Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Friday, August 23, 2019

Vanuatu Tourism unveils new brand

This is the new marketing rally cry for Vanuatu, unveiled by the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO) today in Port Vila. After an extensive research and development phase, the new campaign has been released across Australia, New Zealand, the tourism industry and community in Vanuatu.

“Visitors to Vanuatu always have such a strong connection to Vanuatu when they visit and it is this connection and engagement with the people and the place that we have aimed to capture,” said Ms Adela Issachar Aru, CEO of the Vanuatu Tourism Office.

“It was imperative to the VTO that we capture the essence of Ni-Vanuatu people in our marketing program as our research says this is always at the core of any holiday experience in Vanuatu,” said Ms Issachar Aru.. We believe we have achieved this by sharing moments enjoyed by visitors every day.

“We have presented Vanuatu in a fun, light-hearted, and cheeky way. This is our approach to life in Vanuatu and what we know people love when they visit.

“They say life is about moments! There are moments that make us laugh, cry, change our perspective and open our eyes and hearts. The moments we remember are those of consequence and significance – the ones we file away in the scrapbooks of our lives.

“That’s especially true when it comes to holidays and creating moments to treasure. So, it makes sense that when you Answer the Call of Vanuatu, you’ll be swept away in a range of incredible moments that will make you feel good. It is these moments that you will see captured across our marketing channels.”

We have captured but a handful of moments and we will be working with our tourism industry partners, visitors and local community to grow our Vanuatu Moments and share them with their friends, family and networks.

Answer the Call of Vanuatu is more than just a campaign. Over time it is our goal that it will become a way of doing business for the tourism industry. We aim to integrate the sentiment of Answering the Call of Vanuatu into a range of programs that improve the Vanuatu visitor experience. This includes customer service, environmental practises and how we tell our stories about our kastoms and cultures.

“Vanuatu is looking towards the future with the release of the new brand campaign. It is one that will take us through our next stage of growth. This year saw Air Vanuatu commence new services from Melbourne to Port Vila and increased capacity from Auckland,” said Ms Issachar Aru.

“The Vanuatu Government has also completed works on runways in both Espiritu Santo and Port Vila and we hope to see other airlines bringing many more visitors to our shores from all over the world.

“The Vanuatu Tourism Office needs to ensure that Vanuatu is on the holiday shopping list of our target markets to ensure Vanuatu is placed to take advantage of these upgrades to our tourism experience.

“We believe that tourism can lead the future prosperity of Vanuatu. We invite the world to visit Vanuatu for a real, life changing adventure,” said Ms Issachar Aru.

Our Partners

The creative agency working with the Vanuatu Tourism Office to produce the new brand is The Engine Group, based in Brisbane. The Engine team has worked tirelessly through a program of brand review and creative development. This new take on the Vanuatu brand brings a connection and emotion to our destination marketing that that we have never captured before.

Taxi Film Productions and Director, Tristan Houghton, has delivered amazing visuals of Vanuatu, including from some never before filmed locations. Vanuatu provided the movie sets but the team at Taxi have made them come to life in a way we’ve never seen before.

For trade updates on Vanuatu please visit and consumer updates at

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Globus reveals new holidays to Asia, India, Africa and South America

Taking a holiday in an exotic destination like Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Argentina, Patagonia, Peru or South Africa is an incredibly exciting adventure. For some, it can also seem like a daunting endeavour. Discomfort with the language, customs, exchange rates or even transportation from point A to Z and everywhere in-between can be a barrier for travellers. That’s where a tour comes in. And for 2020, Globus and Cosmos are unveiling spectacular touring holidays to Asia, Africa and South America including a new Cosmos itinerary: NEW Discover Southern India & Kerala.

“On a touring holiday, travel professionals handle the details, logistics and scheduling before and during each trip, taking away the hassles and worries of travel,” said Gai Tyrrell, Managing Director Australasia of the Globus family of brands.

“But that’s not all. Tours provide travellers with an on-site travel expert – a Tour Director – who wears several hats on each journey.

“A Tour Director is a concierge, a problem-solver and a storyteller rolled up into one. These travel experts provide a priceless service, especially for travellers in exotic destinations.”

As part of each Globus itinerary, travellers are also treated to Local Favourites, giving them a chance to see how the locals live while also encouraging travellers to get off-the-beaten-path for hands-on, in-depth local experiences. Some Local Favourites include a sake tasting in Takayama, Japan; enjoying a performance of the famed water puppets in Hanoi, Vietnam; visiting a local tea farm in Guilin, China; making traditional empanadas in Buenos Aires, Argentina; getting up close to Magellan penguins near Ushuaia, Patagonia and spending time with a local family in an Andean village in Peru.

“Every day on a Globus or Cosmos tour, local guides provide immersive opportunities and the stories behind the sites,” said Ms Tyrrell. “This local insight helps connect people to places, giving each and every holiday more meaning and lasting memories.”

