Thursday, December 24, 2009
Released on Wednesday, the survey shows a seven percent decline to 66.4 million in the number of overnight trips taken by Aussies in the year ending September 30, 2009.
Spending also dropped six percent to $42.2 billion during the period.
Hotels lost out even more during the year as Aussies clamoured take a day trip, which experienced a five per cent increase in popularity.
The highest number of overnight visits were recorded in NSW (33 percent) followed by Queensland and Victoria (24 per cent). These three states, in the same order, also welcomed the most day trippers.
The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a growth in overnight visitors.
The lower number of overnight visits and spending has pushed the total economic value of domestic tourism down four percent to $62.8 billion.
American Airlines flight 331: American Airlines crash in Jamaica injures forty, no death reported. The American Airlines Flight 331 from Miami to Kingston, skid off on Kingston International airport. The flight crashed as it failed to stop before the end of the runway.
The flight just wound up 10 – 15 feet from the Caribbean Sea. Jamaican capital is facing heavy rain, and it is believe that rain did this damage.
More than forty people sustained minor injuries like cut and bruises, they are all admitted to Kingston hospital. Information Minister Daryl Vaz has denied any life threatening injuries.
Meanwhile American Airlines official have denied the report which said that airplane was broken into pieces.
But officials have said that fuselage is cracked and one side of landing gear is damaged. Tim Smith, a Fort Worth-based American spokesman said that "both engines were removed or taken off the wing as it happened,"
A passenger Natalie Morales said "When we landed it was pouring rain. It literally was like being in a car accident... There was smoke and debris everywhere."
National Transportation Safety Board will work with the Federal Aviation Administration and Jamaican authorities to find the cause of the accident.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the sky for the first time today, ushering a new era in air travel as it departed before an estimated crowd of more than 12,000 employees and guests from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The flight marks the beginning of a flight test program that will see six aircraft flying nearly around the clock and around the globe, with the plane's first delivery scheduled for fourth quarter 2010.
The newest member of the Boeing family of commercial jetliners took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. at 10:27 a.m. local time. After about three hours, it landed at 1:33 p.m. at Seattle's Boeing Field.
787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker and Capt. Randy Neville tested some of the aircraft systems and structures, as on-board equipment recorded and transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team at Boeing Field.
After takeoff from Everett, the aircraft followed a route over the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capts. Carriker and Neville took the airplane to an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) and an air speed of 180 knots, or about 333 km/h, customary on a first flight.
"Today is truly a proud and historic day for the global team who has worked tirelessly to design and build the 787 Dreamliner - the first all-new jet airplane of the 21st century," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. "We look forward to the upcoming flight test program and soon bringing groundbreaking levels of efficiency, technology and passenger comfort to airlines and the flying public."
Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, the first Boeing 787 will be joined in the flight test program in the coming weeks and months by five other 787s, including two that will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines.
The 787 Dreamliner will offer passengers a better flying experience and provide airline operators greater efficiency to better serve the point-to-point routes and additional frequencies passengers prefer. The technologically-advanced 787 will use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size, provide airlines with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity and present passengers with innovations that include a new interior environment with cleaner air, larger windows, more stowage space, improved lighting and other passenger-preferred conveniences.
Fifty-five customers around the world have ordered 840 787s, making the 787 Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history.
Signature Magazine, a stunning new title aimed at the affluent 50+ market, has released its launch issue. Produced for the baby boomer who has both the time and finances to indulge their passions, the quarterly publication is brimming with inspirational editorial on travel, investments, wellbeing, fashion and style, food and wine, nurturing of the body, mind and soul and a host of other aspects that play a crucial role in this vibrant sector’s lifestyle.
The magazine, created by the publishers of Holidays with Kids, Signature Media Pty Ltd, launched with a ready made subscriber base of close to 1,000 leveraged off the well-established Holidays with Kids subscription base. Holidays with Kids readers were offered incentives to subscribe their parents and grandparents to receive Signature Magazine.
Signature Magazine is also available nationally in newsagents and Borders, as well as selected high-end travel agents, two leading airlines, up-market resorts and cruise lines and a leading financial institution.
The number of Australians over 50 will outstrip those under 50 this year, making this demographic the most powerful media consumers. Certainly not a market to be taken lightly, they control half of the country’s household wealth and represent more than one third of all spending. They are by far Australia’s wealthiest demographic. Over the next twelve months they will spend $46 billion on food and wine, $10 billion on clothes and over $34 billion on travel … and they will be looking to us for where to go.
