companies like Thales, ERA and Lufthansa Systems with a specific focus on Asia-Pacific.He rejoins Sabre, after having spent two years with Sabre Airlines Solutions (2005-2007) as Account Director for the Pacific region in addition to having sales responsibilities in Asia for some of Sabre Airline Solutions products.last_img read more

New Zealand sees a surge in Wine Tourism

first_imgAccording to the data by the New Zealand Winegrowers, Wine Tourism is the new trend amongst the international travellers. Data revealed that 24% of the international tourists visit the vineyards and wineries in New Zealand. It was about 13% four years ago.  New Zealand winegrowers have launched a website which contains all the details about the wine industry in the country and details about the wineries to visit. The site features the details of more than 450 wineries that can be visited by the tourists.Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director, New Zealand Winegrowers, said, “Wine Tourism provides an exciting opportunity for the tourism industry to showcase the rich reserves of wines in the unique locations of New Zealand, where they are grown and produced.”Stephen England-Hall, CEO, Tourism New Zealand, said, “Wine Tourism has such wide appeal because the visitors in New Zealand can explore the world of wineries in any season and across many regions during their stay.”In 2017, nearly 3.65 million international tourists have visited New Zealand.last_img read more

Emirates celebrates milestone with Airbus adds 100th A380 to its fleet

first_imgEmirates celebrated the milestone delivery of its 100th Airbus A380 aircraft at a special ceremony with Airbus at the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Hamburg.His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates and Chief Executive inaugurated the ceremony. He was joined at the event by Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline; Tom Enders, Airbus Chief Executive Officer; Dominic Horwood, Rolls-Royce, Director – Customer and Services; His Excellency Ali Al Ahmed, UAE Ambassador to Germany and Frank Horch, Senator for Economy, Transport and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.Hailing this as a historic moment for Emirates, Airbus and other those associated with the A380 programme, Sheikh Ahmed said that this had a positive impact on aerospace manufacturing and broaden the aviation industry, generated thousands of jobs, made way for new product developments.Tom Enders. Chief Executive Officer, Airbus said, “It is a source of immense satisfaction for everyone at Airbus that such a visionary airline has believed in the A380 from the beginning and chosen it as its flagship and the backbone of its operations.”“For Emirates, the A380 has been a success. We’ve been able to utilise it at slot-constrained airports, as well as at regional and ‘secondary’ airports where we have grown passenger demand. Each time we deploy an A380 onto a route, it typically stimulates further traffic and demand as travellers are attracted by our flagship A380 experience. We remain committed to the programme and will work closely with Airbus and our partners to continually enhance our A380 product as we look ahead to receiving our remaining 42 aircraft on order.”Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, Emirates’ 100th A380 is configured in three cabin classes, with 14 private suites in First class, 76 seats in Business and 426 seats in Economy. It also features the airline’s newly revamped Onboard Lounge. It will be on display at the upcoming Dubai Air Show and will enter service afterwards.Dominic Horwood, Rolls-Royce, Director – Customer and Services congratulated Emirates on this momentous occasion and hailed their association with the airline giant.last_img read more

One in Five Housing Markets Less Affordable than Their Historical Averages

first_img December 5, 2014 497 Views One in Five Housing Markets Less Affordable than Their Historical Averages Share More than one in five U.S. housing markets had surpassed their local historical home affordability average as of October, according to a report released Thursday by property information firm RealtyTrac.Out of 475 U.S. counties analyzed in the company’s latest real estate report, 98—21 percent—had a higher affordability percentage than their historical average. (Affordability percentage is defined by RealtyTrac as the percent of median income needed to make monthly payments on a median-priced home with a 10 percent down payment.)The group includes a number of markets where supply and demand conditions have sent prices skyrocketing—including California’s Los Angeles, Alameda, and Orange counties—and other areas where local economic conditions have boosted the housing market, such as Texas’ Harris, Dallas, and Travis counties.”While 99 percent of markets have not returned to the irrational affordability levels during the previous housing bubble, one in five markets have now exceeded their historical affordability norms, which is a strong sign that either a new home price bubble is forming in those markets or that home price appreciation will soon plateau until incomes can catch up,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.In addition, 58 counties—12 percent of all markets analyzed—posted a median price higher than their bubble-era peaks as values continue to rise. However, with interest rates still low and incomes slowly coming up, only six counties are currently considered less affordable now for median income earners than they were before the crash, according to RealtyTrac:Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston)Travis County, Texas (Austin)Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham)Brazos County, Texas (College Station)Allegan County, MichiganMontgomery County, Tennessee (Clarksville)Across all counties, buying a median-priced home in October required 26 percent of median income on average, down from an average 41 percent in each county’s peak month during the bubble.center_img Home Values Housing Affordability Housing Bubble RealtyTrac 2014-12-05 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