Further, Globus travellers need not waste time waiting in lines. Instead, they’re privy to VIP access into major sites. And because travellers are not waiting in lines, they have more time to experience each destination.

As a result, some of Globus’ most popular tours are to exotic locales across the globe. In fact, the company has grown its brand-wide exotic travel portfolio by 20 percent in the last five years to cater to increased demand. Cosmos too has re-emerged in exotic destinations with value-centric holidays like Timeless Japan, providing incredible opportunities for travellers to experience destinations that, to some, might seem unattainable. For 2020, Cosmos is also unveiling a new India itinerary.

Cosmos’ NEW tour to India for 2020 invite travellers to:

NEW Discover Southern India & Kerala

Explore the ancient city of Chennai; take in incredible sites like Fort St. George, the historic city of Mahabalipuram and the temple and palace of Tanjore; spend time on a spice plantation in Thekkady and enjoy an overnight cruise on the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. This tour concludes with two nights in Cochin.

BOOK EARLY & SAVE: SAVE 5% on a Globus Asia & Africa holiday, or 10% on Globus’ South America itineraries. For details, visit or Travel agents can visit for more information.

Image Kerala

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Shocking number of Aussies uninsured for holiday hotspot

While New Zealand has again proven to be a top skiing destination for Australians, the number of Aussies who don’t purchase travel insurance to go there is shocking.

According to a recent study by Allianz, Australians are five times more likely to choose to ski in New Zealand than in their home country.

But Allianz has revealed that despite this, almost a third of Australians wouldn’t purchase travel insurance when heading to New Zealand.

Under 25s are least likely to purchase and men are 7% less likely to organise travel insurance than women.

During the July-September period last year, Allianz received over 4,000 claims for ski-related incidents in New Zealand, helping Australian snowboarders and skiers with over $670,000 in medical expenses incurred through skiing. One snowboarder saved over $16,000.

There are reciprocal health arrangements available for Australian travellers in New Zealand, but Allianz Partners chief underwriting officer Aimee McGuinness says that “these aren’t a cover-all”.

“Comprehensive Travel Insurance is still an essential packing item for any Aussie heading over the Tasman,” she said.

“For travellers keen to strap on skis this winter, ensuring adequate coverage for a skiing holiday is just as important as aiming for great powder on the slopes.

“Skiing holidays can often be derailed by incidents such as emergency rescues, equipment mishaps, piste closure and inclement weather, so it’s essential to be prepared.”

Would you travel to NZ without insurance?

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The six tourist destinations with the most internet restrictions

According to the pro-democracy think tank Freedom House, internet freedom is declining all around the world. Censorship is being ramped up on everything from social media or e-commerce websites to search engines. Interestingly, many of the countries with the strictest rules and highest censorship are also popular tourist destinations.

“With this in mind, it’s wise to check if your next travel destination has any internet restrictions. Especially if you are planning to do some work there,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

“One of the most powerful tools to avoid such internet censorship is a virtual private network. Both travelers and locals use VPNs to access the internet with no limitations.”

However, though most countries around the world allow VPN use, some consider VPN services undesirable or even illegal. Digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson suggests to stay attentive and check the rules before the trip.

China is the world leader in internet censorship with its “Great Firewall.” All VPNs used in China must be approved and comply with government regulations. However, it’s quite difficult to understand China’s VPN laws and the legal status of VPNs, as there’s a lot of grey area. In any case, there’s no public information on foreigners experiencing serious issues when using VPNs in this country.

Turkey has recently taken a sharp turn towards authoritarianism. Within a couple of years, many websites or apps have been banned and independent journalists jailed. Even such giants as Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook are having issues. Predictably, people turned to VPNs to evade the censorship, which resulted in a VPN ban.

The United Arab Emirates pose an interesting case. On the one hand, VPNs are not illegal – unless they’re used for illegal actions. On the other hand, the country censors many sites and has banned such services as Skype in the past. So here comes the question: does visiting a site or using a service blocked by the government constitute a crime? And if the government accuses you of using a VPN for criminal purposes, how can you prove that you’re innocent if there’s no trace of your online activity? All in all, the UAE laws make it easy to apply harsh punishments and create a strong disincentive to use a VPN.

Iran is one of the trending hotspots for adventurous travelers. However, this country manipulates its citizens by abusing free internet access regularly. For example, it censors many popular global websites. During elections or political unrest, Iran throttles the internet nationwide to make communication and organization more difficult. It is no surprise that only government-approved VPNs, which provide the authorities with censorship and surveillance capabilities, are legal to use.

Egypt is known to block its citizens from visiting a range of various websites. This trend has accelerated over the last few years, with numerous international and even local news sources being blocked. Are you starting to see a pattern? VPNs make the internet free and accessible, so if the national government doesn’t want that to be the case, it will want to block VPNs.

