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Extra flights on Aircalin

Additional Aircalin flights between Auckland and Noumea will be rolled out during August to cope for the peak season demand.
The supplementary flights will be operated by an Airbus A320 and are in addition to the regular schedule on a Wednesday from Noumea to Auckland and Thursday, Auckland to Noumea.

Additional flight schedule:

SB 412 NOU - AKL 1925/2305 August 6/13/20

SB 413 AKL - NOU 0020/0255 August 7/14/21

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Trafalgar commits to 2014 departures

Trafalgar has affirmed its commitment to the industry by confirming that 90% of its departures for Europe and Britain in 2014 are guaranteed as definite. For the second consecutive year, Trafalgar has delivered on its promise of more definite departures than any of its competitors, confirming its 90% guaranteed status earlier than ever.

Trafalgar New Zealand general manager Scott Cleaver says the company is focused on strengthening relationships with valued industry partners, ensuring they are fully equipped to sell the guided holidays with confidence and ease. 'We have a dedicated sales support team and innovative marketing tools to help their businesses. The news on definite departures is another way of us demonstrating to agents that the Trafalgar differences are the real deal and that with us, what we say is what you get.'

Trafalgar continually builds close relationships with destinations, combining its detailed knowledge of the must-see sights and off-the-beaten-path experiences to offer unrivalled holiday options. With 1460 insider experiences on offer, the brand continues to innovate and evolve in order to sustain its position as the market leader and consistently deliver on its insider promise

Early Payment Discount (EPD) of 7.5% (valid until March 31) is combinable with Trafalgar Frequent Traveller discounts, for another 5% saving. Visit www.trafalgaragent.com, or call reservations on 0800 872 325.

Dining at Ledard Farm with Trafalgar's 'Be My Guest'

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Test driving a Dreamliner

Jetstar’s first Boeing 787 is ‘doing the rounds’ since the airline took delivery of the Dreamliner late last year. Flying domestic Australian routes initially, the Dreamliner was welcomed at Auckland International Airport this morning for its inaugural flight from Auckland to Melbourne this afternoon.

Heralded to its gate with a water cannon salute, the B787 Dreamliner is fitted with the latest in innovative technology and passenger comfort. Invited to ‘test drive’ the sleek aircraft, local media, industry and passengers took their leather-bound seats for the four-hour flight to Melbourne, with NZ Jetstar head, Grant Kerr, showing off the aircraft’s key features.

‘Larger dimmable windows, increased space, particularly in the overhead lockers, latest technology to provide a smoother ride, LED Lighting for the feel of natural daylight into the cabin, and improved cabin pressure and humidity to reduce jet lag,’ Kerr points out.

Other key features include seat back in-flight entertainment system with latest release movies, TV shows, games and over 50 music albums; footrests in all seats; and USB accessibility and in-seat power.

The 787 uses 20% less fuel than similarly sized aircraft, offering better sustainability and Kerr adds ‘this helps Jetstar to keep its fares low.’

Todd McClay, Associate minister of tourism and David Hall, Jetstar CEO, Australia and New Zealand joined Grant Kerr in marking the first commercial 787 trans-Tasman flights.

John Willson, United Travel and Dan Cantin, Atlas Travel at Gate 2 for the official Jetstar arrival into Auckland
Paul Gilchrist, Charlie de TracyGould, Infinity; Eva Knox and Mick Cottrell, Jetstar and Jo Rendell, Infinity await the arrival of the Dreamliner David Hall and Grant Kerr Jetstar present Todd McClay, Associate Minister of Tourism with his very own JQ Dreamliner B787 Here she comes – water cannon welcome for the Dreamliner

Off she goes to Melbourne...

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Qantas set to cut 5000 jobs: report

Qantas is set to axe up to 5000 jobs in response to massive financial losses.

The airline is also reportedly trying to sell the lease on its terminal at Melbourne Airport.

Qantas is expected to post a loss of up to $300 million for the first half of the 2013/14 financial year when it announces its financial results on Thursday.

Job cuts, previously forecast to be 2000, are now expected to be closer to 5000, News Corp Australia reported on Monday.

It said 1500 of those jobs could come from the executive and support divisions of the Qantas group, and a large number of jobs would be abolished by the end of March.

Final job numbers could change before Thursday, the report says.

