Thursday, 19 April 2018

Art Bazaar Speers Point - This Sunday

Hunter Arts Network's rescheduled Art Bazaar at Speers Point Park is being held THIS Sunday 22 April 2018 from 10am to 3pm.


Habiba Afgan Food –
Choc or Latte Express –
The Coffee Well –
Hanoi’s Food Truck –

Here's some of the Hunter Arts Network members who will be having stalls:

  • Kishani Connett - Damica Desgins
  • Rosanne Waters - Akatonbo
  • Nina Moss - Stella Bella
  • Laura Wilson - Laura Elizabeth Jewellery
  • Sally Ambrose - Wicked Whiskers
  • Kerri Smith - The Housecat Diary
  • Kay Pittelkow - StudioKY
  • Lauren Boyd - Eclectique Designs
  • Kate Belton - Tinkat Alley Art Studio
  • Allison Battye - Ally’s glass chimes
  • Lindsey Goff - Lindsey's Art Of Nature
  • Anna Baba - Unique Art by Anna Baba
  • Lorie Pot - LMP Drawings & Designs
  • Margo Humphries
  • Max and Bronwyn Greive
  • Katherine Payne - Kute Pinnies
  • Porcelain Artists Association Hunter Valley Inc.
  • Suzi Zglinicki
  • Prema Harris - Sundara Art
  • Gwynne Jones Illustration
  • Katerina Larauza - KK Studio
  • Lex Yates Art
  • Sophie Foster-Spinks - Madame Ruse
  • Helen Elphinstone King - HELKINART
  • Janelle Cookson Art
  • Janet Graham - Janet's Art
  • Jayd Colreavy - JaydART
  • Dianna Kellerman - Di-Shell Creations
  • Christine Elkin - SCRAPPY BAGS
  • Claire locker ceramics
  • Marian Roxburgh
  • John and Lesley Hamilton
  • Franca Sibert
  • Elwyn Tweedie - Mummas Treasures
  • Debra Gluszek
  • Linda Manthorp
  • Emily Wise
  • Karen Scott Murals (and Pet Portraits)
  • Kate Wilson
  • Jennifer Curnow - Grevillea Design
  • DeCaignes Designs - Angela Keynes
  • Judy Hicks - JH Jewellery Designs
  • FIG DESIGN - Jo Wiltshire
  • Art Mania Studio
  • Eleanor Anson - Art2q4
  • All Paper Love Co - Nami Byrnes
  • Luna Emporium - Elissa Green

Speers Point Park is located in Park Rd, Speers Point (the turn off is from The Esplanade – route B57). Bring the family & enjoy the views of the northern shores of Lake Macquarie, The Lake Macquarie Variety Playground & Sal’s by The Lake Caf√© & Kiosk.

Guest loyalty, smart hotels and data mining to trend until 2022, says new ATM report

the hospitality industry landscape
Live debate with expert panellists during ATM 2018 to examine, reinvented hotel loyalty programmes, technology and data mining over the next five years

A new approach to loyalty programmes, smart technology, will define the hospitality industry landscape to 2022, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.

The predictions, published by Colliers International, indicate, a rise in ultra-personalised guest services, and technology-led changes to the physical configuration of hospitality spaces with new job roles to accommodate these changes.

The trends will be explored at ATM 2018, during a panel discussion titled The Hotel Landscape of The Future. Chaired by, Content Inc director, Gemma Greenwood, discussion will span high-tech hospitality, new hotel concepts and the brands and hotels due to arrive in the region.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “The trends identified in this report will define innovation and growth across the regional hospitality landscape in the coming five years. The findings demonstrate that today’s hotel guests don’t want to be part of the crowd – they want a unique experience, personalised to their tastes and expectations and, preferably, in an unexplored, or emerging, destination.

The data predicts eight major global trends will also play out in the regional market. These are: fresh and communal themed design; destination experiences; personalised loyalty benefits; “co-everything” shared spaces; multi-role jobs for hotel associates, empowered by technology; authentic experiences; data and smart hotels.

While the period 2016 – 2017 saw heightened merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, the trends predicted for the coming five years are expected to focus on concepts, design and marketing, as well as associate job descriptions.

Driving evolution across operations, responsibilities will merge as associates shift from micro-tasking to multi-tasking, transitioning to multi-function roles, enabled by technology. As data applications advance, the traditional “yield manager” could be replaced by data scientists, who mine and analyse data on consumer behaviour.