Vietnam is known as one of the friendliest countries in the world, highly popular with tourists. However, Vietnam’s censorship of certain websites can be severe. Governmental institutions spy on almost all internet users, with tourists often coming under the radar.

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Qantas out, but travel agencies back dolphin parks: Sea World

The flying kangaroo has cut ties with theme parks featuring dolphins, joining Virgin Australia, Air Canada and United Airlines among other carriers in formally disapproving the attractions.

According to a Qantas spokesperson, the carrier no longer wants to partner with or promote venues that house cetaceans like dolphins, whales and orcas.

“As Australia’s largest airline we know we have a responsibility to ensure organisations we partner with meet our own expectations and that of the community,” the spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle.

However, Sea World said its dolphin shows continue to receive strong support from travel agencies.

“We have invested heavily and will continue to invest in Sea World and remain confident of the long- term future of the park,” said the Gold Coast park, which is owned by Village Roadshow.

“Our attendance trends continue to increase, and our guests enjoy visiting the park and our marine exhibits.”

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, Australia’s only other dolphinarium, said it had stopped its breeding program with a view to ultimately retiring its animals into sea pens.

“Having whales and dolphins and belugas, other marine mammals in captivity is not publicly accepted these days,” park managing director Terry Goodall told Yahoo.

“There’s no way you would want someone to go out and capture a dolphin and put it in captivity and have it perform for humans – you just wouldn’t do that anymore.”

Among the nations to have dumped dolphin parks are the UK, Switzerland, Hungary and Croatia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Chile, and India.

“Teaching children that using animals for human entertainment is not okay,” Justice for Captives’ Chelsea Hannah remarked.

“Go to the park and have a picnic, go to the beach, go dolphin watching the natural way.

“We’re fortunate to be living in Australia where you can walk along the coastline and see not only dolphins but maybe whales, even a sea turtle.”

Original Article © Copyrights

Where stealing sand could land you in prison

Anyone who’s been to a sandy beach will understand the pervasiveness of sand. It literally gets everywhere. I’m STILL trying to get the sand out of my car after a trip up the coast in 2011.

But some people actually collect the stuff and will do just about anything to get it.

However, some sand is not for the taking and the white sand of the beaches in Sardinia is actually protected, with signs in several languages lining the shore, warning visitors that it is prohibited to remove sand or rocks.

Apparently oblivious to the warnings, a French couple are now facing up to six years in prison after local authorities found them in possession of 14 plastic bottles containing around 40 kilograms of white sand, CNN reported.

Police in the northern city of Porto Torres were carrying out routine checks on cars waiting to board a ferry to Toulon in southern France when they spotted the bottles through the windows of the couple’s car.

The couple were reported to a court in the city of Sassari for aggravated theft and may face a fine of up to €3,000 and between one and six years’ imprisonment.

According to local police, theft of white sand and rocks from Sardinia’s beaches is very common, and feeds an illegal market for them on the internet.

“The people of Sardinia are very angry with tourists that steal shells and sand, because it’s a theft (from) future generations that also puts at risk a delicate environment,” an officer told CNN.

Image: Guardia di Finanza

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Airlines selling flights for grounded Boeing planes

Carriers are selling tens of thousands of flights on Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft for later this year despite regulatory approval of the planes still pending.

European carriers TUI and Norwegian, along with US operators Southwest, United Airlines and American Airlines, are among those selling Max 8 and Max 9 flights for November and December 2019, with some 32,600 services for the aircraft already booked, The Sunday Times reported.

Image Reuters/Lindsey Wasson

The Max models have been banned from flying since March this year after two crashes involving the planes in October 2018 and March 2019 killed 346 people.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and regulators around the world have not announced when the aircraft will be allowed to fly again, leaving airlines guessing as to when they can market flights using the jets.

But that hasn’t stopped some carriers from selling Max 8 and Max 9 flights for just after the time they understand the aircraft will return to the skies.

OAG Aviation data shows that around 17,512 flights have been booked for the planes in November, and 15,114 in December.

As for customers who don’t feel comfortable flying on the jets, many airlines including Southwest and American are offering free changes to flights on other planes.

However, one passenger told the Times that AA had refused him a refund for his Max flight in December.

“The thought of the holiday now sends a shiver down my spine,” UK travellers Chuni Kahan said. “I don’t want to be a guinea pig”.

Whilst not making “any announcement regarding specific rebooking policies once the MAX comes back into service,” American Airlines said it would “always work to ensure we have policies and procedures in place that take care of our customers”.

“Mr. Kahan, along with all of our customs, can be assured that an American Airlines pilot would never operate an unsafe aircraft,” an airline spokesperson told Business Insider.

“However, once these policies are rolled out, they will assist our customers if they are still concerned flying on the MAX.”

