Friday, 15 December 2017

NEW AIRLINES, PREDOMINANTLY CHINESE, SET TO LAND IN CAMBODIA

A string of new airlines is set to fly to Cambodia in the near future, paving the way for more regional traffic, particularly Chinese, in the destination.

At the inaugural Cambodia Travel Mart in Siem Reap, Nuno Costa, marketing and sales director for Cambodia Airports, said Chinese airline Ruili Airlines will soon announce that it will be landing in Phnom Penh in the coming weeks.

Malaysian airline Malindo Air, and two Chinese airlines Sichuan Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, are also expected to launch by the beginning of next year. This comes off the back of JC International Airlines and Lanmei Airlines starting operations in Cambodia earlier this year.

In addition, Lithuanian-based Small Planet Airlines was recently issued an air operator’s certificate, with KC International Airline, Air Siem Reap, Prince International Airlines and Cambodia Airways also applying for licences.

Costa said: “We will finalise some deals with other airlines next year, so there will not be a lack of airlines in Cambodia; the market here is really booming.”

Ton Phearom, Charming Cambodia Tours’ inbound tour operator, welcomed the move.

She said: “Increased connectivity is good for Cambodia’s tourism industry. It makes it easier for visitors to get to the country and makes it more competitive.”

However, Coralie Romano, EXO Cambodia’s product manager, said many of the ventures are targeted at the Chinese – a market Cambodia has firmly set its sights on, with the goal of attracting two million Chinese by 2020.

Read full article at TTG ASIA: https://www.ttgasia.com/2017/11/21/new-airlines-predominantly-chinese-set-to-land-in-cambodia/

New Queensland hot spot

Brisbane
While beach breaks are probably the first place you think of when imagining a summer holiday, Brisbane has emerged as this summer's holiday hot spot. 

According to travel website Wotif.com, Brisbane is now the most popular place for a Christmas vacation.

Full story

Kaikōura seafood vendor Nins Bin makes a comeback

Nins Bin opened in 1977 and is named
after a lady who used to work there
Kaikōura's much-loved crayfish caravan Nins Bin is making a comeback just in time for summer.

The well-photographed seafood vendor has been a favourite stop along the Kaikōura coastline for generations.

Nins Bin closed after a major earthquake cut off access to State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura in November 2016. Nins Bin has sold locally-caught crayfish on the roadside since 1977

Now, the blue and white roadside caravan is getting a spruce up ahead of its planned reopening on December 15 – the same day SH1 reopens for daylight travel.

“She’s all the same – just looking one million times better,” says Nins Bin co-owner Johnny Clark. "She got neglected for a while.

"She’s got a new paint job, new cooker, lino, carpet – just a big freshen up. We’ve got a new kitchen going in.”

Nins Bin has been owned and operated by the Clark family since the 1977, when Johnny’s grandfather set it up. The caravan is named after a lady who used to work there.

Johnny, 23, has helped his father Rodney with the business for nine years – a lengthy apprenticeship. Now it’s his time to shine.

“He said, ‘It’s about time’. He reckons I’m ready. ”State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura is reopening for daylight travel on December 15

The caravan will be in the same location as before – 20 kilometres up the coast from Kaikōura – but there’s a lot more beachfront now.

Johnny says the land lifted 3.5 metres in the quake.

"We won’t have to worry about the sea hitting the shop anymore. The sea used to come up every couple of years and smash into the shop. It nearly washed the shop away one year.”

The menu will include mussels from the Hairy Mussel Co in Marlborough, whitebait and crayfish straight from the sea.

“We’re still going to have garlic butter crays and all the mussels are cooked in white wine and stuff,” Johnny says. “We’re going to do some fresh fish too – fish and chips.”

Catching the crays will be “just me and my deckhand Big Fletch”, Johnny says.

“[We’ll] be catching them the day before to make them nice and fresh for customers.” Nins Bin opened in 1977 and is named after a lady who used to work there

Johnny shared the news of Nins Bin's reopening on Facebook this week and the post received congratulations from as far away as Texas.

“If you sell beautiful food, everyone talks,” Johnny says.

“It’s our 40th anniversary this year. We were always going to get it back open.”

The opening hours will mimic the opening hours of SH1 – check here for updates.

Kaikōura means “to eat crayfish” in Maori (kai – eat/food, koura – crayfish).

CELEBRATE XMAS IN THE VINES

The Zin House
For a Christmas Day lunch with a difference, consider gathering your loved ones for lunch at The Zin House in Mudgee.