LenderLive Announces Aligned Business Divisions Leadership Changes

first_img in Headlines, News LenderLive Announces Aligned Business Divisions & Leadership Changes LenderLive mortgage Servicing 2016-06-03 Staff Writer Domestic-based mortgage services provider, LenderLive, recently announced a new organizational structure that aligns its various business divisions under two broad units—mortgage and services—as well as corresponding leadership changes.The two new units are LenderLive Network, LLC (fulfillment, lending, and servicing) and LenderLive Services, LLC (settlement services and LenderLive Document Services, which now includes GuardianDocs and Walz Group). Both report up to the existing holding company, LenderLive Holdings, Inc.The company also announced that:• Rod Walz, President and Founder of WALZ, is now Vice Chairman of LenderLive Holdings. In this new role, he will be a strategic advisor to CEO Rick Seehausen and the executive team, as well as to the newly combined LenderLive Document Services.• Dave Vida, President of Mortgage Services, now serves as President of LenderLive Network.• Pete Pannes, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, has been named President of the new LenderLive Services, LLC.• Joe Mowery, General Manager of Settlement Services, now reports to Pannes.• Jonathan Kunkle, General Manager of LenderLive Document Services now reports to Pannes.• Maria Moskver, who was General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of WALZ, is now the company’s General Counsel and Enterprise Compliance Officer for LenderLive Holdings.“Basically, our businesses fall into one of two categories: regulated, as is the case with our mortgage services, and unregulated component services, such as our title, origination and servicing documents offerings,” Seehausen said. “Our new structure will make it easier for us to work with our regulators, accelerate the expansion of our title operations, and allow us to take advantage of synergies among our document and settlement services businesses. While a number of our executives have new leadership roles, they have all been instrumental in building LenderLive and are the right team to take us to the next level.”center_img June 3, 2016 505 Views Sharelast_img read more

September 10 2018

first_imgSeptember 10 , 2018 PRESS RELEASEWashington D.C. (Sep. 10, 2018) – The World Avocado Organization, the first and only organization in the world devoted to promoting the consumption and awareness of avocados at a global level, is pleased to welcome Colombia as its newest member country director. The announcement was made during the opening of Asia Fruit Logistica, a most important annual trade show for the international fruit and vegetable in Asia. WAO’s current members include the top avocado producing nations of: Mexico, Peru, the United States of America, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Spain.“We are delighted that Colombia joins WAO and look forward to working together to supply the European avocado market, which has been soaring over the last few years. We are pleased to replicate the programs WAO has implemented in Europe during the fall and winter months together with the Colombian Hass avocado sector,” said Zac Bard, Chairman of WAO.One of the largest avocado producers worldwideColombia is home to some of the top Hass avocado producers and exporters in the world, including Fruity Green, Cartama – Avofruit, S.A. & Westfalia Colombia, each of whom have also officially joined WAO. Colombia has only recently entered the Hass avocado market but is already one of the biggest producers and exporters worldwide. It currently produces over 15,000 hectares of Hass avocados and is growing at an unprecedented rate, as its agricultural outlook continues to flourish.Xavier Equihua, CEO of WAO commented “Avocado production in Colombia has experienced rapid growth over the past few years where volumes have grown by 550 percent a year between 2012 and 2016 – We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Colombia as a country director of WAO and we look forward to working with them on expanding avocado supply and consumption across the European market.” “Hass avocado production is growing at a tremendous rate in Colombia. At the same time, the consumption of avocados in Europe is growing at an immense pace, where more than 510 million kilos of avocados were sold in 2017. Joining WAO will help Colombia to unlock their full potential and key opportunities across the European avocado market,” underlined Daniel Bustamante, Vice-Chairman of WAO.WAO members covering most of the European marketWith the addition of Colombia and Spain this year, WAO now represents over 70% of the avocados commercialized in Europe.WAO will be holding its 2018 Mid-Season Meeting in Madrid, Spain on 22 October 2018 – one day before the start of the Fruit Attraction, the international trade show for the fruit and vegetable industry.About the World Avocado Organization (WAO)The World Avocado Organization’s (WAO) primary purpose is to promote and increase the consumption, awareness and value of avocados in international markets. It was established in February 2016 as an international non-profit organization. Based in Washington, D.C., WAO represents some of the world’s largest avocado producers, exporters and importers, including Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the United States of America. Europe is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide and already the second-largest market for imported avocados in the world. It is expected to grow by at least 15 percent per year in the next five years.center_img You might also be interested inlast_img read more