A June poll by UBS found that two in three Americans wouldn’t trust the Max plane until they had been in service again for six months.

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‘Noisy’ protests at major airports Wednesday

Image ABC News: Luke Rosen

After recent promises of industrial action at major hubs across the country, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has just announced that workers at Australia’s major airports will hold “noisy protests against unsafe and unfair working conditions” tomorrow (Wednesday).

According to the TWU, employees will demand an “end to low rates and part-time work which is forcing them to struggle and an end to deliberate understaffing which is causing high injuries and safety and security breaches”.

Protests will take place at Perth Airport at 2 George Wiencke Dr (Alpha Building), at the main terminal in Coolangatta airport, and commence at the taxi rank in Adelaide Airport. Demonstrations at these airports will commence at 11am.

At Sydney Airport, protests will take place at 12.15pm in the International Terminals Arrivals area, and at Melbourne Airport, at the Parkroyal Hotel at 1pm.

“Australia’s airports are highly profitable – the four main airports made over $2.2 billion in profits in 2017/18, according to the ACCC,” the TWU said in a statement.

“But these profits are not being shared with workers at the airport, who struggle on low pay and as few as 15 hours a week.

“Workers across Australia have served claims on the airports demanding the same pay for the same job and to ensure that safety, not low cost, is the number one priority when contracts at the airport are awarded.”

The TWU did not say how demonstrations might affect airport operations.

Original Article © Copyrights

Monday, August 19, 2019

How a digital detox can affect your holiday

Fear and frustration followed by liberation. This is the general pattern of results in a study that looked at how digital detox affects tourists.

Conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Greenwich and Auckland University of Technology (AUT), the study saw participants lose access to mobile phones, laptops, tablets, social media, the internet and navigation tools.

Looking at participants’ emotional states before, during and after the detox, it found that there was anxiety, irritability and withdrawal symptoms among many travellers at first, but growing acceptance, enjoyment, and even liberation later.

“In the current ever-connected world, people are used to constant information access and various services provided by different applications,” said Dr Wenjie Cai, lead author from the University of Greenwich Business School.

“However, many people are increasingly getting tired of constant connections through technologies and there is a growing trend for digital-free tourism, so it is helpful to see the emotional journey that these travellers are experiencing.

“Our participants reported that they not only engaged more with other travellers and locals during their disconnected travels, but that they also spent more time with their travel companions.”

According to Dr Brad McKenna of UEA’s Norwich Business School, the findings of the study have valuable implications for tour operators and wholesalers, as the demand for digital detox holidays continues to grow.

“Understanding what triggers consumers’ negative and positive emotions can help service providers to improve products and marketing strategies,” he said.

“We found that some participants embraced and enjoyed the disconnected experience straight away or after struggling initially, while for others it took a little bit longer to accept the disconnected experience.

“Many also pointed out that they were much more attentive and focused on their surroundings while disconnected, rather than getting distracted by incoming messages, notifications or alerts from their mobile apps.”

Solo travellers were found to be less confident and more affected by a digital detox than those travelling in a group.

Those with more social and professional obligations were also more likely to be impacted than others.

Published in the Journal of Travel Research, the study involved 24 travellers from seven countries who detoxed for 24 hours.

Have you ever experienced a digital detox while travelling? What affect did it have on you?

Original Article © Copyrights

WIN eco-friendly Thailand packs with Excite

Excite Holidays has launched its latest campaign in conjunction with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, showcasing the best way to travel while ensuring the country’s natural environment, animal population and local customs prosper.

Over the next two weeks, agents will be able to learn more about sustainable initiatives, animal conservation efforts, sustainable dining, eco-resorts and more.

Plus, the agents with the highest growth in paid Thailand sales between Monday 19th August and Sunday 1st September will score themselves one of five eco-friendly Thailand packs, valued at more than $650 each.

For more information on how to win, and to download the guide, visit:

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Hackers reveal the risks of public wifi (and how to stay safe)

In the era when cybercrime is flourishing, public Wi-Fi has become a golden opportunity for various types of criminals.

The latest survey shows that 79% of public Wi-Fi users take significant risks when choosing their Wi-Fi connection. They select a hotspot for its Wi-Fi strength, go for a name that sounds appropriate, or simply pick any free option. However, public places make a good cover for hackers who can easily set up malicious hotspots and steal people’s personal data.

Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN, discussed the risks of unsafe public Wi-Fi with a couple of hackers in closed online forums. They agreed to share their expertise in exchange for remaining anonymous.

What makes public Wi-Fi unsafe

All the hackers agreed on two common points that can make any public Wi-Fi hotspot vulnerable. These are poor router configuration and a lack of a strong password.

With dozens or even thousands of people in a public place, a snooper is in a perfect position to look for their prey without being noticed. It doesn’t take much to start the vicious process: normally the attackers would use pretty basic and easy-to-use software, which is legal to get.

