Source = Flight Centre Group Travel FLIGHT CENTRE GROUP TRAVEL is flying high after winning the national award for ‘Best Support Services’ and the illustrious ‘Hall of Fame’ award at the 2012 Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) awards. The annual event was held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre last Tuesday evening and was attended by 1000 meetings and event industry professionals. Flight Centre Group Travel’s marketing and development manager, Carly Adler, said the award was an outstanding achievement for the Melbourne office.“For the past three years we have worked hard to win our category award and now it is a great honour for our travel managers to be recognised by the industry for our professionalism, hard work and dedication, according to the highest standards across Australia.” “We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support and loyalty of our clients and colleagues, who make it possible for us to keep our passion for travel alive each day,” said Ms Adler. Flight Centre Group Travel (FCGT) is one of many brands, owned and operated by the Flight Centre Limited group, which specialises in group travel. Travel managers offer a range of services from managing conferences and incentives to event management and design, venue and accommodation selection and online registration to name a few.To discuss your next conference or group travel requirements, speak to a travel manager at Flight Centre Group Travel.
Businesses are being encouraged to boost their business and celebrate their achievements in this year’s prestigious City of Sydney Business Awards, with nominations opening on June 29.The fourth annual Sydney Business Awards present numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to benchmark their business, raise profile and build better relationships with customers and others within the community. Alex Riggs, winner of the 2012 Business of the Year award and founder of Oobi Baby and Kids said: “It’s an award that allows for diversity and has thrust us onto a world stage where we are instantly recognised as being at the top of our field and highly regarded by the judges and our peers.“It’s a great idea for businesses to enter because of the broad range of categories. The businesses that enter have a common thread of drive, passion and excellence. Win or lose, you will liaise with people with a similar goal – a successful business that takes into account sustainability, technology, financial viability, social awareness and community.”Last year, a record 640 small to medium businesses were nominated and almost 67,000 votes cast across 22 categories focussing on retail fashion, food and beverage, restaurants, small bars, tourism, accommodation, online businesses and more.Categories of highest distinction include the ANZ Fast Starter Award, the Lord Mayor’s Sustainability Award, Small Business of the Year and Business of the Year.Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said: “As Australia’s global city, it is essential we foster and develop our business talents. Our small-to-medium businesses strengthen the city’s diverse economy, provide innovation and create many thousands of jobs. That’s why the City is committed to supporting them.”. The Awards Director, Bill Baggitt, said: “The Awards create points of connection for local businesses to customers, stakeholders and to the communities their firms’ contribute to.. Past participants tell us they derived real business benefits from involvement, and had some fun along the way.” To be eligible for the 2012 Awards, businesses must have fewer than 200 full-time employees and be located within the 33 suburbs of the City of Sydney Local Government Area. Nominations and voting will be open from 29 June to 10 August. Winners will be announced at the annual Gala Awards Dinner on 10 October at The Westin Sydney, hosted by Sunrise host and small business commentator David Koch. The official media launch will take place at 10:00 am Friday 29 June, at Sydney Town Hall, hosted by Lord Mayor Clover Moore. Source = City of Sydney
Source = ETB News: NJ Quest Serviced Apartments says it is business as usual in Wellington, despite a 6.5 magnitude shaking the region over the weekend. The quake, which struck on Sunday, was centred 20 kilometres east of Seddon, Marlborough, but caused most damage in Wellington’s CBD. Meanwhile in the South Island, Christchurch took a major step towards recovery after its 2011 earthquake, with the reopening of Cathedral Square. “Some of the apartments have sustained minor or cosmetic damage such as gib wall linings falling in and toppled furniture and televisions,” Quest Services Apartments New Zealand chief executive Stephen Mansfield said. “We are working with our managers and staff to fix this damage as quickly as possible to ensure guests have a comfortable stay.” Click here for more information. According to the hospitality group, the quake should not put people off visiting the city, particularly with engineers confirming Quest’s six Wellington properties experienced “superficial damage” and are all still “structurally safe”. Quest NZ CEO Stephen Mansfield
Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has selected Chrome River, a leading provider of expense management and supplier invoice processing software, as their expense management launch provider to integrate with Sabre’s recently-announced mobile platform for business travelers. The announcement was made at the GBTA Convention 2016.Sabre’s mobile platform will offer an intuitive total trip solution from the travel request all the way to employee reimbursement, and will be easily accessed on the web or via a mobile device. The solution will capture expenses made via Sabre virtual payments capabilities or traditional credit cards, and will automatically feed the data into the Chrome River expense management solution.This will provide the corporation with a fully reconciled record of all expenses – ultimately saving valuable time for the traveler and helping corporations more effectively track and monitor travel expenses.Chrome River’s expense management solution offers the same seamless mobile experience on any device without the need for any app download, thanks to its responsive design. This enables smoother booking and expense processing for travelers on any smartphone or tablet, making life easier both for end-users and corporate travel and IT teams.“The integration of Sabre’s mobile booking capabilities and virtual payments technology with Chrome River’s industry-leading expense management solution will create a best-in-class integrated platform delivering an intuitive experience to manage every aspect of travel and expense, including online and real-time reporting,” said Clinton Anderson, senior vice president – corporate strategy and traveler experience for Sabre.“Chrome River is a natural fit since we share a commitment to superior user experience and cost-control for corporations as well as a strong record of stability with a global presence.”Sabre and Chrome River have a longstanding integration relationship. This agreement furthers that relationship in the areas of product, sales and marketing and ensures that current and future joint customers will be able to access the most complete solution from the two companies.“Chrome River’s focus is to ensure business travelers have the tools that give them an effortless and seamless experience for managing their expenses, wherever they are,” said Alan Rich, CEO of Chrome River.“By working with Sabre, we are able to extend these capabilities by offering an integrated mobile booking and expense management solution to Sabre.” SabreSource = Sabre Corporation
The Taste of Japan Yummy Fun Truck sponsored by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) made its debut in Melbourne over the weekend, celebrating the launch of a new daily direct Qantas flight from Melbourne to Tokyo Narita.Part ice cream truck, part game show, JNTO has created a uniquely Japanese experience in the heart of Melbourne.Over 2,000 people queued up to sample the special Japan-inspired ice cream flavours created by the geniuses at Gelato Messina, as well as to take their chances at the Japan-inspired game show. Participants are blindfolded and asked to guess the flavours they taste. If they guess correctly, they move onto a vending machine which will dispense one of many coveted prizes – such as boiled egg moulds, chair leg socks, or…a trip for two to Japan!Lee May was the lucky winner of the first trip given away, and there are four more trips to be won over the next three weekends.Lee stated: “We are huge Japan fans, and saw on social media that this event was happening. We decided to make a day of it – we went for some ramen for lunch, and then the Taste of Japan Yummy Fun Truck provided the perfect dessert.”He added: “I’m not sure my boss is going to be too pleased, I might have to wait a little while until I can go, but we really cannot wait. We love Japan, we travelled all over and have friends in Tokyo so that is probably our favourite part. I really can’t believe we won, it is amazing.”Last year, JNTO asked fans to share their experiences, memories and stories from Japan through a social media campaign. Gelato Messina used these insights to develop eight amazing and unusual flavour combinations, from Make My Dai Dai to Wasa-Berri. Each weekend, the Taste of Japan Yummy Fun Truck will have four different flavours on offer. Japan is one of the hottest destinations for the people of Melbourne right now, and the Taste of Japan Yummy Fun Truck is sure to inspire even more Melburnians to try out the real Japan for themselves.The Taste of Japan Yummy Fun Truck was based at Southern Cross train station for its first outing, and will visit multiple locations in Melbourne every weekend until Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 March.For more information on travel to Japan and the Yummy Fun Truck locations, visit www.jnto.org.au. For daily travel inspiration and advice, see JNTO’s social media channels instagram.com/visitjapanau and facebook.com/VisitJapanAU. Qantas launched a daily direct flight from Melbourne to Tokyo Narita on 16 December 2016. Visit www.qantas.com.au Japan National Tourism Organizationfor more information, visitSource = Japan National Tourism Organization
roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. roomsXML Presents: The Châteaux and Hôtels Collection roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsxml.com In response to agent demand, roomsXML has secured great rates for the Châteaux & Hôtels Collection of unique properties. Specialising in historical buildings and charming boutique hotels across France & Italy, many are accompanied by some of the top restaurants in Europe. With over 500 properties, the Chateaux & Hotels Collection allows the traveller to discover new places; immersing oneself in the experience of a different style of accommodation. All of the properties are one-of-a-kind; each having its own beauty and charm.Although each destination in the collection is unique, one thing is the same across the board: the quality & service is 5 Star.If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to offer your clients, log in to roomsXML and book today ! roomsXML Presents: The Châteaux and Hôtels Collection