The airline has also reportedly been negotiating to sell the long-term lease for its Melbourne Airport terminal.

Sources at the airline said negotiations relating to the future of Qantas' Melbourne lease are continuing.

Qantas last week denied market speculation it was planning to cut up to 3000 jobs, as well as shed overseas routes.

Source - Yahoo Zealand/ AAP

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An aircraft a year

Fiji Airways plans to extend its fleet by one aircraft per year, through to 2017 – thus growing capacity to existing markets and enabling the airline to add new routes to its network.

A new ATR72-600 will be added to the domestic fleet in the first week of July and the existing ATRs will also be upgraded.

‘This will increase capacity on our domestic and regional platform,’ says Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer Stefan Pilcher. ‘This, in turn, will free up our 737s to give us more capacity to Australia and New Zealand.

‘Our plan is to develop Nadi as the hub of the South Pacific.’


Pilcher was in New Zealand late February and hosted a media breakfast to outline the airline’s plans.

He says another 737 will be added to the fleet in 2015 – leading to more flights to New Zealand and Australia, and possibly even a new gateway in New Zealand.

In 2016, an extra A330-200 will join the fleet and a new destination (possibly Shanghai or Tokyo) will be introduced to the network.

Pictured - Stefan Pilcher, managing director and chief executive officer; Shannon Curry, manager New Zealand Fiji Airways at the media breakfast in SKYCITY Grand, Auckland

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South America’s plentiful profile

 

Major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics are continuing to generate more and more coverage for the whole South American continent – which in turn translates to increased visitation from around the world, says Francisco (Pancho) Dousdebés.

 

Francisco Dousdebés, Metropolitan Touring; Caroline Clegg, World Journeys

In New Zealand to promote Metropolitan Touring’s product in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands (including an appearance at the South American Master Class in Auckland), Dousdebés says the  key ‘pillars’ of culture, landscapes and wildlife also continue to attract interest.

‘Then the door opens, people start reading and researching and they find more things of appeal.’

He says Kew Zealanders also benefit by have a direct rout with Lan (LATAM) from Auckland to Chile, as well as various options through Los Angeles and the United States.

‘Meantime, Ecuador itself has become more aggressive in its marketing and promotion. The Ministry of Tourism is using embassies and consulates to channel the right message. They are acting as representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and they are being trained to do that.’

He says Ecuador sits as one of the ‘secondary’ countries in South America, along with destinations like Bolivia and Colombia.

‘We are pushing it as being complementary to destinations such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile – perhaps a third destination on a South American visit.’

Caroline Clegg, of soft adventure wholesaler World Journeys, says the multi destination approach suits New Zealanders.

‘Kiwis are usually looking to do more than one country when it comes to South America and Ecuador is being asked for a lot more than it was a few years ago.’

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MICE to HNL - 126% up

The MICE market (Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition) has seen a whopping 126% increase for the year ended 2013 and Darragh Walshe, Hawai'i Tourism Oceania says extra airlift, favourable exchange rate and product enhancements have contributed to this result. 'Overall growth to Hawaii is up 80% and we expect to have welcomed over 50,000 Kiwi visitors to the islands by March 31, 2014.'

In town fresh from attending AIME in Melbourne, five Hawaii tourism operators invited key PCOs (professional conference organisers) to a 'aloha' breakfast at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland on February 21. Each operator briefed the PCOs on their product suitability for the MICE market and what's new and upcoming.

Debbie Hogan, Big Island Visitors Bureau was overwhelmed with her Kiwi stats. 'We are registering a 140% increase in visitor numbers from New Zealand, almost equaling Maui, which is the second most popular island after O'ahu. Hawai'i has meeting facilities and top end resorts, but the activities are suitable for everyone,' says Hogan. Known for its sea adventures, Hawai'i offers dolphin encounters, game fishing, scuba diving and manta ray night dives. Hawai'i boasts five of the nine national parks in the Hawaiian Island group and at 70,000 years old, it is the youngest island of the group - Kauai being the oldest.

Marie Watanabe, O'ahu Visitors Bureau overviewed Oahu and the current airlift for Kiwis. 'HA operates the Airbus from Auckland to Honolulu three times a week and the carrier has just introduced enhancements with its inflight entertainment system and menu and has a new Extra Comfort premium economy class coming online in August. Air New Zealand also flies three times a week and has additional airlift from June, so we thank both carriers for their support.'