The skilled hackers name Wireshark and Aircrack-ng as good examples. They claim it can take a couple of minutes to start peeking at confidential information sent from a device connected to an unsecure Wi-Fi.

The worst part of being attacked is that the victim might not even notice their gadget has been hijacked. If you’re lucky, the snooper may just read your browsing activity. But in the worst-case scenario, they can steal all your sensitive information, including passwords and credit card details.

Did you know that your home Wi-Fi name gives away your address? As your device is constantly looking for trusted Wi-Fi networks, stalkers can use these connection requests to find out where you live. All they need to do is find an open public space and set up a tiny scanner that passively collects all nearby Wi-Fi join requests.

Warning from the anonymous hackers: anyone who knows your home Wi-Fi name can find out where you live. It’s enough to type it on a public website that creates heatmaps of Wi-Fi hotspots, such as

Types of hacker attacks on public Wi-Fi

The anonymous hackers explain the most common types of cyberattacks that can be launched on insecure public Wi-Fi networks:

– Man-in-the-middle attacks. When a device makes a connection to the internet, the data travels from it to a certain service or website. An attacker can get in between the transmission and modify it. The information on the device becomes no longer private.

– Evil twin attacks. These can happen when cybercriminals create fake Wi-Fi hotspots. When a device connects to a rogue access point controlled by a hacker, all the communications fall into their hands.

– Malware injections. When you connect to an unsecured network, malicious code can slip into your device at any time. Once the malware infects the device, it can break down the system and give the hackers complete freedom over your personal files.

– Snooping and sniffing. With the help of special software, cybercriminals can see all data passing through the network and access what you do online. They can view your browsing history, capture your login details, and break into your online accounts to steal sensitive information or even money.

How to stay safe

According to Mr Markuson, it is better to stay away from public Wi-Fi and use your mobile data instead. However, if there’s no other choice, here are some useful tips on what you should do to protect your devices and the information they hold.

– When connecting to a Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or a hotel, always double-check the network name with a member of the staff. Remember, hackers might create fake Wi-Fi hotspots using names that look trustworthy.

– On public Wi-Fi, avoid visiting sensitive websites, logging into your social accounts, and never perform any banking transactions. Public Wi-Fi is best for browsing the internet.

– If you must log into private accounts, make sure you have set up two-factor authentication. Use an e-signature to perform any important transactions.

– Enable your firewall. Most operating systems have a built-in firewall, which keeps outsiders from going through your computer’s data. Although it won’t completely protect from hacks, the firewall is useful if combined with other security tools.

– Use a VPN (virtual private network). A reliable VPN, like NordVPN, will make sure your online connections are private and no sensitive data can get into the hands of criminals. The tool will send your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, which makes it almost impossible to hijack.

– Remember to turn off the Wi-Fi function on your device when not using it. It will spare you from the unwanted connections with Wi-Fi networks surrounding you.

Daniel Markuson recommends being extra cautious about connecting to any Wi-Fi hotspot in a public place. To save your private information, traffic, and browsing data as well as to protect yourself from possible identity theft, stay away from unsafe networks or use VPN, like NordVPN.

Original Article © Copyrights

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pilots praised in corn field crash landing of passenger plane

A plane carrying 233 people has crash landed in a corn field just outside of Moscow after it struck a flock of birds.

Image AP: Andrei Nikerichev

The Ural Airlines A321 had only just taken off when it hit trouble, forcing it into an emergency landing apparently without engines and landing gear.

According to the emergencies ministry as cited by local press, up to 74 people, including 19 children were hospitalized, but no one was killed.

According to Reuters, the Kremlin has hailed the two Russian pilots for miraculously saving the lives of all onboard.

“We congratulate the hero pilots who saved people’s lives,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“There’s no doubt about this. They will be given awards.”

Dubbed the “miracle over Ramensk” by Russian state television, the incident has drawn som comparisons with US Airways Flight 1549 which landed on the Hudson River in New York in 2009 after striking a flock of geese.

An unnamed passenger told state television that the Simferopol, Crimea-bound jet shook just moments after taking off.

“Five seconds later, the lights on the right side of the plane started flashing and there was a smell of burning. Then we landed and everyone ran away,” he stated.

Another flyer said passengers were not warned that they were making an emergency landing.

Original Article © Copyrights

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Surprise cities lead Aussies’ fastest growing hotspots

Bali, Singapore and Tokyo, may continue to be among our most visited destinations, but more ‘off-the-beaten-path’ cities are now taking centre stage with Australian travellers, according to a new study.

In the new Hotel Price Index (HPI) by, it was revealed that the fastest growing destinations among Aussie holidaymakers are Istanbul (Turkey), which jumped 33 spots in 2018 (to 41st), followed by Manchester (up 29 spots to 93rd).


