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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Leura Harvest Festival speakers share secrets about sustainable living



Learn how to become part of the quiet revolution slowing down the world, design a garden around bees, and find out how historic sites are joining the 21st century from expert speakers at this year’s Leura Harvest Festival, on Sunday 1 May 2016.

Darleys head chef Lee Kwiez
@ Chef Table
This dedicated celebration of regional products, produce and experiences within a 100-mile radius of the Blue Mountains features a series of conversational chat sessions with specialists representing headline fine dining restaurants, food preserving, clean energy, subsistent farming, aquaculture, beekeeping, micro-brewing and heritage preservation.

Presented by the Leura Village Association, this free annual event is designed for those who already live sustainably and individuals and communities wanting to explore natural lifestyle opportunities. The festival will have more than 60 stalls with a strong focus on regional food and wine, along with competitions and the guest speakers program.

Sponsored by Quidditas Creative Arts Gallery, the Speakers’ Program will be held in The Extra Room (upstairs at 169 Leura Mall), with topics up for discussion including:
  • Paddock to Plate practices at The Escarpment Group’s Parklands Estate to service its restaurants, Darleys at Lilianfels and The Hydro Majestic Hotel, Echoes Boutique Hotel and Parklands Estate – head chefs Lee Kweiz, Mate Herceg, and General Manager Ralf Bruegger
  • How to design a garden around bees – Lyle Clinton, Woodford Honey and Horticulturist & Garden Designer, Helen Caughey.
  • Breathing life back into the oldest complex of colonial buildings in the Blue Mountains, a shining example of making museums relevant – The Woodford Academy
  • Becoming part of the quiet revolution, slowing down the world and identifying quality over quantity - Cittaslow Katoomba
  • Seeing Green: health-promoting urban design and how it is building strong and intergrated communities – Dr Ursula King
  • The story of the Katoomba Brewing Company and the nectar that’s now flowing from The Carrington’s smokestack – Carrington Hotel Licensee Michael Brischetto.
  • Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Experience - more than a Degree – Director Campus Operations, Jane Adams. 

The Leura Harvest Festival will also showcase everything from delicious food, preserves and wines to cool-climate plants, artisan soaps, clean energy, handpoured candles, local fashion and jewellery, and art made from recycled components.

The festival blends the latest in sustainability with fabulous traditional country fair events. Show off your baking skills by entering the inaugural Great Australian Chocolate Cake Competition, presented by Josophan’s Fine Chocolates, or enter the Birches of Leura Scarecrow Competition – another first for the Festival and open to all ages.

The RA Lawrence Jam-Making Competition is open to all ages for Best Single Fruit Jam, Magnificent Marmalade, Best Kid's Creation and Most Delicious Relish/Chutney, and locals are invited to enter their feathered friends in the Belle Property Leura Pet Chook Show, with the grand prize of a hand-made chook pen available for overall winner.

For more information on the Leura Harvest Festival visit: www.leuravillage.com.au


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Flight Bookings Plummet After Brussels Attacks


The bomb attacks in Brussels have severely affected flight bookings to the Belgium capital, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day,

In the days following the attacks on 22 March, net bookings – new bookings minus cancellations - fell by 136% when compared with last year.





Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys Co-founder and CEO, said: "Our analysis confirms what many must have suspected, that once again terrorism is having a fundamental impact on international travel.

"The immediate effect of the Brussels bombings has been greater than the aftermath of the attacks on Paris in November last year when net bookings fell by 101%. This can be explained by the fact that the Brussels attacks led to the full closure of the city's airport."

After the initial wave of cancellations immediately following the Brussels attacks, cancellations have begun to return to last year's levels. The coming days will reveal whether this improvement is sustained. But new bookings remain very low, down 32% on the previous year, following the bomb attacks.

Olivier Jager said: "The recovery in new bookings is what will drive Brussels' arrival performance for the coming six months. It will require a fully functional airport and regained confidence from bookers, especially when arranging group trips. It's possible that the summer holidays might see more last-minute bookings as a result."

The segment hardest hit was group travel to Brussels, down 214%, together with the leisure segment (-150%). But all sectors have been badly affected. Those planning immediate travel accounted for the biggest drop in net bookings.





Cancellations combined with the deficit in new bookings are negatively impacting future arrivals, until the summer where demand remains quite similar to last year.

The difference becomes narrower for the summer holidays and new or last-minute bookings could have a positive impact on this trend.




Looking ahead, from 14 April to 31 August, the biggest fall in flight bookings to Brussels is from within Europe, down 29% on the previous year. Asia Pacific is down 20% and the Americas are down 17%. By country, only China (up 38%) and Israel (up 23%) saw an increase in bookings. China is seeing resilient group bookings from provincial cities for arrivals in July and August. The figures for Israel can be accounted for by a shift in the Passover vacation, although there may still be cancellations to come.



Europe as a destination suffered from the attacks in Belgium with fewer overall arrivals than before the bombings – specifically for Istanbul (down 36%) Brussels itself (down 24%) and Paris (down 13%). This fall might be due to delayed bookings that could materialise when the situation is back to normal.



See the full data at:

http://forwardkeys.com/revenue-management/article/brusselsmarchbombings.html

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