Now taking bookings for Christmas Day lunch, the hatted restaurant sits in more than 400 hectares of the property’s certified organic farmland and its menu is based on the fresh produce grown in its own kitchen garden.

During Summer, The Zin House garden produces blood plums, apricots, peaches, figs and more.

BOOK HERE

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Gippsland gold: 10 reasons to visit Victoria’s wild paradise

Toorongo Falls Reserve
The perfect getaway for people in search of authentic, often crowd-free travel experiences.

Thankfully, there are still some places left on earth where a slow approach to life is favoured. In Victoria’s Gippsland region visitors can drive past green pastures dotted with dairy cows, laze on uncrowded beaches, stop in at bucolic towns, have close encounters with koalas in the wild and hike through secluded forests to hidden waterfalls. Despite Gippsland being one of Victoria’s greatest assets, it remains blissfully free from crowds, making it a perfect getaway option for people in search of authentic travel experiences.

Here are 10 reasons to make a trip to Gippsland:


1. See a world of waterfalls

A collection of under-the-radar waterfalls makes Gippsland an optimal spot to bliss out in nature, sans the crowds. Found in picturesque town of Noojee, Toorongo Falls Reserveencompasses two spectacular waterfalls that evoke an instant sense of calm. Toorongo Falls and Amphitheatre Falls are both easily accessible along walking tracks fringed with huge ferns, mossy rocks and clusters of fairytale-like fungi. About an hour from Wilsons Promontory, Agnes Falls is another of Gippsland’s waterfall wonders, with crystalline cascades tumbling over a series of rocks to a 59 metre drop.


2. Experience wildlife encounters

Boasting many national parks and marine reserves, it’s not hard to encounter native wildlife while travelling in Gippsland. From spotting koalas on Raymond Island, to watching kangaroos hop by while hiking in Wilsons Promontory, seeing pelicans gobble down fish in Metung and spying wombats in the bushland around Venus Bay, Gippsland is home to a menagerie of native wildlife. Off the coast, dolphins, whales and seals can all be spotted from the shore or aboard a boat. Many of Gippsland’s rivers and lakes are home to the elusive platypus, typically only spotted at dawn and dusk. Whether travelling with a dedicated wildlife tour operator like Echidna Walkabout or enjoying an independent road trip, wildlife sightings are guaranteed.

3. Explore a bounty of beaches

When it comes to wide open spaces, Gippsland has the advantage. While beaches closer to the city can become crowded during summer, Gippsland’s beaches are big and plentiful enough to never feel overrun with visitors. From wandering along 90 Mile Beach in Lakes Entrance to view the remains of the Trinculo shipwreck to floating in the calm waters of Cape Paterson Bay Beach on the Bass Coast, Gippsland’s uncrowded beaches are places of wild beauty, free to enjoy all year round.

4. Eat seriously good seafood

With direct access to the ocean, Gippsland is a place for seafood lovers to get their fill of some of the freshest catch in the country. Housed on a floating vessel that was once the town’s car ferry, Ferryman’s Seafood Café in Lakes Entrance offers fresh oysters with a side serve of harbour views and Pier 70 in Paynesville is another one not to be missed. In the seaside village of San Remo, the San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op is a casual, family-friendly spot to feast on battered fish and chips with daily pelican feeding providing some light entertainment. A high end option for discerning diners, the Cape Kitchen on Phillip Island keeps things local by offering fresh mussels, squid and prawns served alongside Gippsland cheese and wine.

5. Walk a track less travelled

Keen hikers will love a walk in the wilderness of the Grand Strzelecki Track. A seriously underrated spot that few tourists visit, this magical track accessible from the towns of Churchill, Yarram or Traralgon is home to some of the tallest flowering plants and hardwood trees on the planet. Thanks to a high amount of rainfall and swathes of protected forest, this evergreen area is overgrown with jungle-like shrubs and towering trees. This biodiverse spot supports a huge number of native flora and fauna species, so hikers can expect to see koalas, echidnas and native birdlife in abundance.

6. Taste award-winning cheeses

As the epicentre of Victorian dairy production, Gippsland’s 190-odd dairies are responsible for producing more than 20% of Australia’s milk supply. No trip to Gippsland’s green pastures is complete without a cheese tasting session, with Prom Country Cheese in Moyarra and Bassine Speciality Cheese in Glen Forbes being two of the best places to taste artisanal cheeses made from local milk. Strong and pungent blues, creamy soft cheeses and tangy sheep milk cheese – anything and everything goes when it comes to Gippsland-produced dairy. Many providores in the region also stock local cheese with the Koonwarra Store in South Gippsland showcasing a carefully curated selection of cheese from local makers as well as wine and other gourmet treats from the region.