Making the Turkish city more appealing, Istanbul was found to be significantly cheaper than a lot of its rival destinations, with the average price paid for a room per night AU$130 (per bookings).

With Tokyo booming, Australian travellers are already seeking alternatives to the Japanese capital, with nearby Chiba finishing as the third fastest growing city (up 27 spots to 98th) and further afield Hiroshima and Sapporo all placing in the top five on-trend destinations.

“Australian travellers have without a doubt always had a keen sense of adventure,” Asia Pacific brand spokeswoman Zoe Chan said.

“However, what the Hotel Price Index has highlighted is that cities that are slightly off the beaten track are becoming increasingly popular destinations.

“In particular, Japan has always been on the bucket-list for Aussie travellers, due to a combination of ancient culture, sweeping scenic views and intoxicating modernity, making it a real east meets west destination.

“Several cities in Japan such as Chiba strike the right balance of being an exotic destination, conveniently located only a flight away and not suffering from overtourism.”

Highest risers amongst the top 100 most popular destinations for travellers in 2018:



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Top 100 most popular international destinations for travellers in 2018:



2018 rank

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Ideal plane seat-mates revealed: Traveltalk survey

If you could sit next to one well known person on a plane, who would it be?

Traveltalk recently put this question to 500 Australians and the results revealed Hugh Jackman to be the most sought-after neighbour on a flight.

Image ABC News

After the Aussie singer/dancer/actor on the list of most wanted high-profile seat-mates, was fellow Australian Chris Hemsworth, who tied with Barack Obama and the Queen.

Next on the list of dream companions was former talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, followed by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who collected as many votes as the Australian PM (though he remained unnamed), Dalai Lama, David Attenborough, Richard Branson and Prince Harry.

Other popular flying buddies were Billy Connolly, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, while a slew of famous faces came in next including John Farnham, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, Elvis (though that may be difficult) and perhaps surprisingly, Julie Bishop, who was by name, the highest ranked Australian pollie.

Polarizing leader, US President Donald Trump was also a surprise popular inclusion, along with Winston Churchill (again, difficult), Bill Gates, Taylor Swift, Sofia Loren and Jesus, who scored the same number of votes as God.

Though they did get mention, seemingly popular actors George Clooney and Tom Hanks ranked among the lowest on the list.

But for all the famous faces chosen, the most popular answer (technically) was ‘Nobody/Myself’, while ‘partners’, wives, husbands and children all placed highly as well.

Conducted by marketing research firm Dynata, the Traveltalk commissioned survey polled 500 consumers (52% female, 48% male) from all adult age groups across every state and territory in Australia.

Who would your ideal seat-mate be?

Original Article © Copyrights

WIN a trip to Tokyo for RWC 2019

For a true sports fan, nothing’s harder than being away from the game you love.

Ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019, Mastercard is giving Sydney commuters the chance to ditch their daily grind and be at the heart of the action in Japan, all with a simple tap of their Mastercard.

Until 31 August, commuters could swap their usual train or ferry seat for a free stadium seat at one of the matches in Japan, just by tapping on.

The winners will receive a five-day trip for them and a friend, including return flights, luxury transfers, accommodation and tickets to the England v Wales match on 29 September, 2019.

The ‘Tap to Tokyo’ initiative celebrates contactless payments across the Sydney transport network, where Mastercard’s technology enables commuters to pay for travel using their existing debit, prepaid or credit card, or contactless enabled device.


Tap on in Sydney, tap off in Tokyo using a Mastercard debit, prepaid or credit card or contactless device on your commute. To enter, commuters need to register their details at

Mastercard is a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019.

What: Tap to Tokyo – an opportunity for commuters to tap their way to Japan and score a free ticket to Rugby World Cup 2019

When: Until Saturday 31 August

Where: Across NSW

How: Tap on and off Sydney trains and ferries with any Mastercard debit, prepaid or credit card or contactless device on your commute and register your details at

For full terms and conditions, please visit:

Original Article © Copyrights

Don’t plan a working holiday until you read this

From working a winter season in Canada, volunteering with wildlife in Africa, au pairing in London, and teaching English in Asia, there’s no doubt that a working holiday is a popular way to see the world without breaking the bank.

Whether it be helping you choose the right destination, occupation or even accommodation, youth travel experts, The Global Work & Travel Co. make planning a working holiday easy.

Jessica Wilkinson, a high school teacher from Australia who is currently an Au Pair in London, says that following your heart (and your interests) is the easiest way to choose what working holiday will suit you best.

“I wanted to visit the places that I taught my students about in my English and history classes and I wanted to immerse myself in a different culture,” Miss Wilkinson said.

“The main trigger was that I desperately needed a gap year and this opportunity fulfilled everything like working with kids, travelling and experiencing culture and history.”

