Active Asia, in conjunction with Air New Zealand, organised a six day agent famil to Japan late June. The group spent time in Tokyo where they navigated the subways and trains and discovered an easy and convenient way to get around. Other highlights included a trip to Mt Fuji; a night in Kyoto where there was time to visit the temples and marvel at the Geisha ladies in the Gion area.
Dining at a Sushi Train restaurant is Loris Sowman HOT Calder & Lawson Hamilton; Caroline Wakelin Active Asia Escort; Tomomi Johnson, Air New Zealand Escort; Erin King Gilpin Travel; Jo o’Gorman, Broker Travel Managers; Abby Delaney HOT Tauranga and Marianne Glasgow HOT Rotorua
Active Asia in conjunction with Thai Airways took a group of Kiwi travel agents on a famil to Thailand recently. The seven day itinerary included time in Bangkok, visiting the old Thai capital of Ayutthaya and a few days in the north at Khum Lanna Lodge. Situated a 90 minute drive from Chiang Mai, Khum Lanna Lodge is a country home stay specialising in traditional Northern Thai cuisine. Here, the agents donned 'farm shirts' and wandered the local markets, took part in cooking classes and got up close and personal with the occupants at the Maesa elephant camp.
In their farm shirts, the team are ready for anything. Jacqui Donoghue, HOT Havelock North; Milena De La Hoz, Thai Airways Escort;Jo Hooper, Active Asia; Geoff Hebditch, HOT Browns Bay; Amanda McAllister, HOT Mission Bay and Donna Soler, HOT Rotorua
Malaysia Aeromeet 2014 participants have touched down in Sarawak, marking the occasion with a spout of ‘selfie’ taking.
Agents were treated to an early Gawai celebration with locals at the Sarawak Cultural Village last night, after a day of networking at Aeromeet’s mini travel mart covering the Sarawak sector.
The ‘selfie’, a self-portrait photograph, typically taken on a camera phone, has become a prominent feature of the trip, with agents from all over the world documenting their time in Malaysia for their friends and family back home.
A heart2heart programme with Malaysian Orangutans is on the agenda today, providing a multitude of inspiration for selfies.
Conference, incentive and convention organisers from New Zealand, South East Asia and interstate Australia are experiencing regional familiarisation tours across South Australia, during the Destination South Australia business exchange happening now. The majority of New Zealand guests were part of the incentive pocket of visitors who were treated to the culinary and wine delights of Australia's most famous wine region, the Barossa Valley. The McLaren Vale tour took in a cooking class at Chapel Hill and hand feeding wallabies while Adelaide Hills also encapsulated South Australia's passion for fine food and world class wine.
One highlight for the Barossa group was a cooking lesson with Saskia Beer, daughter of Maggie Beer, Australia's 'mother of cooking'. Before they could enjoy her spread, they were tasked with sourcing fresh produce and ingredients from the Barossa Valley Farmers Market (held every Saturday), and were each given a DSLR camera from Georgia Felt of Zoom Photographer Tours, which they could use to capture their own personal snaps, taking the memory card home. See more on Zoom Photography tours in August/September issue of TRAVELinc.International business in to South Australia is up 10% on last year, according to Martin Radcliffe, sales and marketing manager with Adelaide Convention bureau. 'We're also seeing more incentives out of New Zealand, which is why a lot of the Kiwis here are enjoying the incentive orientated famil around the Barossa.'
A journey on the Indian Pacific between Perth and Sydney is one of the major focal points of an early August travel agents' familiarisation tour out of New Zealand. However, the agents got around by various other means as well - including an airport transfer in Perth by Limousines Australia, a trip to Fremantle with Australian Pinnacle Tours, and an exploration of Perth's central business district with Two Feet & a Heartbeat.
Checking out the Red Class seats in the Indian Pacific – Noeline Walsh, Skytrain Lion World Travels; and Samara Liyanage, Flight Centre Mt Eden.
Not the best destination marketing campaign and it didn’t work. Cook’s Bishop Kirkby Memorial Hospital closed in the 1990s. Once a thriving community of about 200, Cook now has a population of five.