7. See wildflowers in bloom

Bushwalkers and day trippers are spoiled with an abundance of pretty-as-a-picture landscapes in Gippsland during spring and summer. From the protected woodlands of the national parks to the paddocks fringing the highways, wildflower season (September to January) is the ideal time for flower lovers to admire blooms. Splashes of delicate orchids, fields of bright daisies, yellow bursts of wattle and striking lines of bush peas can be found in the region, from the wild coast to the peaceful inland areas.

8. Find off-the-grid experiences

Leaving behind the stresses of the modern world is easy in Gippsland, with travel to the remote parts of the region giving visitors a chance to leave their tech devices behind. An overnight hiking and camping adventure in the unspoilt wilderness of the northern section of Wilsons Promontory is just the ticket for experienced hikers and outdoorsy folk. With five, basic campsites to choose from including Five Mile Beach and Barry Creek (all with no electricity or facilities) spending a night away from it all under a blanket of stars is arguably one of the best ways to experience this magical part of Victoria. Confident hikers will also love the idea of tackling the 100km Wilderness Coast Walk that encompasses the Croajingolong National Park. With no phone coverage and very few facilities along the way, this walk that starts in Mallacoota reveals sea caves, coastal lagoons, rolling sand dunes, wetlands full of migratory seabirds, surf beaches strewn with kelp and fragrant bushland alive with the calls of native birdlife.

9. Cruise the Gippsland Lakes

Nothing beats the freedom that comes with hitting the open water for a day of sailing. Considered an inland sea, the Gippsland Lakes area is the largest navigable inland waterway in Australia, covering a size ten times that of Sydney Harbour. A day out on the water with Riviera Nautic will reveal deserted beaches, waterside cafes, quiet national parks and wildlife sightings a plenty. Ahoy!

10. Visit old school pubs

Exchange Hotel
Nothing beats a lazy afternoon in a country pub, and the Gippsland region is home to many endearing watering holes. The hub of many a rural community, a pub visit usually reveals local folklore, top travel tips from in-the-know locals and encounters with colourful characters. Highlights include Foster’s character-filled, wooden Exchange Hotel, the historic, renovated Tinamba Hotel and the Art Deco Fish Creek Hotel.

*Credit-  Visit Victoria

Luxury Hotel Operator is All a Buzz

Neighbours within a three kilometre radius of award-winning Queenstown property, The Rees Hotel Queenstown will come eye to eye with its new little community ambassadors this summer.

In a vacant site next-door to the lakeside property nestled amongst an enormous patch of broom in several custom-made galvanised steel hives are the ‘Rees bees’ – a brand new apiary operation and eco initiative backed by the luxury operator.

“The inspiration came from our guests. We were buying Manuka honey pottles during Chinese New Year and thought wouldn’t it be nice to have our own bees on site which aligns with our commitment towards sustainability?” says Front Office Manager, Micka McDonald.

Local beekeeper, Nick Cameron who is managing the entire turn-key operation from hive to packaged product has identified the perfect spot for a young colony to thrive and build honey comb.

Under the cover of darkness at 2am in the morning he transported the hives to the site to ensure that the entire workforce was moved all at once.

“For anyone with a fruit tree or a vegetable garden, these little guys are going to be doing a favour for everyone around the Rees as they’re going to be travelling around the neighbourhood actively pollinating” says Cameron.

The native clad bush site is a hive of activity currently. The 3,000 new Rees recruits of Italian decent with their healthy Queen are expected to morph into a family of 40,000 and produce 25 kilograms by next season for harvest.

Mark Rose, General Manager has always had a long term plan for reducing carbon footprints by utilising as much local produce as possible.

The honey will complement The Rees Head Chef’s hand churned butter and be a key ingredient in ‘Bees Knees’ cocktails. “We’re looking forward to providing our guests with our own honey made literally on our doorstep” he says.

The Rees bee-friendly project in New Zealand’s top tourist destination is part of a global initiative amongst luxury operators like the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Mandarin Oriental in Paris and the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Hyde Park.

The Rees Hotel Queenstown blends chic five star accommodation with all the comforts of home and the service and facilities of an elite international hotel. Situated on the absolute lakefront, The Rees’ terraced construction delivers complete privacy and showcases panoramic views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand. Its landmark restaurant is the True South Dining Room.