The magazine will have a strong online presence with a ready-made audience created by leveraging off of the 51,500 online members of Holidays with Kids. All of these members, (aged 25-45) have parents or grandparents that fall into this demographic. They will be enticed by monthly offers to have their parents register on the Signature Magazine website.
The magazine, on sale now, offers editorial innovative to the Australian marketplace.
While researching the 50+ market it became evident that a large proportion of affluent boomers choose not to retire completely but to maintain their business interests well into their senior years, keeping their minds active and maintaining the camaraderie with business contacts.
With this in mind, Signature Magazine has also been innovative in being the first leisure magazine in the Australian market place to include a regular section on MICE travel. Our decision to include MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) recognises that this 50+ market are actively involved as company directors and senior level decision makers in highly successful businesses.
Editor Cathy Wagstaff says, “The time is ripe for this publication. It meets the needs of this growing, active demographic which, according to Tourism Australia, are the highest consumers of adventure travel”. This market is passionate about seeing the world around them and won’t procrastinate.
The Signature Magazine website will be a one-stop, interactive site that will offer readers and members a range of targeted information, forums to share travel experiences, plus a chance to link up with other travellers with the same destination or event interests.
Signature is positioned to be the voice of a generation. A travel and lifestyle magazine that speaks to a sophisticated and financially independent audience
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The result of a combined total of more than 200 years of experience in the professions of Travel Writing and Travel Photography, the new Global Travel Writers E-book Travel Writing and Travel Photography - from Dreams to Hard Reality contains material that you just will not find anywhere else.
The twelve contributors to this E-book take you through the processes of digging out a story idea; using the services of national tourism offices to arrange "famil" trips and to help research a story; pitching to editors; and much much more. The chapter on “New Media” contains exclusive material and advice on the latest techniques that you can use to enhance your writing’s appeal to editors and, through them, to readers. And because photography is so important, in this E-book we have devoted two comprehensive chapters to travel photography for a digital age.
The E-book Travel Writing and Travel Photography - from Dreams to Hard Reality is priced at just USD 8.95 or AUD 9.95. http://www.globaltravelwriters.com/e-book
Friday, December 11, 2009
Qantas to surcharge select international airfares
Qantas has announced this afternoon it will be raising fare prices in all cabin classes on a number of international routes from 18 Dec.
Economy Class fares will rise by up to 5% on services to the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Honolulu, South America, Singapore, Thailand, Africa, North America and the United Kingdom/Europe.
Premium Economy Class fares will increase, also by up to 5%, on services to North America, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and the UK/Europe.
Business Class fares will go up 3% on services to the UK/Europe, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines.
And, First Class fares are also going up by 3% on services to the UK/Europe, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Africa.
Qantas says the new fare levels will apply to point of sale Australia, issued on/after 18 Dec, effecting both published and retail net fares.
Agents are being given until Thu 17 Dec to issue existing bookings to avoid the fare increase.
The new fare levels will be phased into agent GDSs from Mon 14 Dec.
More details in Monday's issue of Travel Daily.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Jetstar to add four domestic A320s - and launches Fiji fares from $149
Jetstar has just confirmed a boost to its domestic Australian operations, with the addition of 77 new weekly services between Mar and Jul 2010.
Much of the expansion will occur from its Melbourne and Sydney gateways, with the new capacity representing the introduction of an additional four new Airbus A320 aircraft to the Jetstar fleet.
No new domestic destinations are being added, but frequencies are increasing on many leisure routes including Sydney-Gold Coast which will operate 11 times a day, Melbourne-Gold Coast 8 times a day, Sydney-Cairns which becomes double daily and Melbourne-Townsville which moves from the current three times a week operation to a daily service. Overall there will be 35 extra Gold Coast services from Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle; 18 additional Cairns flights from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney; 14 extra services to Newcastle from the Gold Coast and Melbourne; and 10 extra Sunshine Coast flights a week from Sydney and Melbourne.
CEO Bruce Buchanan said the carrier was excited to be announcing one of its most significant growth spurts, with the move "in direct response to continued strong consumer demand for Jetstar's low fares."
He said the boost would see 700,000 new seats of capacity added, growing passenger numbers by almost 7% and seeing Jetstar's domestic market share grow to around 18% "maintaining Qantas Group market share at 65 per cent".
MEANWHILE Jetstar has also confirmed the commencement of its new services to Fiji which will debut on 29 Mar 2010.
