World Expeditions has joined forces with two other international travel companies to establish Yomads Travel, an adventure travel brand targeting active travellers aged between 20 and 39.
Baumeler Reisen (Switzerland), SNP Natuurreizen (the Netherlands) and World Expeditions (Australia, North America, UK and NZ) believe the intimate, English guided trips will meet a demand for a ‘neglected segment of the market’.
As well as being well-priced, packed with activities and adhering to strong environmental principles, Yomads’ itineraries will include plenty of optional activities allowing participants to retain their individual freedom, all high on the wish lists of the elusive youth market.
'Yomads understands that one size does not fit all and that young independent travellers like their freedom to roam,’ says Sue Badyari, World Expeditions chief executive officer.
With groups limited to 15 travellers, the first Yomads’ departures are scheduled for March 2014 and itineraries are finalised for destinations including Namibia, South Africa, Alaska, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia/Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Georgia, Iceland, Morocco, New Zealand and Peru. ‘Canyons, Caves and Karsts of Slevenia’, ‘Go Wild in the Alaskan Frontier’ and ‘Iceland Laugavegur Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek’ are among the 20 itineraries launched this week.
Hot Off The Press
Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange (BFTE) planned for May 2014 has been cancelled. Chairman of the Bula Tourism Trust David Voss, says now that Tourism Fiji is to stage a new event, the Fiji Tourism Expo it is not in the best interests of Fiji’s tourism industry to have two very similar events, held in the same month, seeking participation from the same Fiji sellers and the same overseas buyers.' Therefore BFTE has been cancelled and the trustees wished all participants in the Tourism Fiji event great success.
Bula Tourism Exchange was established 18 years ago by Fiji’s tourism industry as a charitable trust, to promote Fiji tourism products, then expanded a few years ago to include limited Pacific Islands involvement.
With just £400 to his name, a young Aussie vet in London stumbled across an old double-decker bus in a paddock and with a flash of inspiration, a plan to explore Morocco and some makeshift bunk beds, Topdeck was born. With that original bus now a fleet of over 100 and more than a million passengers later, Topdeck is celebrating 40 years of taking young explorers around the world. Topdeck founders including Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner, Mike Carroll and Bill James - who was also Topdeck’s very first passenger, were among 275 guests who recently celebrated the milestone birthday at a gala ball in London where it all began. Other guests included passengers who took that first trip from London to Morocco in 1973, four generations of current and ex staff from around the world, board members and UK and European suppliers. One of Topdeck’s first buses - a 1958 Bristol Lodekka called ‘Tadpoles’ - was taken out of retirement from the Bus and Coach Museum in the Isle of White to transport the original passengers to the event.
The ball was held at The Tower Hotel overlooking the Tower Bridge. Topdeck began in 1973 when Graham Turner, working in the countryside of northern England, saw an old double decker bus in a used coach lot. He decided to buy it to drive to Morocco with a couple of friends. Originally called 'Argus Persicus Travel' (named after an Australian cattle tick), the first tour of Morocco was advertised in an Earls Court pub. It quickly filled and ‘Top Deck’ was born.
Demand became hard to contain and within a few years it was operating a fleet of 25 buses and coaches on European tours. The company amazed both the coach and adventure tours industry by successfully running 'impossible overland tours from London to Kathmandu by double-decker bus. Topdeck now has different ownership and takes young explorers around Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Starwood's announcement of the signing Sheraton Fiji Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island has created confusion in the trade as to which Tokoriki resort will take on the Sheraton brand. The confusion has prompted World Resorts of Distinction, which represents the adults only Tokoriki Island Resort (pictured), to issue a press release to clarify the situation.
'As per recent incorrect media reports, The Sheraton Group have not taken over Tokoriki Island Resort and the resort has not been sold,' says Tokoriki Island Resort’s general manager, Robert Ring. 'This type of inaccurate media reporting is damaging to our business and creates industry confusion.'
The WRD press release accuses Starwood of 'poorly researched and inaccurate media releases leading to many enquiries, calls and emails to the resort from industry partners concerned about the incorrect reporting that Tokoriki Island Resort has been taken over and no longer exists.' WRD added that the media reports have proven to be extremely damaging to Tokoriki Island Resort and its future and has caused phones and emails to run hot, not only from Australia and NZ but also long haul markets of USA and UK.