For Hotel bookings and enquiries phone:
+64 3 450 1100
Or email: reservations@therees.co.nz

http://www.therees.co.nz
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A marathon of a celebration

More than 25,000 participants from more than 50 countries are expected to pound the Gold Coast pavement next year. 

Entries for the 40th Gold Coast Marathon opened on Tuesday and the 30 June-1 July event will feature eight races.

Read more

THAILAND ARRIVALS FLYING HIGH

Thailand’s tourist industry earned THB1,472,698.81 million from international tourist visits, January to October, an increase of 9.31%, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport released last week..

Reporting on the latest statistics, Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports, Pongpanu Svetarundra, said the country welcomed 2,723,971 visits in October alone.

For the 10 months up to the end of October, the country registered 28.8 million visits, a rise of 6.69%, year-on-year.

At the current pace, Thailand is likely to surpass 34 million by the close of the year. Based on optimistic forecasts the figure could just fall short of 35 million if the fourth quarter performs well.

Critics will say the figures do not represent genuine tourists; just arrivals at checkpoints representing a wide range of travel purposes from cross-border trade to labour, educational visits and repeat business trips.

During October, the East Asia market dominated by China, delivered 1,845,045 visits followed by Europe, South Asia, the Americas, Oceania, Middle East and Africa.

Compared with October 2016, visits increased 20.9%. Travel from East Asia grew 29.38%, driven by recovery in the Chinese market. The crackdown over zero tourism was at its height in October 2016, causing a massive decline in visits from China, which partly explains the substantial growth rate this October.

The top 10 tourist supply markers were China, Malaysia, Laos, Korea, India, Japan, Russia, Cambodia, the US and the UK.

In addition, visitor spend in October generated an estimated revenue of THB142,639.83 million, an increase of 24.38% year-on-year.

In terms of tourist receipts, the top 10 supply markets were: China; Russia; Malaysia; Australia; United Kingdom; Korea; USA; Japan; India and Germany.

Read full article at TTRWeekly: http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2017/11/thailand-arrivals-flying-high/

ON-DEMAND REGIONAL TOURISM FUND WEBCASTS

The NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Fund is a $13-million program aimed at developing and promoting rural and regional NSW destinations and experiences.

A series of webcasts explains how the funding can be sourced through two streams: the Tourism Marketing Program, in which destination NSW matches dollar-for-dollar investment up to $500,000, and the Product Development Program which offers funding between $15,000 and $150,000.

Watch the webcast Regional Tourism Fund: Tourism Product Development Program to find out how this funding stream can provide Local Government, tourism sector organisations and tourism operators with additional funds to progress their project.

Watch the webcast Regional Tourism Fund: Co-operative Tourism Marketing Program to find out about this funding stream, which can be applied for by Local Government, tourism organisations and tourism industry associations, and how best to approach the Expression of Interest form.

Find out more here.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

André Rieu - Extra Sydney Concert Announced

Due To Huge Demand
André Rieu Announces
Extra Sydney 2018 Concert - Thursday 22 November

Tickets On Sale Friday 15 December 2017 at 9am

Due to high ticket sales Dutch King of The Waltz André Rieu has announced he will perform an extra concert in Sydney on Thursday 22 November on his “Christmas with André” 2018 tour. Demand for André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra’s highly anticipated Christmas Tour in Australia has led to the artist putting on an extra performance at the ICC Theatre Sydney. This will be André Rieu’s first ever Christmas Tour to Australia.

André Rieu said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and love from our fans. Thank you so much! We are so happy and excited to return to Australia next year with romantic and magical Christmas concerts and delighted to announce a second concert in Sydney. I promise all of you that we will spend a night together you will never forget!”

The “Christmas with André Tour” will kick off in Melbourne on 17 November, come to Sydney on 21 & 22 November and end in Perth on 24 November. Tickets are on sale now.

Tickets for the additional concert are on sale from Friday 15 December at 9am via www.andrerieu.com and www.ticketek.com.

KOREA GRAND SALE & WINTER OLYMPICS FESTIVAL FUN PLANNED DURING JAN-FEB 2018

The 'Korea Grand Sale', an annual shopping and cultural tourism festival will be held this year in conjunction with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The Korea Grand Sale period will run from 18 January until 28 February, 2018 overlapping the period of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games from 9-25 February.

The Chairman of the Visit Korea Committee (VKC), Mr. Park Sam-koo announced recently that the Korea Grand Sale will target tourists visiting Korea before and during the Games to increase winter tourism expenditure and ensure a great cultural experience for all.