JQ will operate four times weekly A320 flights between Sydney and Nadi, with introductory one way fares from $149, while Jetstar Holidays is also offering a range of special Fiji packages at prices claimed to be up to 20% less than existing competitor offerings. Every day fares to Nadi will lead in at $229 one way "well below competitors on the route offering lead-in fares of at least $289 one way," according to a statement from the carrier.
"We expect that Jetstar's low fares and holiday packages, combined with Fiji's great appeal and renowned hospitality, will present a compelling proposition for Australian holidaymakers," said ceo Bruce Buchanan.
The new Jetstar Fiji flights will depart Sydney each Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat at 8.55am arriving in Nadi at 4pm local time, while the return service will depart Nadi at 4.40pm and arrive in Australia at 6.40pm.
More details in today's Travel Daily.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
and the Winners are .....
Cruise Passenger magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards were announced this week at a well-attended event at Sydney’s Observatory Hotel. Cruise Passenger readers are dedicated cruisers and their independent opinions are valued by the magazine and the cruise industry alike.
Here’s the rundown of all the place-getters and winners for the 2009 Readers Choice Awards:
Best Luxury Ship
1st / Queen Mary 2
2nd / Queen Victoria
3rd / Silver Whisper
Best Large Ship (1,200-plus) passengers
1st / Diamond Princess
2nd / Queen Mary 2
3rd / Sun Princess
Best Mid-Size Ship (500-1,200 passengers)
1st / Pacific Princess
2nd / Regent Seven Seas Mariner
3rd / Tahitian Princess
Best Small Ship (under 500 pax)
1st / Orion
2nd / True North
3rd / Silver Whisper
Best Value Family Ship
1st / Pacific Dawn
2nd / Sun Princess
3rd / Pacific Sun
Best River Cruise Ship
1st / APT Amadagio
2nd / Avalon Imagery
3rd / Murray Princess
Best Ship Cabin
1st / Diamond Princess
2nd / Sun Princess
3rd / Queen Mary 2
Best Ship Cuisine (main dining room)
1st / Orion
2nd / True North
3rd / Diamond Princess
Best Ship Pool Area
1st / Sun Princess
2nd / Diamond Princess
3rd / Rhapsody of the Seas
Best Ship Gym
1st / Sun Princess
2nd / Diamond Princess
3rd / Queen Mary 2
Best Ship Spa
1st / Sun Princess
2nd / Diamond Princess
3rd / Queen Mary 2
Best Ship from Aus/NZ
1st / Sun Princess
2nd / Dawn Princess
3rd / Diamond Princess
Best Adventure Cruise Ship
1st / Orion
2nd / True North
3rd / Oceanic Discoverer
Best Cruise Region
1st / The Kimberley
2nd / Mediterranean
3rd / Alaska
Best Cruise Port
1st / Sydney
2nd / Venice
3rd / Vancouver
Best Individual Cruise Travel Agent
1st / Seniors Holiday Travel
2nd / Ecruising
3rd / Best cruises
Best Multiple Cruise Travel Agent
1st / Harvey World Travel
2nd / Flight Centre
3rd / Travelworld
Best Fly/Cruise Airline
1st / Qantas
2nd / Singapore Airlines
3rd / Emirates
Monday, December 7, 2009
The cruise industry is forecast to contribute more than $3 billion to Australia's economy by 2020 but only if the federal and state governments can address port bottlenecks that are restraining capacity.
An Access Economics report on the cruise industry released on Monday found the sector was the standout performer in the tourism market in 2007/08 (2007/08) contributing $1.2 billion to the national economy.
Carnival Australia, the country's largest cruise shipping company, said that contribution could more than double in 10 years if governments committed to improving port facilities.
Carnival chief executive Ann Sherry said port infrastructure was needed in Sydney in particular so the sector could reach its growth potential.
"The industry and government must work together to resolve outstanding issues such as capacity constraints," she said.
The industry's economic contribution in 2007/08 was up 54 per cent from $781 million the previous financial year, in gross output terms, Access Economics said in its second annual report on the sector.
In value added terms the contribution increased to $549 million, from $357 million a year earlier.
Access Economics predicts the cruise industry could achieve growth of seven per cent each year for the next decade.
This compared to the general holiday sector, where international tourism rose by a modest 3.9 per cent in 2007/08, based on visitor nights, and domestic tourism activity dropped 2.4 per cent.
Access Economics also said the cruise industry's market penetration could rise from one to two per cent of the Australian population in calendar 2009 to three to five per cent in 2020, bringing it into line with more developed markets such as the US, UK, and Germany.