Other major predictions include authentic over obvious luxury, adopting a genuine and more personalised style, and in-room destination guides offering curated and branded experiences. The introduction of personalised benefits through hotel loyalty schemes, will see hotels offering bespoke and personalised benefits, based on customer buying behaviour.

Press added: “Using the trends of recent years as a springboard, the hospitality industry will start to pursue new lines of business in 2018, placing a focus on engagement, with personalised and bespoke attention now crucial to the luxury experience. “

Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “The predictions on the hospitality landscape underline the need for the stakeholders to look at existing systems and processes, and prepare for a highly evolved industry that leverages the newest tools in digitisation. With enhanced guest experience as the bottom line, we have already rolled out our digital transformation plan with three key projects that will reshape the way we serve our guests.”

ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four days.

Celebrating its 25th year, ATM 2018 will build on the success of this year’s edition, with a host of seminar sessions looking back over the last 25 years and how the hospitality industry in the MENA region is expected to shape up over the next 25.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 

is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.

Urban Winery mixes chardonnay with Art Deco style in a New Zealand-first

An old tobacco processing factory may seem like a strange 
placet o be making chardonnay but the allure of the iconic Art 
Deco building proved irresistible to winemaker Tony Bish. 
Credit: Kirsten Simcox Photography
An old tobacco processing factory may seem like a strange place to be making chardonnay but the allure of this iconic Art Deco building has proved irresistible to New Zealand winemaker Tony Bish.

Traditionally, visitors flock to Hawke’s Bay vineyards to sip wine amongst the vines but a new winery is adding an urban edge to the wine-tasting experience.

Urban Winery - the newest addition to the Hawke’s Bay Wine Trail - is a New Zealand-first in Napier, a beautiful Art Deco city on the east coast of the North Island. The old tobacco processing factory may seem like a strange place to be making Chardonnay but the allure of this iconic Art Deco building proved irresistible to winemaker Tony Bish.

“I have been interested in the concept of an Urban Winery in Ahuriri since 1995, but until now the stars didn’t align. Access to the old National Tobacco Company was the catalyst for this new project,” Tony Bish says.

Napier’s Art Deco architecture is world renowned and if there was a poster child for the city, the National Tobacco Company building would be it. Bish has transformed the interior into a chic, modern space where visitors can come and try his own creations and a few other select drops from around the region, paired with a charcuterie platter or cheese board.

Sourcing local grapes, Bish employs cutting edge techniques to make Chardonnay, a favourite varietal of the experienced winemaker who started his journey in winemaking in 1981.

“Chardonnay is such a wonderful variety to work with. It responds well to a wide range of winemaking techniques and stylistic directions, allowing me considerable freedom of expression.”

Take a wander around Urban Winery and you will see this expression in action. In pride of place in Urban Winery’s barrel room sits a giant egg made of French oak. What looks like a classy sculpture to the untrained eye is actually a Taransaud Ovum, imported from France and one of only a few of such barrels anywhere in the world. This rare barrel adds to three concrete eggs in the winery’s stable, all quietly working away to create the perfect Chardonnay.

The Hawke’s Bay wine region is well known for its Chardonnays, Bish explains, because the wonderful cool climate with relatively low rainfall, along with alluvial and limestone-based soil types, helps create grapes suited to his favourite style.

Bish has worked with some top Hawke’s Bay wineries, such as Vidal and Sacred Hill, and he and his life partner Karryn love living in the area.

“We love the wine and food culture here as well as the proximity to gorgeous beaches, wild rivers, and stunning scenery. It’s a bit more urbane in the city centres compared to some other regional cities, and we like that to.”

Urban Winery is breaking the mould from the traditional winery and the mix of urban sophistication and world-class wines is sure to be a winner for visitors to the region.

Click here for Urban Winery Facebook

Tour explores Xoan singing in ancient village

Hung Kings Temple Festiva
A ceremony to announce a tourism product called “Xoan singing in ancient village” and daily tour linking Ha Noi and the northern midland province of Phu Tho took place in the latter locality on April 4. Accordingly, artisans and members of Xoan troupes will perform from 2-4pm at Hung Lo communal house every day and from 2-4pm at Lai Len temple every Saturday and Sunday.

During the Hung Kings Temple Festival from April 20-25, xoan singing performances will be staged from 8am – 4pm every day in the above venues.

