Tuesday, December 31, 2013
ON January 25 The Queensland Theatre Company will open the bang-up-to-the-moment barbecue-stopper of a comedy, Australia Day. To mark this season-openeer, the award-winning Emporium Hotel has announced a special extension of their Summer Celebration package, now exclusively bookable for the season of QTC's Australia Day. EMPORIUM Hotel can also access tickets to Australia Day for guests.
Monday, December 30, 2013
- THINGS TO STAY COOL: With fun sunny days on the weather line-up, it’s promising to be beautiful one day and a little warm the next. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses, a water bottle and sunscreen. May we suggest a fan, water spray bottle, parasol, or sarong for the shoulders (doubling as a picnic mat and late night scarf) to breeze through the festival, cool as a cucumber.
- THINGS TO STAY WARM: Balmy days do not always lead to balmy nights. The mercury has been known to dip, and if a quick storm blows over to settle the dust, don’t be caught out cold and wet. Not a bad idea to throw in a poncho, a cardigan and your loudest pair of gumboots, just to be on the safe side.
- A SENSE OF ADVENTURE: Our arms and gates are wide open to every Woodfordian, from all walks of life. The diversity that wanders our streets is truly astonishing. So whoever you are, and wherever you come from, make a new friend and try something new… a craft workshop, belly dance, join a singing lesson, juggle, play ‘The Game’, fight for Slam Poet domination, stay up for the Dawn Ceremony on January 1, make a lantern, meet a monster, or debunk those mystery bus myths. Be whatever you want to be. We’re gonna love you anyway.
- THE WOODFORDIAN ATTITUDE: Woodfordia is an amazing community of people working together to create, have a blast and make connections. And at the end of it all… we want you to head back to reality happier, healthier and braced for an amazing new year. We’d love all Woodfordians to share, respect, recycle, participate and go home full of magical stories and treasured memories.
- A GOOD FESTIVAL HOME: If you’re planning to camp on-site make sure you’ve got what you need to be safe, comfortable and dry. There are only so many couches to crash on at the Pineapple Lounge, and it will make your stay all the more pleasant if you’re prepared. We’re not talking about the kitchen sink… but a decent tent, a few changes of clothes, and a soft spot to catch your breath and your ZZZZs. Dancing like crazy is more taxing than you think.
Opening of Space Shuttle AtlantisSM at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex a Highlight of 2013 Year in Tourism Industry
Rob Pearlman, NBCNews.com
Miami Herald reporter Marjie Lambert
NPR reporter Matthew Peddie
CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) Correspondent David Common
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The popular Bangkok luxury shopping mall, Siam Paragon, has emerged as the world’s most Instagrammed location of 2013. This is the second year in a row that a Thai location has topped the list. In 2012, the chart-topper was Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Siam Paragon was Number Two on the list in 2012, and has risen to Number One in 2013. Although Suvarnabhumi Airport has dropped to Number Nine in this year’s list, Thailand is still the only country outside the United States with two locations on the list.
The most Instagrammed locations of 2013
1. Siam Paragon, Bangkok
2. Times Square, New York
3. Disneyland, Anaheim, California
4. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
5. Disney World Florida
6. Staples Centre, Los Angeles
7. Central Park, New York
8. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
9. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok
10. The High Line, New York
As Instagram is hugely popular with global tourists, both Siam Paragon and Suvarnabhumi Airport have provided visitors with extensive opportunities for attractive photographic backdrops featuring a range of cultural, floral and architectural icons of Thailand.
Both have taken advantage of their locations as major transportation hubs and the global technological revolution to generate millions of dollars worth of free publicity for Thai travel and tourism.
Siam Paragon is located at the primary interchange station of Bangkok’s popular mass transit system, the Skytrain, used by thousands of city visitors every day. Built at a cost of US$450 million, it is one of the biggest shopping centres in Asia.
Opened in December 2005, it includes a wide range of specialty stores and restaurants as well as a multiplex movie theatre, the largest aquarium in South East Asia, an exhibition hall, a Thai art gallery, an opera concert hall, a large bowling alley and karaoke centre. These provide perfect venues for a ceaseless range of activities from fashion and flower shows to trade events and film festivals.
Suvarnabhumi is Thailand’s primary aviation hub, recording more than 23 million embarking passengers and 1.3 million transit passengers in 2012. Its departure halls are dominated by photo-friendly icons of Thai culture and heritage; such as, the famous King of the Nagas, the mythical giant guardians of Thai temples and replicas of stupas which house relics of the Buddha.
Millions of tourists who visit Thailand, especially first-timers from China and India, are seen taking photographs of themselves along with their travelling companions in front of these colourful and iconic images.
Overall, the Instagram popularity of these two locations saw Bangkok hit Number Two on the chart of the world’s most Instagrammed cities, behind New York City. This was largely due to the popularity of New York’s primary tourist spot, Times Square.
The list of 10 most Instagrammed Cities:
1. New York
3. Los Angeles
5. São Paulo
7. Rio de Janeiro
8. San Diego, California
9. Las Vegas
10. San Francisco
Commenting on the results, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “This is an example of how technological opportunities can be merged with our well-known Thai heritage and culture to generate positive publicity of infinite value. Thai people are known for being creative and artistic. We are glad to see these characteristics producing such wonderful results for promoting the country.”