"Carnival Australia expects the local cruise industry will carry one million passengers by 2020 but this target will prove elusive if holidaymakers who want to travel around a first class country are discouraged by second rate port facilities," Ms Sherry said.
"The importance of Sydney as a destination is critical to the growth of the cruise sector in terms of attracting international (cruise) tourists to Australia."
In Sydney, Ms Sherry said solutions are needed east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to accommodate the bigger ships being built around the world.
"As our cruise ships increase in size, on 15 per cent of liners visiting Sydney in 2020 will be able to dock west of the harbour bridge," she said.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Accor has 29 hotels in greater Sydney under the Sofitel, Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, All Seasons and Formule 1 brands, and manages the four hotels at the Sydney Olympic Park site where the V8 race is being held.
Accor's Regional General Manager for NSW, Garth Simmons said the event is a real shot in the arm for Sydney's tourism and hospitality sector, with both occupancy and rates heading upwards after a difficult first half of the year.
He said the full house for the four Sydney Olympic Park hotels doubled the occupancy rate of just 50.1% for the corresponding period in 2008, so the V8s event has literally doubled occupancy for the precinct.
"The race has had a significant impact on the whole of Sydney with our hotels full over the weekend," said Mr Simmons. "It builds on a big week of events in Sydney with the Danny Green fight, the Australian Open and a number of major functions making it one of the best weeks for Sydney hotels in many years. It adds to a strong revival in business travel and conferences."
Simmons, who manages the Novotel and Ibis complex at Sydney Olympic Park says his staff had one of their biggest weekends since the 2000 Olympic Games and the Novotel's popular Brewery set new records, with around 150,000 people visiting the park over the course of the event.
"While we would expect to be busy over a major event period such as this, I am happy to say that our hotels in Sydney are already looking like they will finish 2009 on a high note and move into a stronger year for 2010," said Mr Simmons.
The V8 Supercars is expected to attract over 20,000 interstate and international visitors and to pump more than $110 million into the NSW economy over the next five years. It will help to put Sydney on the international motor racing map and provide more than $20 million worth of national and international media exposure.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Lonely Planet has unveiled its fifth annual collection of the world’s best journeys, destinations and experiences for the year ahead with the eagerly awaited Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2010.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2010 highlight:
1. El Salvador “‘And when it comes to cities, none in Central America is smarter or cooler than San Salvador, with first-rate universities, museums and galleries
2. Germany “Some countries are simply allowed to be, but Germany has had to reinvent itself more times than Madonna.’
3. Greece Seldom does a travel destination satisfy the blurbs that shout ‘has something for everyone’ but Greece truly does.’
4. Malaysia ‘Diversity is what Malaysia is all about From chaotic and modern Kuala Lumpur to the near mystical wilds of Borneo.
5. Morocco ‘Get lost and find new friends –and carpets – in the souk mazes of Fez and Marrakesh.’
6. Nepal ‘Trekking in Nepal is one of those travel benchmarks, like seeing the Taj Mahal, or diving the Great Barrier Reef...’
7. New Zealand ‘NewZealand is spearheading the ecotravel revolution, winning international accolades for its ethos towards responsible travel
8. Portugal ‘Old city centres, long ago abandoned by the young and upwardly mobile in favour of the suburbs, are slowly being revitalised.’
9. Suriname ‘Quickly emerging as a prime ecotourism and sport-fishing destination, Suriname has everything you could hope for in a wildlife adventure.
10. USA ‘Trains are a great way to see the country. Unlike the highways, trains don’t pass constant billboards and fast-food chains.
"The concept of combining service classes in this way, has wide appeal for those seeking more choice than your standard Economy or Business class options" Lars Olofsson, General Manager Scandinavian Airlines Australia and New Zealand said. "With the strengthening of the Australian dollar, it is an ideal time to consider heading to Europe, whether planning a business trip or holiday."
With a Business Combination fare, for instance, customers fly Economy class between Australia and Asia with SAS partner airlines then, for the longer sectors to and from Europe, fly SAS Business class in absolute comfort and style with all the additional benefits.
"The majority of the journey is in Business class but you don't pay the full Business class price, so it offers the combination of the best comfort plus incredible value," Olofsson said.
The Economy Extra Combination fare is another alternative for those seeking comfort, space and service at an affordable price. Customers again fly between Australia and Asia Economy Class, and then continue onwards in Economy Extra to their final European destination.
SAS Economy Extra has many benefits – 38 inch leg room, extra-large leg rest and footrest, video and audio on demand, greater baggage allowance, premium meal service, comfort kit, Business class check-in, Fast Track airport security and priority boarding. "All these little 'Economy Extras', make long haul travel a much more comfortable experience all round," Olofsson said.