The daily tour will bring tourists to Hung Kings Temple relic site, Hung Kings museum, Hung Lo ancient village and Lai Len temple, contributing to building Viet Tri into a festival city and popularising tours around the province and the city in particular.

In the near future, travel agencies will continue introducing Xoan singing and Hung Kings worship rituals – two UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritages of humanity to the public.

At the ceremony, the provincial Centre for Tourism Information – Promotion, Viet Tri municipal People’s Committee and travel agencies signed an agreement to launch Ha Noi – Phu Tho daily tour.

Closely linked to the worship of Hung Kings, Xoan singing is a religious practice rooted in the ancestor worship of the Vietnamese people. It is traditionally performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar in holy places such as temples, sanctuaries and communal houses.

There are three forms of Xoan singing: worship singing for the Hung kings and village guardian spirits; ritual singing for good crops, health and luck, and festival singing where villagers alternate male and female voices in a form of courtship.

The Vietnamese musical tradition was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011 due to declining appreciation of this tradition, notably among young people.

The performing art was transferred to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017 in recognition for efforts by the local communities and the national authorities to reinforce the viability of Xoan singing.
Source: VNA

Visit the Central Coast

Central Coast
The colourful days of Spring are here and is the perfect season to explore the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Just one hour's drive north of Sydney, you will find yourself in a destination perfect for a short break getaway, and enjoy adventure activities like quad biking, horse riding, zip lining or drool over one of the worlds largest collection of cars at Gosford Classic Car Museum flaunting over 450 vehicles.

Beaches, wildlife and wilderness - all the natural elements come together on NSW Central Coast. At the essence of the region is a world of beautiful coastlines, golden beaches, alluring lakes and pristine National Parks. These treasured natural assets stretch across the six regions of NSW Central Coast, each with their own unique qualities, energy and style.

If you are staying for a few days or just passing through check out our 'it's on' events page detailing exciting events taking place on the coast! Sun, surf, sand, and so much more ... we invite you to discover #CentralCoastNSW.

Sun Country flights resume at Sonoma County Airport

Sun Country Airlines
From June 29 to Aug. 27, 2018, travelers will once again be able to fly nonstop between the Charles M Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on Sun Country Airlines.

Sun Country first offered weekly flights from STS to MSP from August to December of 2017. This year it is expanding its seasonal service, offering nonstop flights twice a week on Mondays and Fridays.

Sun Country Airlines is a privately held Minnesota company based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It offers affordable flights and vacation packages to more than 40 popular destinations in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.

Sun Country Airlines
Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Townsville to host major ecotourism conference in 2018

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest ecotourism conference will be held in Townsville and focus on the Great Barrier Reef following a strong bid from the Queensland Government to host the event in 2018.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference would be held at Rydges from November 26 to 28 and was tipped to bring up to 300 of the world’s best authorities on ecotourism to Townsville.

“We couldn’t be happier to have this important conference back in our great state and to focus on the jewel in the crown of Queensland tourism - the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is focused on capitalising on the unique ecotourism opportunities we have here in Queensland.

“We’re starting from a great base. Ecotourism supports 4600 jobs in this state but we know that number could be larger.

“That’s what this conference is about – getting the best minds together to spark debate about how we can get the balance right and leverage our natural assets.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said Queensland’s world class national parks, marine parks and World Heritage Areas played an important role in ecotourism.

“Queensland National Parks attract more than 58 million domestic and international visitors each year and already we have steps in place to transform our national parks into ecotourism drawcards,” Ms Enoch said.

“Under the Queensland Ecotourism Plan and our National Parks’ ecotourism framework, our Government is working on premium ecotourism experiences that will build on our vision of Queensland being a recognised ecotourism destination while also protecting our beautiful natural environment.

“Our Government is committed to ensuring we get the balance right.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the conference was first in Townsville in 2006 and said its return in 2018 was a great win for the local tourism industry.

“Townsville’s natural beauty is what makes so many visitors consistently pick our great city as their preferred place to holiday,” he said.

“We need to help local business to take advantage of our strengths and input from the experts will help us to get the balance right.”

Ecotourism Australia is the peak body for ecotourism in the nation and the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism conference has been the go-to event for ecotourism and sustainability in the tourism industry since its inception in 1991.

Ms Jones said the Queensland Government was a strong supporter of the conference which was last held in Queensland in 2013.