Watanabe touched on the changes happening in Honolulu and Waikiki. 'The International Market is being redeveloped and will feature 60 modern stores and seven restaurants. It is scheduled to open in 2016. An hour's drive from Waikiki is the  Polynesian Cultural Centre, a 42-acre facility on the North Shore of Oahu. Celebrating 50 year's in 2013, the centre showcases the islands and people of Hawaii, Samoa, Maori New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Marquesas and Tonga,' added Watanabe.

Turtle Bay Resort has received a US$35 million refurbishment and Lara Leimana Fonoimoana, group sales manager for the property says all the rooms have been completely updated and every guest room has ocean views. 'We are situated 10 minutes from the Polynesian Culture Centre and can offer a comprehensive package for the groups and incentive market.' A Magnum PI fan, as many Hawaiian are, Fonoimoana pointed out that resort operates the Magnum PI helicopter onsite and takes guests on tours incorporating the show's highlights. 'The property has also been used for many recent movie scenes - The Pirates of the Caribbean, Hunger Games, Blue Crush, just to name a few.'

Boasting two golf courses, two ballrooms, Segways, horse treks and a myrid of on and off water activities, Fonoimoana says they are well equipped to handle something 'out of the box' for C&I.

Geoff Pearson, Halekulani, says the luxury Waikiki property is a 'oasis in Waikiki'. Set back form the main beach, the 453 room hotel received a complete renovation just over a year ago. 'Each room features new furnishings, and entertainment centre and wet bar, enhanced technology and new bathroom accessories and amenities. For the MICE market, we have varied meeting and break out space and areas for private dining.' Another Magnum PI fan, Pearson let slip that Robin Masters house is on the market for over US25 million - give or take a million.

Aloha from the Hawaiians as they make a whirlwind visit to Auckland - Kathy Clark, DMC, Kathy Clark Hawaii; Lara Leimana Fonoimoana, Turtle Bay Resort, prize winner Tanya Warman, Business World Travel; Darragh Walshe, Hawai'i Tourism Oceania; Geoff Pearson, Halekulani; Marie Watanabe, O'ahu Visitors Bureau; Debbie Hogan, Big Island Visitors Bureau

Team Orbit at the Hawaii breakfast - Jessica Greaves, Mai Garcia and Bonnie Lynch Geoff Pearson, Halekulani; Jenni Burt, The Travel Brokers and Darragh Walshe, Hawai'i Tourism Oceania Russell Williss and Stephen Tanner, Hawaiian Airlines take a breakfast meeting with Kathy Clark, DMC, Kathy Clark Hawaii

<< Debbie Hogan, Big Island Visitors Bureau says thanks to the Air New Zealand team of Lauren Park and Chris McLean for the carrier's support and extra airlift to Honolulu

>>June Westenra, Orbit and Megan Hornblow, Hawaii Tourism Oceania

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Fiji still top of the list for families

Fiji has been capitalising on the demand for family travel, welcoming the strong travel agent interest being shown in Tourism Fiji's family roadshow currently touring New Zealand. More than 60 agents attended the Wellington event, held at Rydges Hotel Wellington this week. This followed presentations to more than 200 in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, with Christchurch yet to come. ‘We’ve not only had very good numbers throughout, the agents have all been very responsive, focused and asking good questions,' says Tourism Fiji's business development executive, Cameron Taylor.

Clay Elgar, Flight Centre Karori; Anna Friend, Yasawa Island Resort & Spa; Kathleen Smith, Flight Centre Parliament; Anne Radonich, Captain Cook Cruises Fiji;  Stephanie Flitton, Flight Centre Parliament

Sarah King, Flight Centre North City; Andre Pizzoferrato, Flight Centre Johnsonville; Trish Nicol, Mana Island Resport & Spa

 

Joanna Devereux, The Travel Brokers; Diane Lanz, Castaway Island Fiji.

Fiji is the strongest family destination out of New Zealand, and still growing, Taylor told agents at the Wellington event. ‘A total 112,260 New Zealanders visited Fiji in 2013, which was seven percent up on 2013, and 23% of those travellers were children under 17 years.’ These figures showed that Fiji was the most popular Pacific destination for New Zealand families, he adds.

