Out & About

Rooms created to ‘dazzle’

Thursday, 20 October 2016 16:30

The popularity of cruising, combined with wanting to become familiar with a new brand, brought Lisa Parker from helloworld Cambridge to Auckland for yesterday’s ship inspection of Costa Luminosa. Parker was part of a 60-strong delegation invited to view the ship and to have lunch onboard when the vessel docked in Auckland as part of a round-the-world voyage.
Local representative Donal O’Sullivan from Cruise World says each Costa ship is different in styling and look. Luminosa is the ship with ‘rooms created to dazzle’. ‘There are 288 original pieces of art, Murano glass and gleaming mosaics throughout.’
Costa recently released details of two new ship builds about to get under way. Both will carry the largest number of passengers of any cruise ship in the world – 6600 each, and they will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) – a cleaner burning fuel that is easier
on the environment – when they sail in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Starwood updates market

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:21

Starwood Hotels and Resorts had its first official foray into New Zealand this week since the much touted merger with Marriott Hotels & Resorts. Representatives from properties around Australia and the Pacific hosted incentive and group travel personnel to a cocktail party and presentation at the Viaduct in Auckland.

Karryn Cutcheon, director Starwood sales organisation, highlighted the recent opening of Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows as well as the February 2017 planned reopening of Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island in Fiji. Cutcheon also updated attendees on future opening in Australia, including the Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne (at Docklands) and The Aloft Perth.

Agents say hello Wellington

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:18

More than 300 frontliners and preferred partners packed into the TSB arena for helloworld’s Bound By Blue frontliners conference that was held over the weekend in Wellington. With surprise appearances from Michael John, the celebrity magician from America’s Got Talent, and MC Simon Dallow, as well as high-powered guest speakers including Derek Handley, Murray Thom and Doctor Sam Hazledine, the event was designed as a showcase of innovation and inspiration.

All go for TAT online training

Sunday, 16 October 2016 21:03

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s agent training programme is now up and running for Kiwi agents, reports the authority’s Marieanne Ouwehand. The programme comes in six modules – an introduction, beaches, action and adventure, romance, food and shopping, and Asean connectivity.

‘Agents who complete the course receive certificates of completion and those with high scores will go into a draw for a chance to join a TAT famil next year,’ says Ouwehand. ‘There are three quizzes in each module and only when each is completed can agents move onto the next module.’  Ouwehand advises downloading the fact sheets before starting each module. ‘All the questions are multiple choice, and speed is important. The faster each question is answered, the more points that are collected.’ www.thailandtraining.com.au

Ovation for RCI talent

Thursday, 06 October 2016 07:48

Royal Caribbean and six stars of the tourism industry put on a rollicking good night for 250 agents who attended New Zealand Travel Has Talent night in Auckland on Friday.
The event, held at The Langham, was won by singer Bella Hill from Holland Clarke and Beatson Travel in Christchurch. She won a seven-night Caribbean cruise on Harmony of the Seas for her performance.
Royal Caribbean sales manager New Zealand Mark Kinchley says all the perfomances performed brilliantly, and the judging panel had a difficult job selecting the winner.  ‘However, the judges were won over by Bella’s energy and enthusiasm on stage and the fact she involved the audience.’
Kinchley says the show was a resounding success, and many attendees commented they would attend next year. Accordingly, thought is already turning to the next pool of entries, and Royal Caribbean says interested people should start rehearsing now. Kinchley says if the audition numbers don’t add up, the company has another idea up its sleeve ‘which will remain under wraps for now. We want to be known as putting on one of the best industry nights of the year… and it is our way of saying thank you to trade for their support.’
The other competitiors included Heather Blackburn from helloworld Howick; First Travel’s Jordan Sievwright; the helloworld ‘Swim Team’, Wellington;  Magan Polichuk, HoT Cruise and GO Holiday’s Patrick Ablir-Wilson.
The judging panel was made up of Royal Caribbean’s managing director Australia and New Zealand Adam Armstrong; the company’s district sales manager Victoria Cameron Mannix; comedian Jackie Clarke; presenter Jason Gunn and the evening’s ‘eye candy’ TV3’s Ryan Bridge.  


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