“We need to work with all of our partners to make the most of the natural beauty of our national parks and the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

“We’ve already made ecotourism development easier through our Ecotourism Development Toolkit and now we’re working to improve experiences in our national parks and find new ways for visitors to enjoy our unique natural assets.”

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman said Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef were internationally recognised ecotourism icons.

“Having Ecotourism Australia's 2018 Global Eco conference here in Queensland is a clear statement that Queensland's Government is serious about the benefits that ecotourism can bring to the State, its regions and its communities.

“We look forward to bringing the world to Queensland to showcase the amazing efforts and achievements of the ecotourism industry and Queensland's incredible nature.”

The Conference is also supported by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville Enterprise Limited and Sustainable Townsville Limited.

Townsville Enterprise Director – Tourism and Events Bridget Woods said securing the conference was a significant coup for the region.

“Townsville Enterprise is thrilled to assist in bringing the 2018 Global Eco Conference to Townsville through funding supplied by the Townsville North Queensland Bid Fund,” said Ms Woods.

“Hosting the premier event of Ecotourism Australia provides our region the opportunity to showcase its outstanding environmental tourism experiences and facilities to the best ecotourism operators and tourism professionals in the world.

“The conference will also have a significant impact on our local economy, generating over $300,000 by the 250 event attendees, many of whom will be international delegates”.

Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossoms

Mt. Fuji
Lake Kawaguchi is one of the places you can see a combination of cherry blossoms and Mt Fuji.

Once the flowers fully bloom, many tourists hurry to witness this scene.

Try to capture Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms together for yourself.

It's sure to turn out lovely.

#Yamanashi #Fujikawaguchiko
Photo by Takashi

Visit Japan Now

Enchanted Kingdom - providing magical experiences!

Enchanted Kingdom
Enchanted Kingdom opened to the public on October 19, 1995. It was and still is the first and only world-class theme park in the Philippines.

The theme park boasts of rides and attractions unique to the country and in size and magnitude. These rides and attractions are located within seven meticulously theme zones interspersed with food and merchandise outlets and kiosks as well as various game stands that add to the “enchanting experience”, away from the day-to-day realities of life.

Enchanted Kingdom is also a choice venue for (1) personal milestones, such as birthdays, weddings, and debuts; (2) corporate events, namely, conferences, company anniversaries, awarding ceremonies, product launches, and EK Magicalympics team building; and (3) school events, such as commencement exercises, Junior-Senior prom, and sports events.

Enchanted Kingdom can cater to in-park group reservations from 10,000 to 25,000 guests in various themed environments in the Park’s seven zones or in its enchanting events venues: Eldar’s Tent (600-seater), Boardwalk Party Place (300-seater), and Enchanting Events Place (2,000-seater).

Enchanted Kingdom boasts of “themed entertainment” in each zone. It also has a variety of musical shows throughout the season using in-house and TV network partner talents. Entertainment and special events are usually held at any of the aforementioned venues.

Currently, Enchanted Kingdom is exploring ways to expand into other ventures like Edutainment. Through the spirit of participation in education-related undertakings, the theme park can greatly help in the future of the country’s educational backbone.


Eldar the wizard is the beloved character of Enchanted Kingdom. He is a jolly, old wizard in the faraway land of Marsynthea.
Enchanted Kingdom
Nobody knows his age or where he came from, but for many, many years and generations thereof, Eldar took great care of this land, nurturing all the plants and animals. He teaches children to uphold virtues of kindness, humility, patience, honesty, diligence, generosity, and love of God and family. His dream is to share joy, love, and magic with everyone.

Enchanted Kingdom Inc. is located in San Lorenzo South, City of Santa Rosa, Laguna.


The Kiama Bodyboard Slam

The world’s best bodyboarders will take to the waves in Kiama later this year, with the region set to host the inaugural Kiama Bodyboard Slam.

The event has been secured by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, in partnership with Kiama Council and Surfing NSW.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the event would deliver significant benefits to local businesses and accommodation providers.

“The Kiama Bodyboard Slam will be one of five Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour events, ensuring the best bodyboarders in the world travel to the South Coast to compete,” he said.

“It is expected to attract more than 450 overnight visitors to the region and deliver close to $300,000 in visitor spend.”

The Kiama Bodyboard Slam waiting period will be from 30th July to 9th August 2018. For more information, visit