Saturday, 24 March 2018


The Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan was launched this week and is set to grow the local tourism industry and drive overnight visitation to the region.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “The Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan recognises the current health of the visitor economy in the region and identifies nine strategic development themes and over 40 priority projects to ensure the region continues to thrive and grow.”

The Plan has been developed by Destination Riverina Murray in consultation with the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and Murray Regional Tourism. To view the plan, click here.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - laughs galore!

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
We all need an escape from the chores of everyday life. We need to let our hair down and laugh. A beaut way of doing this is to go to The Faulty Towers Dining Experience currently being presented at the Sydney Opera House.

The production is based on the Faulty Towers TV show that first aired in 1972, written by and starring John Cleese. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is a wonderful combination of a three-course meal and live theatre show.

The venue is the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House which has been transformed into an intimate dining room just like the British dining room of the Fawlty Towers Hotel in the seaside town of Torquay.

I first saw The Faulty Towers Dining Experience at the Sydney Opera House in 2013 with my wife. This time I took one of my daughters to see it. We were both very impressed with this production and had a hilarious night out.

The show starts as people gather around the bar before being seated, and continues on as the guests are welcomed and escorted to their seats at one of the ten tables. During the next two hours, the laughs are presented between and during the serving of the three courses.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
There are only 3 actors involved in the production, but they all produce enough laughs as if there was a cast of 30. Luke McGibney portrays the hotel owner Basil Faulty, Rhian McLean plays his wife Sybil, and Andy Foreman portrays the Spanish waiter Manuel. Each has mastered the speech, emotions and characteristics of the TV stars to perfection. 

Basil is gruff, rude and short-tempered with the dining room guests and Sybil is kept busy apologizing to the all the guests. Manuel has continual trouble understanding the Engish language by doing literally what he is asked to do. To me, the star of the night was Andy as Manuel. He was brilliant. The comic timing of the three actors is to perfection and the laughs come non-stop.

In each performance, there are segments based on episodes of the TV series, such as Manuel losing his pet hamster in the dining room, and Basil placing a bet on the horses. However, more than two-thirds of the show is ad-libbed as the three characters interact with audience members. This means that no performances are the same - they are all different.

There is no stage - the performance takes place around the seated dining guests in the restaurant. The main segments of the show take place between courses. The seated diners take on the role of the diners of the Hotel restaurant, so the audience is actually involved with Basil, Sybil and Manuel in their antics. While people are eating each course the three key actors wander around the guests and provide much impromptu banter. The amazing thing is that they keep in character the whole time.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
The three-course meal was delicious, with the starter being Tomato and Basil Soup, the main course being Pan Fried Chicken Breast with Onion Stuffing, Chat Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables, and the dessert being Lime Flavoured Custard Tart with Shortbread Pastry Base, topped with Clotted Cream. Of course, the serving of each course was total mayhem, with some people initially missing out, some people meals removed before being eaten (fortunately replaced ... ), and strange items being found in some peoples servings.

The audience consisted of many individuals, couples, groups. One chap was celebrating his 60th birthday, so of course, this was incorporated into the antics. From the laughter that was coming from each of the tables, it was obvious that all were enjoying themselves and appreciating the Faulty Towers Dining Experience.

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is presented by Interactive Theatre International (ITI), which has been presenting it around the world for the past 23 years.

Make sure you get along to one of the remaining Faulty Towers Dining Experiences at the Sydney Opera House, or to one of the other venues as they travel around Australia. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience is currently touring various towns cities in Australia throughout the rest of 2018. 

The Faulty Towers Dining Experience
To buy tickets for the remaining performances at the Sydney Opera House go to The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - Sydney Opera House

To find out about the coming performance locations, dates and ticket prices just go the website The Faulty Towers Dining Experience - Australian performances

Future performances will also be at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Mar/Apr 2018, Brighton Fringe: May 2018, Edinburgh Fringe: August 2018 and Touring worldwide 2018.


Diethelm Travel Group has unveiled the lineup of its returning webinar series, which launched last year offering free educational sessions to client agents.

The tour operator will produce a webinar once a month focusing on each of the 13 countries it operates in, aimed at helping clients better understand and sell the destinations, as well as highlight local experiences and offerings such as concierge services, best-selling products and new programmes.

Hosted by Diethelm Travel’s product managers and managing directors, each instalment runs for 30 minutes and is also available online after the scheduled session.