Jessica said that organising her trip with one of Global’s Trip Coordinators streamlined the planning process and helped her feel more confident and open to new adventures.

“Ask as many questions as you need to; go for it! It doesn’t matter how long or short your trip is, every moment of it will shape you positively,” she said.

Working holidaymaker Lucas Jaeschke is presently on a working holiday in Vancover and recommends choosing a holiday that will not only broaden your skill set, but also get you out of your comfort zone.

“I have always wanted to see more places around the world and meet people from different cultures to gain a greaterawareness and cultural understanding,” Mr Jaeschke said.

Lucas suggests considering a travel plan that will offer personal fulfilment, whilst also improving your knowledge and skills.

“Be as explorative as you can, as every day and every experience offers you a new perspective, whether it’s good or bad,” he said.

“Don’t get too caught up in your day-to-day plans and try and be flexible; the best memories come from the adventures you don’t plan.”

CEO of The Global Work & Travel Co., Jürgen Himmelmann says that their customers decide to use their service to take the stress out of planning a working holiday.

“For many of our travellers it’s the first time they are visiting an overseas location so they rest easy knowing they have someone they can reach out to if they need help securing a job or a place to live when they are overseas,” Jürgen said.

“Our team are there to assist the process of travellers making their way to the other side of the world and offer support and guidance all the way through until they decide to head home.”

The Global Work & Travel Co. assists travellers in choosing an appropriate destination, obtain a working visa and pre-arrival assistance, book flights, organise travel insurance and accommodation options. This ensures travellers have all the tools they need to feel like a local in their chosen country.

Top Tips for Working Overseas

• Prepare your paperwork

• Get the right travel insurances

• Pack with intention

• Start building relationships before you leave

• Contact The Global Work & Travel Co. for advice

For more information:

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Seven tips to staying healthy in Bali

Bali’s beaches are famous for their surfing and their sheer beauty, with tourists arriving to swim, bodyboard or surf along the island’s coastal fringe.

Yet accidents do happen, often with visitors vulnerable to sunburn, treacherous undercurrents – even a small but very real risk of tsunamis.

BIMC facilities

The internationally-recognised BIMC Hospital Bali has prepared seven key tips to follow.

Heed local warnings

Pay attention to Bali’s beach guards such as Balawista. Simple rule: when the surf is up, it’s a sign that there are stronger currents and more frequent waves – both of which may be too much for the average swimmer and certainly for small and adventurous children. Watch for the red warning flags.

Alcohol and swimming don’t mix

Many catastrophic injuries – including drowning – involve alcohol consumption, which can impair your judgment, balance and coordination.

Alcohol levels in the body are higher when people are not drinking plenty of water and are out in the sun – factors that lead to dehydration.

Know your limitations

Drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death in children (just behind car accidents).

Drowning people cannot wave for help; they’re naturally trying to keep their mouths above water. They can only struggle on the surface for 20-60 seconds before going under again, unless they are rescued.

Go inside when you see lightning

Lightning strikes on beaches are extremely common and it’s the third deadliest threat for sunbathers and swimmers every year. When a storm rolls in, get inside your hotel or villa.

Take plenty of breaks

Exhaustion, sunburn, hypothermia and heat stroke are all common problems when spending a day at the beach, so take a short break every hour. Go to the restroom, drink plenty of fresh water, have a light snack and re-apply sunscreen.

All of these are vital to being comfortable after a day of sun, sand and salt water.

Read the tsunami information in your hotel

Tsunamis are both deadly and unpredictable; these huge waves are triggered by underwater earthquakes and can reach the shore in minutes, leaving no time for authorities to sound the alarm.

This is especially true of Bali, where earthquake-prone zones lie very close to shore.

Keep the BIMC Emergency Card handy (3000 911)

When you need immediate treatment, call the emergency ambulance service written on the BIMC emergency card.

Although many hospitals claim to provide 24-hour ambulance access, in practice these services are very limited and not readily available.

The only reliable emergency service with international standard equipment and quick ambulance dispatch is at the BIMC Hospital (there will be a charge for the service).

At BIMC Hospital, the ambulance team always consists of a doctor and a nurse and the emergency room is prepared to provide professional service immediately from minor injuries to more complex procedures.

Original Article © Copyrights

Monday, August 12, 2019

Will Venice’s cruise ban just move overtourism into new areas?

Following the recent news that Venice will stop cruise ships weighing more than 1,000 tons docking in its historic center, Ralph Hollister, Associate Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, offers his view on whether this measure will achieve the aim of protecting the city’s centuries-old buildings:

“Rerouting cruise ships away from Venice’s center will give local residents the impression that their complaints have been taken on board. However, it is probable that redirected tourists will commute to the central islands via large coaches and taxi services instead.

“This will spread the issue of overtourism to new areas outside of the center, creating traffic congestion that will pollute suburban areas.