There are several key reasons why Fiji is so popular with families, he says. Fiji Airways' family promotions ($199 wholesaler only deals with a maximum three children per one paying adult), plus most of the resorts offer supervised kids’ clubs from 9am to 10pm, also babysitters and nannies. ‘This means parents get the chance to relax and reconnect.’The resorts were also introducing children’s’ menus packed with variety and healthy options. ‘We have an abundance of fresh produce and Fiji is making huge strides in this area.

'Also exciting is the opportunity kids get to learn and experience new things, in terms of environmental and cultural programmes, and unplug from their iPhones and iPads.'

Kylie Wright, Flight Centre Lower Hutt; Nick Dew, Fiji Airways; Karyn Benkiron, Fiji Hideaway Resort & Spa.

Api Vasu, Plantation Island Resort, meets long time friend Carla Schollum, Brooker United Travel. Oliver Thomson, Flight Centre Lambton Quay (packing down for a rugby scrum); Adrienne Sword, Fiji Beach Resort & Spa; Samantha McLean and Lendl Oosthuizan, both Flight Centre Lambton Quay - with two likely lads from the Fijian Resort also getting into the photo action!

The roadshow has been specifically targeted to the family market because it so popular, echoed Tourism Fiji’s sales and marketing Executive Maria Apii. ‘Demand has been so strong from consumers we wanted to make sure the agents were up to speed with everything, the clubs, the babysitter services, there is so much available, from different resorts across all standards.

'The thing about Fiji is as soon as you get to some of the resorts it’s like they just want to take your kids off your hands, they are so happy to be with them.’

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More cultural encounters for business at Uluru

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is upping the ante for Indigenous experiences available to corporates at Ayers Rock Resort, including a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. From April 1 2014, the Uluru Meeting Place will offer conference groups activities ranging from dot painting workshops, Aboriginal campfire tours, and performances from cultural dancers, to didgeridoo sessions and a boomerang painting team building activity.

In addition to Indigenous Encounters, Ayers Rock Resort now offers conference organisers a CSR educational component to their programme. It offers delegates a deeper understanding into the Indigenous Training and Development activities that are carried out through the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) as well as the efforts of the Mutitjulu Foundation. A presentation by the management team and a traditional Anangu owner covers specific community projects, training initiatives and interaction with an Anangu representative.

The Uluru Meeting Place opened in November 2012 and was last week awarded the Tourism Australia Award for Business Tourism.

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Far-flung destinations entice adventurous travellers

Destinations that were once considered no-go zones or too remote are now beckoning adventurous travellers, as Australian adventure travel operators – Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures and Geckos Adventures – reporting an increase in popularity for far-flung countries. And those who take on the challenge are rewarded with smaller crowds, some of the friendliest locals and authentic experiences.

Monteverde cloud forest, Costa Rica

Countries that have been considered dangerous are slowly shaking off their bad reputations, with small group tours in Iran, Colombia, Central America and West Africa having recently seen a surge in sales. Additional trips have just been added to Intrepid’s Iran Adventure and Peregrine’s Ancient Persia in Depth this year with most other departures sold out or selling fast. Peregrine has already exceeded last year’s Iran trip bookings – a total of 49 travellers – with 84 travellers booked for 2014.

'We are aiming to demystify some of the associations these countries have with being unsafe because they are immensely rewarding for travellers who want a true off-the-tourist-map experience,' says Pete Miers, Middle East Destination Manager, Intrepid Group.

For further information on trips operating in these emerging destinations visit: www.peregrineadventures.com, www.intrepidtravel.com, www.geckosadventures.com

Sahara desert, Algeria Tikal ruins, Guatamala Georgia

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Africa small group adventures

The Innovative Travel Co. has announced a new programme, in conjunction with ‘The Safari Company’ owned and operated by New Zealand born, Andy Kibby.  Andy has been involved in touring Africa since 1990, his knowledge is immense, only matched by his passion for the wildlife and local people.  He is an ideal guide and guarantees those who join his small group safari’s an unforgettable experience.

Set departures are offered aimed at the 40+ market keen on small group adventures in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Rwanda & Botswana. There is also the opportunity for tailor-made groups of friends, families, clubs & school trips.  A section of departures are available including : 18 nights Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar is priced from $5825pp twin share departing 12 June, 2014 or 8 June, 2015 including airport transfers, 18 nights accom with 5 nights camping, daily breakfast, 12 lunches, 12 dinners, sightseeing & entrance fees, road tolls , national park fees, driver/guide, camp assistant and safari vehicle transportation.