The media release goes on to state: 'Tokoriki is a privately owned luxury couples retreat located on Tokoriki Island in the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji and has been in operation for over 18 successful years and continues to enjoy high occupancies. Its 34 luxury beachfront, freestanding bures and villas featuring 3.5m x 2.5m plunge pools is known for its romantic relaxed atmosphere and has won numerous awards for romance and excellence. Tokoriki Island Resort has always been a leader in the Fijian tourism industry, becoming the first resort in the Mamanucas to offer freestanding villas and bures, air-conditioning, outdoor showers, king beds, plunge pools, a teppanyaki restaurant plus 100% solar power across the entire resort soon to be completed.
'With over 120 team members, some with 3 generations across different departments, the resort prides itself on its beauty, professionalism, longevity and most of all the spirit of Tokoriki and its beautiful people. Tokoriki Island Resort will continue to evolve and create magic moments for their guests which is testament to the high return rate of guests, one couple having returned 37 times!'
To read a precis of the Starwood announcement click here
Marina Nola from Eventive in Auckland won the Gold Coast passport promotion and PAICE 2013, and Sharron Mihailoff from Williment Event Management Wellington won the Gold Coast update dinner draw on the night of the event. Each of the winners have a trip for two to the Gold Coast, including air fares, accommodation, dining, and shopping vouchers.
The after effects of a 24 metre high, 800km/hr wave that decimated South Asia on Boxing Day 2004, killing more than 230,000 people was the inspiration for former policeman Peter Baines to form Hands Across The Water, a charity that has provided a platform for businesses to create ‘shared experiences’ that actually mean something for both the staff and communities involved.
The buzz of making a personal impact is contagious for many Hands Across the Water cyclists on their rides across Thailand, with each rider raising $10,000 for Hands Across the Water’s various orphanages and tsunami victims.
‘If we can create meaningful experiences, we’ll create engagement, and from engagement comes commitment,’ says Baines speaking at a PAICE (Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo) seminar last week.
In fact, 79% of Hands riders are returning for their second or third ride, because as Baines puts it – ‘there is always more to be done, their needs don’t go away’.
Such long-term commitment from businesses can equate to equally long term changes for their supported charities, explains Baines. ‘Often in a disaster many people will turn up to provide support in the early stages and put their flag in the ground but then will leave not long after,’ he says.
Baines uses his charity's bike rides as a metaphor, with his point being that any shared experience where people can take something personal away and see the potential for ongoing or returning support is truely worthwhile CSR (corporate social responsibility). 'When you give without expectation, it comes back'.Some tips from Baines on CSR and building relationships:1. Build relationships 12 months out2. Invest the time - little can be done in two hours3. Ability vs Ambition. 'Do you really want a house built by financial planners?' Match your charity planning with your abilities. If people aren't actively involved, it may come off as a token gesture.4. Is it what the community wants?5. Get the right people on board for the event (MCs, speakers etc)6. If CSR is not making money, it's not being done properly 7. Measure and experiment. Don't continue to do the same thing and hope for a different outcome.Click here to read more on Hands Across the Water from a previous TRAVELinc issue.
The biennial Cook Islands Tourism Awards sponsored by Air New Zealand were held on November 15 at the High Commisioners' residence in Rarotonga. The winners are:
Best Budget Property: Puaikura Reef LodgesBest Hotels and Resorts Group: Pacific Resort Hotel GroupBest Private Rental: Taakoka Muri Beach VillasBest Self Catering: Makayla PalmsBest Festival and Event: Vaka EivaBest Tourist Attraction: Highland Paradise Cultural CentreTourism Industry Support Award: The Mooring Fish CafeEnvironmental Award: Muri Beach ResortCultural Award: Highland Paradise Culturual CentreBest Internet Marketing: Pacific Resort Hotel GroupOuter Islands Award: Pacific Resort AitutakiBest Customer Care: Makayla PalmsSupreme Award: Pacific Resorts GroupOutstanding Contribution: Papaapaiiaku (island walk guide)Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Skews
The judges felt that 'Robert has given most of his working life to developing tourism in the Cooks. Around the world his company Turama Pacific is well known and respected. He is a true face of Cook Islands tourism and his extensive industry knowledge has been valued over many years and used to grow our inbound market to where it is today. Lately he has served on the board of Cook Islands Tourism.'
PAICE (Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo) took place at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on November 13. The business to business trade shows involved more than 100 exhibitors from Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia and beyond who were in Auckland to meet face-to-face with professional conference organisers, corporate event managers and organisers of special interest tours, incentives and other offshore events.
