Tourism Western Australia hosted members from the NZ travel industry to the second annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape in Western Australia. The three day foodie event showcased the best international and Australian food and wine talent including three restaurants in the world’s top 50, eight Michelin stars and over 20 Chefs Hats.
Al Brown was the only New Zealand chef to attend and he was happy to pose with the NZ delegation.
<<The man himself, Al Brown with Roann Roberts, Flight Centre and Mandy Veale, Mondo Travel and local Jo Earles
Gourmet beach BBQ at Castle Bay Beach for Mandy Veale, Mondo Travel and Roann Roberts Flight Centre
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), in conjunction with Air New Zealand, hosted 10 travel agents on a seven day famil to Adelaide and South Australia recently. Agents visited several of South Australia’s most popular regions for Kiwi travellers including the Adelaide Hills, Murray River and Barossa. In Adelaide, the agents explored the city’s laneways and new ‘pop-up eateries’ that contributed to Lonely Planet’s recent naming of Adelaide as a top 10 city to visit in 2014.
Agents interested in joining future famils to South Australia, or planning to visit on a self famil should contact Stacey Cant, marketing manager for special agent deals on (09) 368 5381 or email
Recently returned from CroisiEurope’s 11 day Mekong Cruise, Innovative Travel’s Michelle Baldwin points out what made it special
'Starting out in Siem Reap, we visited the renowned Angkor Wat temples, before boarding the RV Indochine for eight nights. The cabins were spacious with plenty of room to pack away all belongings. The buffet breakfasts, lunches and a la carte dinners were fabulous and the crew and staff were friendly and welcoming. I found the itinerary well balanced with cruising early morning or afternoon, daily excursions and time to relax on board and take in the scenery of river life.'
All CroisiEurope’s cruises are bilingual French & English and on this cruise we had 25 French and four English speakers and we moored within walking distance to Ho Chi Minh city, which is where our cruise came to an end.
CroisiEurope’s Mekong Cruise is priced from $3050pp twin, seasonal surcharges apply and EBD's may be available - contact Innovative Travel on 0508 100 111
Sunday famil fun, following a hard day’s work at the Sell TNQ workshops, included a Barrier Reef trip, a shopping fix at the Port Douglas markets, a Dreamtime Walk in World Heritage rainforest from the Mossman Gorge Centre with Kuku Yalanji guide, Cameron Buchanan, cooking up a poolside lunch with executive chef Karl Wulf at Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas and an entertaining motorised bike ride around Port Douglas township, guided by Kevin of K-Star Walking Tours.
Left: Learning about ochre in the Mossman Gorge rainforest, with Cameron Buchanan, Kuku Yalanji guide and artist from the Mossman Gorge Centre
Right: Sell TNQ 2013 ended on a high note for PCO Jessie Burrows, when her name was drawn for the Qantas prize package of flights to the value of $500. Pictured during the finale breakfast at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, from left Justine Warren, Business Events Cairns & Tropical Queensland; Anthea Somerville, Qantas, Jessie Burrows, Australian Podiatry Association Queensland
World Journeys and LAN Airlines hosted a group of eight travel agents on a famil to Cuba and Peru early October. The famil was escorted by World Journeys director Chris Lyons, whose pick of hotels Peruvian hotels inspected was the Orient-Express operated Las Nazarenas in Cuzco – 'All rooms are oxygenated, a great bonus if new to the higher altitude, and the décor is stunning, some with special features such as a fresco painting on the ceiling or a private balcony. Your butler is available 24/7, and it is the only hotel in Cuzco with an outside pool. Absolutely top end.'
Chris was returning to Havana after many years and says Havana is a living museum, and the group enjoyed the city walking tour and riding in the pre-revolutionary (1950’s) American cars. 'There are now some superb hotels situated right in the heart of the old city. We stayed at the Parque Central, a top end hotel in Havana, yet great value.'
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) in conjunction with Air New Zealand hosted ten SA Expert travel agents on a Brilliant Blend Weekend to the Clare Valley wine region recently.
Designed to thank the agents for their hard work selling South Australia, the SA Experts stopped off at the Flinders Ranges, a region known for its historic villages and wineries.
Weekend highlights included cycling a section of the Riesling Trail, wine tastings at Skillogalee Cellar Door & Restaurant, wine tasting at Pikes and the Little Red Grape, and enjoying all things olive at Evilo Estate Olive Oils.