In the now (virtually abandoned) township of Cook – Dayan Muntz, House of Travel Barrington; Louise Frend, Tourism Western Australia; Noeline Walsh, Skytrain Lion World Travel; Kelly Gainsford, House of Travel Merivale; Emma Cracroft-Wilson
Left: Catching up in the Outback Explorer Lounge of the Indian Pacific train – Dayan Muntz, House of Travel Barrington; and Lisa Linn, Rail Plus
Right: Breakfast at Central Market Adelaide… Emma Cracroft-Wilson, Flight Centre Greymouth; Kelly Gaisnford, House of Travel Merivale; Dayan Muntz, House of Travel Barrington
Left: Enjoying Adelaide Central Market during one of the two available offtrain excursions in Adelaide are Samara Liyanage, Flight Centre Mt Eden and Louise Frend, Tourism Western Australia; with Mark Leeson of Central Market Tours
Right: Kevin Poit, House of Travel Shirley; Sharlene Benson-Thompson, itn Tawa Travel; Dave Atherton, Great Southern Rail; Lisa Linn, Rail Plus at Central Market Adelaide
The second day of the New Zealand travel agents family of Perth early August started with a site inspection of the Crown complex in Perth, then continued with a full day of wine, lunch, chocolate and beer (with a bit if history thrown in by guide Keith Mackenzie) with Swan Valley Tours.
After the official opening of the 1Malaysia Mega Sale in Kuala Lumpur, Kiwi agents explored KL and took the opportunity to partake in some shopping, before heading off to the eastern islands of Redang and Tioman. Read more coverage from the Malaysia famil, currently underway.
Right: On a mission - Sabrina Mcleod, Tourism Malaysia; Fauzia Janif, GO Holidays; Trish Little, Flight Centre Downtown and Nirmla Patel, Our Asia after a sucessful shopping experience at The Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur
Fireflies, tigers and turtles
Read more from the Tourism Malaysia famil
World Journeys and Singapore Airlines hosted a luxury agent educational to India in May, featuring some of the country’s Palace and Boutique hotel range. The group visited Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the colourful desert cities of Rajasthan. Marketing manager Caroline Clegg escorted the group, and says highlights included Singapore Airline’s superb service, a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market, staying at the gorgeous Samode Palace hotel near Jaipur, seeing the Taj Mahal at sunset, and dining at Udaipur’s Lake Palace Hotel. We also loved getting stuck in India’s chaotic traffic.
The group made their way through narrow streets of colourful sari shops, vegetable carts and open air barbers. 'The range of properties experienced was exceptional,' says Clegg. 'From the chic desert retreat of Mihir Garh near Jodhpur, to the opulent grandeur of Rambagh Palace, each had their own charm and style. We travelled predominantly by road in an air-conditioned mini-coach, with a dedicated driver and a guide, who just added so much to the experience. Much of what you see in India raises questions, so it was great to have someone on board who could share his culture and country with us.
'Having not been to India for some time, I really noticed the huge improvement in tourist infrastructure, the level of service, and the range of hotel styles available – most impressive.'
Contiki Holidays recently hosted an all-ages travel agent famil to Europe with 35 agents from around the world, including three from New Zealand.The eight day tour started in London and wrapped up in Munich, stopping in Paris and Lucerne along the way. In between zipping to the top of the Eiffel Tower and biking around Munich with a local guide, agents spent a night at Contiki’s own 16th century Chateau de Cruix in the French countryside.
Ten retail and one wholesale agent from House of Travel stores around New Zealand recently experienced the islands of Tahiti and Moorea courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme. The group were all first timers to Tahiti and experienced a mixture of site inspections combined with a taste of dining experiences and day tours that their clients are likely to enjoy. 'I particularly loved Moorea, a beautiful island and feel,' says Carmel Tocker, House of Travel Richmond. 'The resorts were fantastic and I loved swimming with the dolphins and paddle-boarding.'
When comparing prices, the group noticed that food and beverage is similar to the equivalent standard in New Zealand. 'Overall Tahiti was not as expensive as I thought,' says Janine McKay, House of Travel Merivale. Sarah Gaffney from House of Travel Newmarket says highlights included the dolphin encounter along with lunch at the Blue Banana on the island of Tahiti and getting into town and experiencing the caravan dining with the locals.
House of Travel enjoyed the hospitality of Air Tahiti Nui, Aggie Grey’s Le Meridien Resort, Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa, Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, Moorea Dolphin Centre, Moorea Paddle Board Adventures, Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort, Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti, Tahiti Nui Hotel, Manava Suite Resort, Tahiti Tours and Tahiti Tourisme.
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