SAS Business Combination fares to 40 European cities via Copenhagen start from $ 4289 and Economy Extra Combination Fares from $ 3469 and are available ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Europe via Bangkok, Tokyo or Beijing. Prices include taxes and surcharges and based on Sydney – Copenhagen and return.
For more information on the SAS Combination fares visit www.flysas.com.au or call 1300 727 707.
Scandinavian Airlines offers daily connections from Australia in co-operation with selected Star Alliance™ partners THAI, Air China and frequent flyer partner Qantas. Services operate via Asia to Copenhagen and more than 75 destinations in Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltic's and Europe.
Scandinavian Airlines long haul fleet consists of Airbus A330s and A340s, serving 8 destinations: New York, Chicago, Washington, Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Three classes are offered on board: Business, Economy Extra (premium economy) and Economy.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
To be opened late January 2010, EAST is Swire Hotels' third property and is located on Island East in Quarry Bay, home to over 300 multinational corporations, including some of the most prestigious Fortune 500 companies. A business district in itself, complemented with a cosmopolitan atmosphere of restaurants and extensive shopping facilities, Island East has become a neighborhood for both business and pleasure. The hotel is a 5-minute walk to the MTR subway station and a 15-minute drive to the other key business and commercial districts of Central and Causeway Bay.
With 345 guestrooms and suites, EAST is created for business travelers looking for a relaxed, efficient, and contemporary environment. In an effort to be environmentally conscious and to enhance guest experience, the hotel has adopted the latest technology for the check-in and check-out procedures – a paperless arrival experience allows guests to check-in anywhere in the hotel using tablet PCs. Guestrooms feature harbor or skyline views and offer the latest in iHome/iTouch technology and complimentary wireless Internet access in-room and throughout the hotel.
EAST's food and beverage concept was created by entrepreneur chef David Laris, creator of the award-wining restaurant Laris at Three on the Bund, Shanghai. Dining is highlighted by the all-day restaurant Feast (Food by EAST), which offers Western classics as well as Eastern delicacies. Sugar (Bar.Deck.Lounge) on the 32nd floor will be the neighborhood spot to eat, meet, drink, and party after work, featuring signature and classic cocktails, tapas, and nightly DJs.
Fitness center Beast (Body by EAST) caters for worldwide travelers with a 24-hour gym and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
"EAST's lifestyle business concept, paired with its strategic location in Hong Kong, ensures its success, and it will be a significant addition to the Summit Hotels & Resorts brand," said Mark Simmons, Area Managing Director, Asia of Preferred Hotel Group. "The hotel will benefit from Preferred's global sales force and its portfolio of over 300 managed global corporate accounts."
About Summit Hotels & Resorts™
Summit Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands which also includes: Preferred Boutique™, Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, Sterling Hotels™ and Historic Hotels of America®. For reservations and a complete description of the Summit Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.SummitHotels.com.
Summit Hotels & Resorts guests are eligible to enroll in the I Prefer™ Guest Benefit Program, featuring benefits such as early check-in/late check-out, space-available upgrades, and more. For more information, please visit www.iprefer.com.
The Mid North Coast destinations from Port Stephens in the south to Coffs Coast in the north are the number 1 preferred holiday destinations in the survey ahead of Sydney at number 2, the Blue Mountains at 3, Hunter at 4 and Northern Rivers at 5 in a line up of more than 15 regions throughout the state, Mid North Coast Regional Tourism Executive Officer, Ms Belinda Novicky announced today.
"These are encouraging results that auger well for a bumper season throughout the region for 2009/2010 Christmas holidays," she said.
Ms Novicky attributed the region's growing popularity to a number of factors:
"While our natural attractions, national parks, beaches and forests remain unspoilt our product and services have matured to meet the more sophisticated tastes of the Australian travelling public, " she said.
"At the same time many people are seeking destinations where they can de-stress, rekindle relationships and memories.
"The Mid North Coast is a traditional holiday destination that is now drawing back people who holidayed here as children and want to rekindle those memories and share them with their families.'
"The 2008/2009 Christmas holiday season was one of the best in the past 10 years and these survey results indicate that great trend will continue for our tourism operators into 2010," she said.
"We will continue to offer price competitiveness, build on our appeal as a family friendly destination and preserve and promote the pristine coastline and our nature based activities.
"That's obviously what travelling Australians want and we can deliver," Ms Novicky said.