roomsXML – More Suppliers, Hot Deals www.roomsxml.com learn more about roomsXML.com here AirBnB to take Down ExpediaThis could be the biggest game changer we see in the booking of hotels onlineGTA/Octopus were unassailable. They were always going to be the biggest thing in hotels. Everyone had a preferred contract with GTA. By virtue of its nature, it’s practically impossible to see disruption coming.But giants do fall. Ask Microsoft when it comes to Apple, Apple when it comes to Android and locally, the demise of Holden. Axl Rose, a great technology commentator said “nothing lasts forever and both know hearts can change.”Few expected Qantas to partner with AirBnB; but Qantas only sign agreements when they know exactly what to expect in the near future. Calculated gambles. Not really it seems as in March, AirBnB wrote an open letter to boutique hotel and B&B operators claiming Expedia and bookings.com were ripping them off and that better business could be done with AirBnB.Boutique hotels will take notice. It is very to stand out from the crowd when you’ve only got 15 to 50 rooms of perfectly satisfied customers saying wonderful things about you when big hotels with global brands can afford big marketing budgets and have hundreds of rooms. Small hotels will be very interested in a marketing tool that takes on the big chains.Expedia owns a lot of the technology backbone from hotel to agent/traveller which means a faster and at times lower cost experience (with horrific customer service to boot) . But so too does AirBnB – people already configure how they want to rent out the spare bedroom and they recently signed an agreement with Siteminder, the system which manages the distribution of the rooms at each individual hotel.eBay was never meant to be the place where everyone sold everything, it was an auction site for our leftover home goodies. AirBnB is more than capable of selling hotels at high volumes. Same tech now to be used differently. They are also just big shoe boxes of data anyway.AirBnB only has 24,000 hotels , that will change. AirBnB could be the “go to location” to book a hotel that is not a Marriot, a Hilton or a Sofitel. As these brands have questionable relationships with Expedia, it puts them in an interesting position.Let’s consider the Qantas experience; book with Qantas, fly with Qantas, stay in some random home overseas and earn Qantas points during a safe credit card transaction. AirBnB contracts more and more hotels, some of which are available through traditional channels like Expedia, Ready Rooms and roomsXML. Qantas has a new bargaining chip. AirBnB is also light on contracts ( which could be more of an issue in the UK…) which saves a business cost. Hell, they don’t even care if you are a hotel or not.Don’t be surprised when your local AirBNB rep (who used to be your Expedia rep and Octopus rep) comes to you with great deals about the new AirBnB agent affiliate network scheme….Big changes brewing. Qantas don’t get many bets wrong.PS Footnote AirBnB might need to be a little less aggressive when it comes to dealing with behemoths like Marriot…
STUBA: Tantalising Thailand Source = STUBA Take a trip with Stuba to Tantalising Thailand. Thailand has been one of the Aussie favourites for approaching 20 years. It has top resorts, exciting nightlife, and the dollar stretches further than other destinations. Even more family friendly than years past, there are dozens of top cities and towns where your clients would be happy as Larry.Phi Phi Island is the more grown up, family friendly, and slightly more mature destination, while Bangkok is a city full of excitement, fun and nightlife.Stuba is constantly updating their Thai inventory and contracts to get the best deals for travel agents. The quality of the resorts these days is staggering, with significant effort being made to improve the overall experience for the thai tourist.Here’s 5 fab things to do in Thailand, in no particular order !1.Bangkok By Night: Its hot in Bangkok…very hot. So hot that best way to tour is often at night. The Bangkok night tours (by tuk-tuk of course), take in some of the best food trucks, night time hot spots, and the amazing illuminated Wat Pho temple. Food is included, and the hectic traffic of day time becomes a non issue. Stop offs include the night markets, helping you collect you quota of gifts for folks back home.2. Private Boatride to Koh Tapu (James Bond Island). The world famous island with a superb beach, is available by speedboat; just like James did. When there, snorkeling, canoeing, or just relaxing on the beach (Naka Noi) will help unwind the weary, and invigorate the dozy.3. Chiang Mai Zipline: Set in the beautiful pristine rainforest, the zipline tour is one of the longest in Asia. From treetop to treetop, feel the air fly past your hair in this fun and relaxing adventure. With over 30 platforms, your will catch glimpses of fauna such as Gibons and wild birds. Thy usually throw in free meals and refreshments.4. Jungle Safair In Koh Samui: Escape the crowded beach and head for a 6 hour 4×4 tour, taking in the island sbeutiful flora and fauna in an adventure that wont be forgotten. Side trips to the Magic Buddha Garden, and take lunch in an amazing location including the superb Namuang Waterfall.5. A trip to Thailand would not be complete without a tour of the spectacular Grand Palace in Bangkok, and the river of kings. A private tour boat will take you through the canals of Bangkok (nicknamed the Venice of the East). The Grand Palace originally was the residence of the King of Siam. Highlites include gazing upon the most holiest statue carved from Jade, the Wat Phra Kaew. When finished, there is plenty of time for a Thai massage (back in town) and a watermelon refreshment.