This year, webinars have also been tweaked based on participant feedback, to delve beyond destination overviews and touch on trending topics. Sessions are available for both Central European Time and US Pacific Time, with the below schedule and focus areas:

  • March 29 – Vietnam (new beach stay destinations)
  • April 26 – Cambodia (leading luxury accommodation and why the country deserves more time to be explored)
  • May 20 – Laos’ (nature and arts)
  • June 28 – Sri Lanka
  • July 26 – Malaysia (Sabah)
  • August 29 – Singapore (new local, immersive experiences)
  • September 27 – Myanmar (nature and scenic attractions including river cruises, trekking and cycling)
  • October 25 – Maldives (which resorts best fit each market segment)
  • November 29 – China (cultural destinations of Chengdu, Shuzhou and Hangzhou)

Read full article at TTGAsia:

Instagrammable Food Guide To Tokyo - Dominique Ansel Bakery (Omotesando)

Everyone is always asking about Tokyo food, and I figured if I’m going to do this, why not make my first food list about all the Instagrammable spots. So here you have it! Below is a list of what I’ve tried, when I tried it, where it is, and roughly how much it costs. I hope this will help for your next Tokyo journey!

I would also love to know, what are your Tokyo favourites for ‘Instagrammable cafes’? There’s a whole range of others I’m dying to check out!

Dominique Ansel Bakery (Omotesando)

I remember my first visit to a Dominique Ansel Bakery. It was NYC’s Soho shop with my friend Patricia. It was the first time I was able to taste Dominique Ansel’s world famous creation – the cronut! I’ve since visited the Dominique Ansel Tokyo Café twice, once in summer, and most recently in winter. I love that they always have themed sweets to try, such as the Valentine’s specials you’ll see below. While we were there, there was a Central Park Winter special for two on the menu, which included lobster rolls (amazing ones), soup, pastries, and biscuits, all served in the cutest little picnic basket, complete with blanket! I find that the quality of the food here is always next level, which is why I keep coming back for more.

The Omotesando shop is the larger of the two Dominique Ansel Bakeries in Tokyo. Downstairs is usually for take away/on the go diners, while upstairs is reserved for those who wish to have the full, and quieter experience. There is also a shop in Ginza, however I have not been to this one, I just know that it is smaller.

Must try: Their cheese toastie is to die for! You also need to order a blooming hot chocolate to be mind blown, and also a cronut is a must if you’ve not had his before! Oh, and a cookie shot too. And the pastries of course – at least one! Sorry if this over complicates your order!

Time of visit: August & February (Summer & Winter)
Cost: A tart/dessert from Dominique Ansel Bakery will cost roughly 1000yen. A standard meal will set you back by about 3000-4000yen, depending on your order.
Address: 5-7-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Hours: 10:00-19:00


Renowned for its stunning beaches, lush hinterland and enviable coastal lifestyle, the Northern Rivers region of NSW is experiencing an accommodation renaissance with a recent spate
of new hotels, refurbishments and unique stays attracting an increasing number of visitors.

In the year ending September 2017, the Northern Rivers attracted almost 2.7 million domestic overnight visitors, with 9.7 million nights being spent in the region.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, from Ballina to Tweed Heads, visitors to the region can enjoy an exceptional range of accommodation from backpacker hostels to award-winning boutique hotels.

“We’re thrilled to see significant accommodation development in the region from holiday parks to new hotels. In Byron Bay over the last year, we’ve seen the addition of 99 new villas at Elements of Byron Resort & Spa, 18 brand new two-bedroom cabins at Discovery Parks, refurbishments undertaken at luxury hotels The Byron at Byron and Rae’s on Wategos, and the opening of converted boutique hotel, The Bower,” Mr Marshall said.

To find out more about the Northern Rivers, go to

Friday, 23 March 2018

Oedo Fukagawa Sakura Matsuri

  • Cherry Blossom Viewing Aboard Traditional Japanese Boats

Monzen-nakacho (formerly Fukagawa) in eastern Tokyo is an area defined by its warm, friendly community. During the cherry blossom season, ride in traditional Japanese-style boats ferried by hand on Oyokogawa River, near Monzen-nakacho Station. Coasting down the river, relaxing and gazing at the cherry blossoms that grace both sides of the water, you may find it hard to believe you’re still within the Tokyo metropolis.

During the festival, you’ll be able to see “Shinnai-nagashi” performances on weekend afternoons from 13:00~14:00 (except March 25th, March 31th and April 1st). Shinnai-nagashi is a type of traditional Japanese entertainment where strolling musicians play shamisen music in time with each other.

Other attractions include the “Ohanami Cafe” where you can enjoy food and drinks on the weekends (with special perks for customers who come dressed in kimono). The cherry blossoms will also be lit up at night for your enjoyment. We hope you’ll join us in Fukagawa this spring, when the whole town will be painted pink by lush spring blossoms!

Festival Information
Dates: Saturday, March 24th ~ Wednesday, April 11th, 2018
Place: Monzen-nakacho area, Koto City, Tokyo
(Monzen-nakacho Station on Tokyo Metro Tozai Line T12 and Toei Oedo Line E15)

**Boat rides are available on weekends between March 24th~April 8th and on Wednesdays, April 4th and April 11th.
Reception for the boat rides will be open from 9:30 until 14:30.
Cost: 500 yen
Duration: 20 minutes

5 reasons to attend PROUD Experiences

  • Introducing PROUD Experience

PROUD Experiences is the first of its kind, an international three-day event bringing together travel suppliers and buyers as well as lifestyle brands targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

Set in inspiring surroundings, you’ll have the chance to meet with your peers through Pre-Scheduled Appointments, matching you to buyers and suppliers that fulfil your aspirations. You’ll hear from influential people who can pass on some great lessons, enabling you to avoid the mistakes of brands who have ‘superficially’ tried to break into the LGBTQ+ market.