TOLL FREE 0508 100 111 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or click here to view the brochure :http://en.calameo.com/read/000648786a7da4e742274

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Best of Britain with Trafalgar

Kiwi travel to the British Isles is up across the board in 2014 for Trafalgar with growth in both regional itineraries and holidays combining the jewels of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, says Trafalgar general manager Scott Cleaver.

Trafalgar has a better range of Britain and Ireland holidays than ever before with the destination currently second only to Italy for 2014 bookings. Savings of up to 7.5% are still available across Trafalgar’s Britain and Ireland guided holiday programme for bookings and payments in full prior to 31 March, 2014 plus agents can win prizes throughout February by booking Trafalgar.

Cleaver says major events in 2014 and next year’s Rugby World Cup will continue to help drive demand for Trafalgar’s Britain holidays urging agents to keep focused on the destination and the opportunities Trafalgar offers.

Glengoyne whisky distillery, Scotland

'Lonely Planet placed Scotland third on its list of top countries to visit this year and it will certainly get attention with the Commonwealth Games,Ryder Cup Golf and Homecoming 2014 all taking place there. In England, established annual events like May’s Chelsea Flower Show and June’s Wimbledon tennis continue to appeal to Kiwi travellers with travel around these major events easily matched to one of Trafalgar’s holiday options.'

Trafalgar’s Britain holiday options include:

8-day England and Scotland Heritage priced from $1599 pp twin share - Take a look at Britain's past and present: the Roman Baths, vast Hadrian's Wall, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, quaint Chester and Gretna Green, the inspirational Lake District, Viking York and the juxtaposition of old castles with Edinburgh's elegant 'New Town'.

6-day Scenic England 2014 priced from $1835 pp twin share - Romans. Pagans. Twentieth Century pop icons. The cultural development of a nation is explored on this English experience, taking in London, Bath, Chester and Liverpool. It's insider moments like the calls of Chester's Town Crier echoing in the streets, as he shares the history of an age-old tradition. Travelling back in time, stories of Tudors give way to those of foreign conquerors – revealing how the Romans changed Britain as you visit the ruins they left behind.

7-day Britain and Ireland Highlights priced from $2399 pp twin share - On this journey through Britain and Ireland, it’s not just about seeing sights like Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Giant’s Causeway. It’s about learning to pour the perfect Guinness in Dublin’s famous Storehouse and enjoying typical Welsh fare prepared by a family at their farm near Cardiff.

Visit www.trafalgaragent.com, ask your sales manager or freephone reservations on 0800 872 325.

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Warning against fake TripAdvisor reviews

New Zealand tourism operators are being warned against a service offering to provide fake reviews to improve their TripAdvisor profiles.

A number of tourism businesses around the country have received an email this week offering as many as 20 false reviews for $297. It is unclear whether the email originates from New Zealand or elsewhere. Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) CEO Martin Snedden is strongly advising operators against purchasing fake reviews.

'TIA has reported the email to both NetSafe and TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor has said it will investigate the email,' Snedden says. 'TripAdvisor is an important source of information for travellers in New Zealand and it’s vital that users are able to trust its reviews. We encourage TIA members to provide such excellent service and experiences that visitors will want to post great reviews about them.'

Travellers also need to be aware that TripAdvisor reviews are open to abuse, Mr Snedden says.

'We suggest they should check a range of reviews and websites, as well as seeking advice from the likes of i-SITE visitor information centres.'

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Aussie's HOT winter holiday push

 

Tourism Australia has launched the a further phase of its ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ campaign in an effort to beat off the competition to attract New Zealanders wanting to escape the cold winter months.

The campaign will promote Australia’s great winter holiday escapes, in particular Queensland’s coastal areas in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland. Through both the online and print versions of New Zealand’s main national newspaper, the New Zealand Herald, Kiwi’s will be inspired with weekly Queensland winter escape travel features.

Tourism Australia’s campaign will also encourage engagement by asking consumers to create a postcard combining their favourite beach with their passion for experiences, food and wine, nature, shopping and events and culture. In addition there will be promotion through on-air promotion of Queensland escapes.

Retail partner House of Travel will advertise packages for winter escapes in Queensland and will also run an aligned campaign from February to March.

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