“The combination of utilizing ports away from central Venice and a new measure requiring day-trippers to pay an entrance fee up to $11 from September are unlikely to effectively combat overtourism. Mass visitation remains important for the local government; tourism is worth 11.4% of Venetian GDP.

“The local government may continue to ride the tourism wave until the effects become irreversible to the city’s fragile structure.”

Original Article © Copyrights

Hong Kong Airport chaos as protests cancel all flights

Following a fourth day of peaceful protests at Hong Kong Airport, HKG was forced to cancel hundreds of flights into and out of the hub on Monday and late into the night.

Image AP /Vincent Thian

Airport officials had braced for disruptions after word spread that demonstrations were headed for the hub.

And indeed they came, in their thousands to one of the world’s busiest hubs.

In a statement yesterday, the airport said that the protests had “seriously disrupted” airport operations.

Consequently, all check-in services for departing flights were suspended with only flights that had completed check-in allowed to leave.

“With the exception of flights departing Hong Kong that have already completed the check-in process, as well as inbound flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today,” HK-based Cathay Pacific tweeted Monday night.

According to the ABC, the airport also advised all passengers “to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible”, while the public was warned to avoid the area. Virgin Australia was one of the carriers caught up in the cancellations, with two flight affected.

Image ABC News /Robert Koenig-luck

“Due to the closure of Hong Kong International Airport, VA82 and VA68 due to depart Hong Kong this evening (12 August) have been delayed until tomorrow (13 August),” it tweeted, urging guests travelling to and from Hong Kong to check their flight status on its website.

Mass protests in Hong Kong have been ongoing for over two months, with Beijing rule and police conduct the focus of attention.

Speaking to Associated Press at the airport, flight attendant “Lau”, who was protesting on his day off, said heavy-handed police had alienated people.

“The police have told a lot of lies to Hong Kong people,” he said. “We cannot believe them anymore. We have to come here to protest.”

Original Article © Copyrights

6 museums in Spain you won't want to miss

When you plan your trip to Spain, you don’t just want to be a passive spectator; you want to absorb the culture, whether it’s chilling during fiesta, going on a bar crawl to taste wine and tapas or just talking to locals.

Want to take a look at another sphere of Spanish culture? Here are six museums that will take you to the world of art and history, old and new.

National Archaeological Museum (Image Arch/Luis Asín/Courtesy National Archaeological Museum)

National Archeological Museum of Madrid

If you love history and want to take a deeper look at how Spain was centuries ago, this is the first place you should visit in Madrid.

Here, you’ll see archeological findings that helped historians discover the history of Iberians as well as ancient pieces of art.

Bored with pottery and statues? Then take a look at the collection of mammoth bones and a copy of a cool prehistoric painting on a cave wall.

The museum also has an interactive way of looking at Spain’s history, like peering into the past with a VR helmet.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

While you’re still in Madrid, pay a visit to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, a perfect destination for people who love classic art.

This museum hosts a huge collection of masterpieces by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Degas, Rubens, Van Gough, and other painters who shaped art.

If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a modern art exhibition too.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Image Thy/Pablo Casares Astigarraga)

Picasso Museum

If you’re going to be staying in Barcelona, don’t miss the Picasso Museum, a place built in honor of the most renowned Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso.

Most Picasso fans would make this museum their first destination in Spain, but it’s worth a visit even if you’re not one.

And you can save €30 by buying tickets to all 6 major Barcelona museums at once, so it’s not going to be a strain on your budget.

This museum doesn’t just showcase his well-known works, but hosts exhibitions that guide you through the Picasso story.

Whilst here, you’ll also see works from the beginning of his career, which started at 13 years of age.

Get a tour guide, and you’ll learn who Pablo was as a person, and what made him the genius that he was.

Picasso Museum


Once you’ve seen everything in the Picasso Museum, pay a visit to MACBA, the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum.

As the name suggests, modern art is where this museum shines,with its collection of around 5,000 pieces.

Museo Molinos Mazonovo

If you’re bored by ordinary museums, try visiting this one. Mills Museum in Taramudi introduces you to the long-forgotten craft of turning grain into flour.

Well preserved and maintained, this museum is a medieval complex of watermills.

The exterior is impressive enough, but to fully appreciate the engineering that went into building it, you have to see it from the inside.

Mazonovo (Image source: Robert.Photography/Flickr)


If you’re holidaying in Tenerife, make sure you visit this delightful doll’s museum.

Privately-owned, this centre is run by doll craft enthusiasts and is admittedly an odd place to visit after MACBA or the National Archeological Museum.

Plus, it doesn’t feel like a proper museum, but rather like somebody’s workshop.

The dolls there are marvelous regardless of whether you like this particular style of art or not.

This odd museum is going to be a great distraction from your lazy beach days.

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