Limited to just 100 specially invited suppliers and 100 highly qualified buyers; the lucky few will develop business, strategies and creative ideas to better serve this fast growing market.

“London will be the stage of a historical moment; the very first LGBTQ travel show in the world. Finally, the voice of this important market will be heard. I think that brands and agents will be missing a moment to be seen and an opportunity to understand this market.”
- Bruno Vilaça, Owner and Travel Expert, Superviagem and confirmed buyer for PROUD

1. This is not a side dish – we are focused 100% on the LGBTQ travel market.

2. The market is huge – worth 211 billion USD worldwide and continuously growing.

3. The buyers are incomparable – key buyers from Brazil (including Bruno Vilaça), Canada, China and the USA are already confirmed.

4. Learn something new – hear from leading experts at the LGBTQ Forum and your choice of Power Master Classes.

5. New friends and networks – Hang out in London’s most creative spaces with the best buyers, speakers, media and your fellow pioneers.

If you are interested in understanding and doing business with the LGBTQ community, you belong here. Be part of the key conversations and help form the future of LGBTQ travel.

To secure one of only 100 table top positions, please contact Ian Warwick.

Show Dates & Location
Weds 6th June: 09:00 – 18:00
Thu 7th June: 09:00 – 18:00
Fri 8th June: 09:00 – 17:00
Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd
Chelsea, London, SW3 4RY

Contact us

We'd love it if you want to ask us questions about the event. Feel free to contact the team with the details below.

Event Manager
Gareth Baguley
+44 (0)20 8910 7015

Sales Manager

Thursday, 22 March 2018


This Easter, musicians will gather at Bermagui on the South Coast to perform music from around the world at the Four Winds Festival, a grass-roots event celebrating community and music in nature.

Over five days, 26 performances by 60 artists and 10 ensembles will take place at 10 beautiful locations including the open-air amphitheatre Sound Shell, the all-weather acoustic space Windsong Pavilion and in private homes.

Find out more and book tickets here.


Farmers are starting to adopt climate-smart practices
like using biochar and organic composts
 instead of chemical fertilizers.
Photo: ADB
The Siem Reap Action Plan will pave the way for the Greater Mekong Subregion to become a regional and global hub for good, sustainably produced food.

In a blog post, Pavit Ramachandran of the Asian Development Bank talks about the ambitious goal to transform the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) into a leading global supplier of safe and environment-friendly agriculture products.

In September 2017, GMS agriculture ministers endorsed a 5-year strategy and action plan to build a region-wide food safety system that will be based on mutually recognized, science-based standards, product tracing, and information sharing, especially on hazard lists for key commodities.

Ramachandran cited the positive trends and developments in the subregion that support this strategy.
  • Farmers are starting to adopt climate-smart practices like using biochar and organic composts instead of chemical fertilizers.
  • Agribusiness companies are expanding to regional and global markets, and are helping to connect small farmers to opportunities beyond borders.
  • Agricultural trade, inluding food products, in the GMS is growing rapidly, thanks to contract growing arrangements between countries, improved infrastructure, and increased foreign direct investment in agribusinesses.
  • GMS consumers are increasingly looking for food that is safe and healthy, and environmentally friendly.
  • GMS countries are exporting more value-added products rather than just raw materials.

“The subregion is strategically located close to major markets like the PRC, India, and Southeast Asia, which are expanding 5- to-10 times faster than the US or the EU,” he adds. “Also, major transport corridors are linking the GMS to Central Asia, South Asia, and Europe.”

Read full article at Greater Mekong Subregion:

Tanto Tulip Festival 2018

  • Tanto Tulip Festival 2018 is on again this year from mid to late April!

The festival showcases 1,000,000 planted tulips of about 300 different varieties. 100,000 of these tulips will be used to make a flower image of the popular Toyooka city character ‘Gen-san’.

This festival takes place in the beautiful countryside community of Tanto which is about 30 km from Kinosaki Onsen, in Hyogo Prefecture.

Food stalls will be available during the event, operating from 9am-5pm.

Entry fee-  700yen for high school students and older. Free for junior high school students and younger.

Venue - Tanto Flower Park, Hyogo Prefecture
Access - Use either bus or car to access the exciting festival!
By public transport - From Kyoto: take the Limited Express Kinosaki to Ebara station (125 mins)
- From Osaka: take the Limited Express Kounotori to Ebara (140 mins)
Then get on the Zentan Bus bound for Izushi (30 mins). Change for another bus bound for Okuto and alight after 15 mins to Tanto.