Stand of the Year Awards
Best Individual Stand: Dive Fish Snow TravelRunner Up Best Individual Stand: Blue Lagoon Cruises, FijiBest Regional Stand: FijiRunner Up Best Regional Stand: Australia
Rocky Mountaineer has extended its Early Booking Bonus for GoldLeaf Service bookings of seven nights or more. Clients will receive CAD$1,200 per couple in added value for new bookings made through to December 20, 2013.
One of the qualifying packages is the new seven night/eight day Canadian Rockies Highlights and Coastal Passage. This tour includes a rail journey onboard Rocky Mountaineer’s new Coastal Passage route between Seattle, WA and the Canadian Rockies in either Goldleaf or SilverLeaf Service. The itinerary includes Vancouver, Seattle, Lake Louise and Banff and a helicopter flight over the Canadian Rockies.
The Early Booking Bonus is only valid on new 2014 bookings, made from now until December 20, 2013 with full payment at time of booking. The maximum added value of CAD$1200 per couple can only be applied to bookings of seven nights or more in GoldLeaf Service; however the Early Booking Bonus is also available on qualifying packages of four to six nights at CAD$600 per couple in GoldLeaf Service. The new offer is valid on Rocky Mountaineer’s SilverLeaf Service and RedLeaf Service at slightly reduced values. The Early Booking Bonus is based on availability and may be modified, withdrawn, or travel dates substituted without prior notice. Further restrictions may apply. Contact preferred wholesaler for details
Two major events coming to the Cairns Convention Centre will showcase just what Cairns can do, says Rosie Douglas, director Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, speaking at SellTNQ 2013. ATE will be held in Cairns in May, the first time the national tourism tradeshow will be held outside a state capital. An entire wall will be temporarily removed and an adjoining ‘Hocker’ pavilion will create one seamless building to host ATE, says business development manager, Karen Turner.
In September, the G20 finance ministers will assemble in Cairns for three days, before joining their prime ministers and presidents in the main G20 Summit in Brisbane. ‘We are expecting up to 3000 people from 20 countries, the Finance Ministers will fly in on their own planes, they will bring their entourage, there will be security staff, police and media. All the four and five star hotels will be full. The big thing for us is that it will demonstrate what the city can do, in terms of managing a high profile political event, with all the logistics and security involved.’
A massive, multiple hotel and casino development planned for Cairns will open up Tropical North Queensland to new air services and new markets, says Rosie Douglas, director Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef. ‘This is nothing like Australia has ever seen, it will open up markets we don’t currently get, plus it will raise awareness of our destination.’The proposed $4.2 billion Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, encompassing nine international hotels, a casino and 25,000 seat stadium, will be the biggest tourism development seen in Australia. It is to be located at Yorkeys Knob, 15 minutes north of Cairns. Work is expected to begin next year, once final consents – a casino licence and Environmental Impact Statement – are approved, and to be completed by 2018.Douglas expects the approvals to be granted. ‘Everyone is very pro this development, the company has done an excellent job with community consultation. From a Business Events perspective this will be huge. New air links with Asian cities will bring new clients; that wealthy middle class Asian community we just don’t get without direct flights. That’s the benefit for us. For these people the (Great Barrier) Reef is a big drawcard, also our golf and the game fishing,’ she adds.As El Jumeriah is to Dubai, Aquis will be to Cairns, is the promise of Hong Kong billionaire investor and Aquis chief executive officer, Tony Fung. The Aquis company has also indicated it will help with new road construction to cope with expected demand of transporting people from Cairns Airport to the new development.
Sell TNQ 2013 got underway when Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef hosted some 30 buyers to lunch – with a difference - at the Cairns Convention Centre.
Demonstrating the versatility of the venue, the group was hosted in the ‘Snake Pit’, centre court home of the home Taipans, Cairns’ NBL team. This was the first time ever such an event had been held in the arena, said Convention Centre manager, Vania Bau. A 700-delegate conference was also underway in other areas of the purpose-built, international convention centre, which has just achieved Gold Quality Standards Certification. Only 13 convention centres in the world have this International Association of Congress Centres certification. See more pics
The French Travel Workshop will be held at The Pullman Auckland on Friday, September 5 2014. It will be the first time in four years that the workshops have visited Auckland. Sophie Almin, who handles marketing for Atout France out of Sydney, says the workshops will be held from 10am to 12.30pm, with a seminar held between 12.30 and 1pm. The guest destination at the Auckland event will be Tahiti. About 60 exhibitors are expected, with 250 to 300 travel agents likely to attend.
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