Gulf Air Picks Up Award for “Best Online Application for Business and Commerce” at MEET ICT Conference
‘Best Online Application for Business and Commerce.’
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
|A woman and a child stand in the "Step into the Void" glass skywalk overlooking the French Alps on top of a 3842-meter peak in Chamonix on December 23, 2013. The installation, which opened to the public after three years of development, is made of three layers of glass and can withstand winds of up to 200kmph. Credit: JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom|
Emirates Airline customers who have made a New Year's resolution to see more of the world can now say Hello to 2014 with some very attractive fares in both Business and Economy Class.
Return economy fares from Australia begin at $1,499 to Europe, $1,678 to Dubai, $1,676 to Africa and $1,073 to India. All inclusive Business Class fares from Australia start at $7,271 to Europe, $6,957 to Dubai, $5,326 to Africa and $5,008 to India.
Together with Qantas, Emirates offers 98 flights a week to its home and hub of Dubai, including six daily A380 services. With a network of more than 75 countries available via just one stop in Dubai, the vibrant city is the ultimate stopover point and a compelling holiday destination in its own right.
"What better way to begin 2014 by travelling to a destination that you have never been to, or making that much promised visit to a friend or family member," said Thierry Antinori, Emirates' Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.
"We've combined our excellent flight connections offered by our global network with great special fares and by doing so we hope to help our customers fulfil their travel aspirations in 2014."
Bookings to all destinations across Emirates' network on six continents should be made before 14 January 2014, for travel between 1 February and 31 May 2014.
A total of eight new destinations have been added to the Emirates network since the beginning of 2013, including Stockholm, Tokyo Haneda and Clark in the Philippines; with Taipei, Kiev and Boston to join the network in early 2014.
It is not only the destinations that are increasing, Emirates also continues to add the latest aircraft to its fleet which now stands at 210 in including 41 Airbus A380s flying to 24 destinations.
For more information on Emirates, including how to book flights and a complete list of terms and conditions, contact your travel agent or visit www.emirates.com
*Terms and conditions apply
*Terms and Conditions for the offer:
• Valid for sales and ticketing from now until 14 January 2014
• Airfares shown above for travel 1st February until 31st March, 2014. Higher fares apply for other travel dates.
• Blackout travel dates apply for Economy and Business Class departures
• Fees for changes and cancellations apply
• Seats and Class are subject to availability at time of booking
*The inclusive taxes and surcharges quoted are correct at 5 December 2013. These may vary slightly over the travel period.
"IF IT'S IN THE HOTEL ROOM, IT'S A SOUVENIR, RIGHT?"
TripAdvisor survey reveals that 2 in 3 travellers take items from hotel rooms – from toiletries and tea, to batteries from the TV remote control
Sydney, Australia – 10 December 2013 – Two-thirds (65%) of global travellers and over three-quarters (77%) of Aussies admit to taking something from a hotel following their stay, with toiletries being the most popular pilfered items. Three in five (59%) global hoteliers and 61% of Australian hotel owners report that their guests often take a variety of items when they leave. The TripBarometer¹ Truth in Travel survey reveals several discrepancies between what travellers say they take, compared to what hoteliers report missing from hotel rooms once guests depart.
"Shampoo is one thing, but please stop taking the towels!"
Guests are more likely to admit taking items that are customarily thought of as complimentary such as toiletries or stationery. However it seems some travellers feel that the towels, light bulbs and batteries they find in their rooms are free for the taking as well.
Despite only 7% of global travellers saying they have taken towels from hotel rooms, an alarming 1 in 4 hoteliers report towels going missing following a guest's stay.
Some travellers have peculiar ideas about what makes a good travel memento – 1 in 10 hoteliers report clothes hangers going missing and 7% have found the batteries removed from TV remote controls after guests check out.
Items travellers admit taking from hotels vs. what hotels report having been taken:
"If it's free, it's for me"
When it comes to the key motivators for choosing an accommodation, travellers around the world love a freebie. Over the past year, traveller interest in complimentary amenities has gone up, reinforcing the idea that one of the best ways for hoteliers to entice guests is to offer free services as part of the daily rate.
What amenities global travellers expect from their accommodation in 2013 vs. 2014:
"Culture vulture" or "creature comforts"?
The TripBarometer also revealed a few more minor discrepancies between what travellers say, and their actions while on holiday. According to the survey, global travellers would like to experience things that are unique to a destination or culture, with 38% saying they want to explore another culture, 20% wanting to explore new food and 30% looking to experience something specific to the destination. However, when it comes to choosing a place to stay, travellers want their accommodation to offer amenities that make them feel at home, such as 'TV or film choices in their own language' (31%) and 'food from their own country' (27%).
Aussies are far less fussy about food from their own country with only 17% stating they would expect their hotel to offer this as an option. They do seem more genuinely enthusiastic about the local culture than the global average however, with 40% stating this as their primary reason for visiting a new destination followed by the desire to try new food (23%).
And hotels are answering the call! As a result of increasing numbers of guests from various destinations around the world, hoteliers have already, or are planning to, put in place a number of measures to address the needs of international visitors. Fifty four percent of global hotel respondents provide, or plan to provide TV or film selections in foreign languages and 51% include, or plan to include international food choices on their menus.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, June 2013
**Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, July 2013