Australia's newest travel brand, helloworld, has made its debut to travellers with the launch of a nationwide integrated marketing and advertising campaign.Rob Gurney, CEO, says helloworld plans to unite the strengths of up to 1,000 locally-owned and operated travel agency businesses with a market leading website to create a true multichannel experience.
He says that over 200 locations have already opted to join the helloworld travel agent network, with agreements for a further 350 locations in the pipeline.
About helloworld: helloworld is a nationwide network of independently owned and operated stores and has been operating for more than 40 years through the Harvey World Travel, Jetset Travel, Travelworld and Travelscene American Express brands.
helloworld concept store
A new House of Travel prototype store in Takanini, Auckland has opened and features international soundtracks, a client lounge and visual media to inspire travellers.
The store is open seven days a week and allows Kiwi travellers a more modern and innovative experience when making their travel arrangements.
Owner operator Leigh Somerville, says the new look and feel was designed to meet the changing needs of customers.
'We’ve created House of Travel Takanini to inspire the travel dreams of our clients from the moment they walk in. We’ve worked hard to minimise barriers to interaction and create a vibrant, relaxing atmosphere. The travel specialists at the new outlet also have the flexibility to move more freely with their clients within the store and have built foundations to embrace new technology.'
Somerville says the new store layout is a great fit for the local community who are well travelled and says the Pacific Islands are a favoured destination.
Sales and marketing director for House of Travel, Carmen White, says the new concept store showcases the company’s commitment to innovation and meeting customers’ evolving needs.
The new House of Travel outlet is located in stage one of the new Takanini Village complex on 30 Walters Road, and the concept could be rolled out nationwide if successful.
New concept store
Expedia TAAP (Travel Agent Affiliate Program) is this week rolling out a new platform for New Zealand travel agents, called TAAP 3.0.'Results of the European rollout have seen a rise in bookings almost immediately,' says Stuart Udy, Expedia TAAP, Australia - NZ. 'The programme has been launched in Ireland, Scandinavia, France, U.K and Germany over the past eight weeks and the response from these markets has been extremely positive.'
While the booking process via Expedia hasn't changed, the log-in and back end processes have been streamlined, allowing for 'slicker reporting' says Udy. Login has been modified to a single step process and TAAP 3.0 automatically generates unbranded vouchers for agents to self-brand, print or forward to their customers.
A significant feature is the automatic generation of a GDS string, where agents simply cut and paste the GDS string into their GDS, which generates a passive segment.
TAAP rewards travel agents with generous commission when booking through the Expedia.co.nz website. For more information about the program, visit www.expedia.co.nz/travelagents. Due to the data migration underway, new registration applications will be temporarily shut down until the new process is live.
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.
More than 50 competitors crossed the finish line at the end of the three-day Accor Extreme Challenge to Cure Kids Fiji on the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa beachfront mid November, raising $36,200 for the well-deserving Cure Kids Fiji charity. The multi challenge event involved a series of both physical, mental and community challenges that tested the strength, fitness and teamwork of all competitors. Accor’s Extreme Challenge events included a community project aspect, and this year as part of the challenge the teams worked together to help upgrade Loloma home in Waimalika, Nadi, a refuge for single mothers and their children. Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa’s General Manager Simon Jinks (who also participated in the event) said, “A new coat of paint, general repair around the home and the installation of new swings put smiles on the faces of everyone there, especially the children. It was a rewarding experience for all involved.” In addition to the Accor and Sofitel staff who competed in the event, the event attracted the involvement of local companies Digicel, Rosie Holidays, West Bus, Jacks Fiji, Adrenalin, Farm Boy, Bakels, Tappoos, Media Metro, Portion Pack, Yee’s Cold Storage, Staging Connections Fiji Chemicals, Carpenters and Accor Advantage Plus who all raised their hands to sponsor this year’s Accor Extreme Challenge. Cure Kids was launched in Fiji in joint partnership with Accor Hotels in 2006, to improve the lives of Fiji’s children. The challenges to date have raised over $1,250,000 and has included refurbishment work at both Lautoka Hospital’s children’s ward and Nadi Hospital Maternity ward, purchase of life-saving equipment for the neo-natal unit at Lautoka Hospital, and more recently, piloting and evaluating an innovative nurse-led echocardiography screening program in schools with the aim of early detection and treatment of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD). It is estimated that approximately one in 30 children aged 5-14 in Fiji live with RHD. Severe RHD causes permanent heart valve damage with the need for heart operations and can cause premature death. To date, 10 nurses have been trained in echocardiography and more than 10,000 children have been screened across the Fiji Islands with hundreds of previously undetected cases of RHD diagnosed and the children referred for treatment. The funds raised during this year’s event will help provide the program with an additional echocardiography machine which is vitally important for the expansion of the RHD program. For more information on the Accor Extreme Challenge to Cure Kids Fiji or the work of Cure Kids, please contact Tessa Tierne, GM Marketing, at
Sydney’s Darling Harbour has dominated the honours at the 2013 Australian Events Awards, with Vivid Sydney 2013 winning Event of the Year and the Sydney Convention and Entertainment Centre named as Best Venue for the third time.Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority CEO Catherine Gallagher congratulated all event category winners and nominees from both the Darling Harbour and The Rocks precincts, including:· The Rocks Windmill: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority · 18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations· Australian Tourism Exchange Welcome Event 2013; Belle-Laide Events· Ford Go Further at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show; Imagination.'Several businesses and events based in The Rocks and Darling Harbour were in the running for recognition at the Awards, which acknowledge Australia’s most innovative and outstanding events, products and services,' says Gallagher. 'Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority partnered with Destination NSW to extend Vivid Sydney from The Rocks into Darling Harbour for the first time in 2013. The centrepiece of Vivid Sydney Darling Harbour was the water theatre show ‘Aquatique’.
The Innovative Travel Company advises the state of emergency in Egypt has been lifted, two days ahead of schedule and the night time curfew also removed. Robyn Galloway, says this is a positive sign for tourism and expect bookings to Egypt will continue to increase over the next few months says. 'During the past two months Innovative Travel has continued to operate some tours and we have had continual updates from our local business partner Elhamy El Zayat based in Cairo, along with current information from regional offices in Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan and other key tourism areas. '
Contiki is rewarding its five top individual selling agents in 2014 rather than the places going to the top selling agencies to decide which agent to send.
'In line with Contiki’s #No Regrets philosophy, we want every agent to have one shot at making every booking count to enjoy the ultimate Contiki 2014 Rock Around the World,' says Contiki Holidays regional director sales and marketing Tony Laskey.As in previous years, the winners will score a ticket to the hottest international music event of 2014, return airfares, an exclusive Contiki tour with other agents from around the globe plus a host of Backstage Pass inclusions.
Every deposited Contiki booking of six days or more will get agents one step closer to becoming part of RATW history. Valid on 2014 Contiki bookings to any region made from July 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014.
For more details on Contiki’s Rock Around the World incentive visit the promotions and deals section of www.contiki.com/agents
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