The SATC’s SA Experts programme is designed to reward agents who pro-actively sell Adelaide and South Australia. Benefits of becoming a qualified SA Expert include: priority placement on famils to Adelaide and South Australia, promotion via the SATC’s consumer website and e-newsletter, plus customer referrals from the SATC office and web site.
Jane Wilson, regional manager, SATC, says they have been working closely with the South Australian Expert agents over the past eight months since the launch of an online itinerary planning tool on www.southaustralia.co.nz. 'The itinerary planning tool feeds interested consumers and bookings directly through to these agents. We welcome new retail travel agents to the programme in time for our campaign launch in early 2014.'
At Hentley Farm Winery; back: Tim Dunnill, Harvey World Travel, Richmond; Donna Levick, Harvey World Travel, Howick; Jane Wilson, SATC; Stacey Cant, SATC; Charmaine Templer, Tawa Travel, Wellington. Front left: Marcia Heathcote, World Travellers, Napier; Jodie McSkimming, Flight Centre, Dunedin; Kiri Hill, Mondo Travel, Hamilton; Belinda Sixtus, House of Travel, Kapiti; Mandy Veale, Mondo Travel; Jude Dodunski, Mondo Travel, Tauranga; Jess Carman, House of Travel, Masterton
<< Cycling the Reisling Trail is Mandy Veale, Mondo Head Office; Marcia Heathcote; World Travellers, Napier; Kiri Hill, Mondo Travel, Hamilton; Belinda Sixtus, Jodie McSkimming, Flight Centre Dunedin; Jude Dodunski, Mondo Travel, Tauranga
>>Team Mondo at the Barossa Farmers Market: Jude Dodunski, Mandy Veale and Kiri Hill
<<Cheers from Jodie McSkimming, Flight Centre Dunedin and Tim Dunnill, Harvey World Travel, Richmond at Thorn Park By the Vines
>>Food experiences galore at the Hentley Farm Winery, Barossa
A group of eight New Zealand travel agents experienced the Sunshine Coast early September when they took part in a Sunshine Coast Mega Famil to Mooloolaba, Caloundra, the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Fraser Island and Noosa.
Hosted by Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) and members, the group stayed with Glasshouse Mountains Eco Lodge, Caloundra’s Rumba Resort, Breakfree Grand Pacific, Noosa’s Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort, Mantra French Quarter, Landmark Resort, Nautilus and Osprey. The group got up close and personal with different animals at Australia Zoo and UnderWater World, visited the Ginger Factory, did a spot of shopping at the Eumundi markets and explored the rainforest with Off Beat Eco Tours. They also took part in a networking function on September 11 in Caloundra with a range of local Sunshine Coast operators. The group flew over to the Sunshine Coast on the Air New Zealand direct flights from Auckland to Sunshine Coast Airport and were transported locally by SunAir Coaches.
Seven New Zealand big hitting agents were hosted to Malaysia early September for Malaysia Airlines' Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Agent Top Awards 2013. The group's itinerary started in Penang, where there will be a mix of site inspections, tours, dinners and relaxation before heading to Kuala Lumpur for the awards gala dinner.
Dzulkefli Zakaria, area manager - New Zealand and Southwest Pacific for Malaysia Airlines says the awards are based on revenue figures. While the gala dinner is an obvious focus, it was also an opportunity to show the trade a different side of Malaysia. Only one agent member of the group had been to Penang before - and that was 10 years ago. First stop for the group was their accommodation at Hard Rock Hotel, Penang, while other activities on the island include dinner at Parkroyal Pennag then visiting attractions such as Penang Hill, with its funicular train, the Reclining Buddha, the Snake Temple and more.
Out and about in Penang
A group of NZ travel agents recently returned for an Active Asia famil to Japan. Escort Joanne Hooper, Active Asia says the participants found the Japanese people very friendly polite, calm and respectful. 'The group visited Tokyo, Mt Fuji and Kyoto with the highlight for many being the Maiko performance and dinner in the hills outside of Kyoto; the full day sightseeing in Kyoto which included Kiyomizu Temple, Nishiki Market, Nijo Castle, Ryoanji and Kinkakuji Temples.'
Lynette Giles World Travellers Warkworth, Kay Russell Air New Zealand Holiday Napier & Joanne Hooper Active Asia
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