The' Korea Grand' Sale 2018 will incorporate the concept of 'Special Winter Festival' focusing on the connection with the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as well as promotion of Korea's representative cultural tourism products.

During the event, the festival offers various experiences and entertainment with the themes of winter sports, night life in Korea, K-culture, K-food, etc. It will provide winter sports experiences at ski resorts, ice rinks and indoor snow parks and encourage a broad participation of small and mid-sized businesses to participate - Jjimjilbang (Korean spa and sauna), Noraebang (Korean karaoke), performance venues, clubs, bars, cafes and famous local restaurants will be actively encouraged to promote Korean culture to foreign visitors.

There will be many offers and discounts for tourists during the period including hotels - Agoda will offer 7% off hotels during the period and Lotte Hotel group will offer a voucher for Lotte Duty free Stores worth KRW40,000 (approx. A$45) to foreigners who book more than two nights on its website.

Visitors will be able to enjoy 20% off templestay programs, discounted theatre performances, restaurant deals and much more. Cosmetics stores will offer freebies, 30% discount at N Seoul Tower observatory as well as Lotte World Adventure Park. Some ski resorts outside of the 2018 Winter Olympic venues will offer big discounts on resort accommodation, ski and lift hire etc. to attract foreign skiers.

There are a myriad of discounts and offers available on the 'Korea Grand Sale' website, and discount coupons can be downloaded directly from the website : www.koreagrandsale.co.kr/en

The 'Tourist Service Center', run by VKC, will visit local festivals and tourist attractions mainly in the Winter Olympic Games locations in Gangwon Province on rotation and provide interpretation and other convenient services to assist foreign visitors.

VKC also plans to actively promote KOREA TOUR CARD, the foreigner-exclusive transportation and tourism card to offer convenient services to FIT(Foreign Independent Travelers) such as a maximum of 50% discount on the 'Hands Free Service' fees (luggage delivery service between hotels and airports and luggage storage service at major bases).

Secretary General Han Kyung-Ah of VKC said, "The event in 2018 is a good opportunity for foreigners not just to enjoy shopping but also to experience diverse aspects of Korea including sports, tourism and cultural experiences as the event period overlaps with that of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Korea Grand Sale has continued to grow so far, and we will develop it further into a representative shopping and cultural tourism festival not just in Korea but also in Asia by improving its quality to match its growth in size."

Whitsundays to benefit from new flights

Beijing 
The Whitsundays will be showcased to a potential 170,000 Chinese visitors over the next four years thanks to a partnership that has resulted in four new direct flights a week from Beijing to Brisbane.

Tourism Whitsundays is part of a consortium with Brisbane Airport, the Queensland Government, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia, Gold Coast Tourism and Brisbane Marketing, who have collectively worked to secure the Air China flights.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones welcomed the flights as the first flight touched down in Brisbane yesterday (Monday, December 11) at 3.10pm, saying securing flights from one of the most populated cities in the world was a huge win for Queensland.

“This direct route will provide a major boost to our tourism industry and support jobs,” she said.

“The flight, operating four times a week, will open up new opportunities to tap into Queensland’s largest international market by giving travellers more choice to pick Brisbane as their primary gateway to Australia.

“Easy access to other world-class tourist attractions in places like the Gold Coast and the Whitsundays is undoubtedly another selling point.”

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said joining the consortium had been part of the organisation’s strategy to capitalise on the growing premium Chinese holiday market.

“The arrival today of the first direct flight from Beijing to Brisbane begins a new chapter of connectivity for the Whitsundays,” he said.

“The Whitsundays is the only Great Barrier Reef destination being offered within the consortium that has brought these flights to Brisbane.

“The Whitsundays will offer these visitors the iconic natural attractions of Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach, as part of packages that will complement these new flights, and will ensure they have a premium Great Barrier Reef holiday when travelling to Queensland.

“We will be working closely with our travel partners on creating amazing holiday options for these Chinese visitors, and there’s an opportunity for TW to work with industry operators who want to get into the Chinese market. The consortium, and the resources within it, will allow the development of Chinese-ready product into the future.”

On Wednesday (December 13), a delegation of key Air China executives and top Chinese travel company executives will fly from Brisbane to the Whitsundays for a two-day famil in the region, hosted by Tourism Whitsundays.

The executives will be taken to all the iconic attractions, including the reef and Whitehaven Beach, and shown a range of the ‘best of the best’ experiences so they can see firsthand what the region offers.

A range of Whitsunday tourism operators will be involved in the famil including Whitsunday Limousines, Mirage Whitsundays, Fish D’Vine, Cruise Whitsundays, Hamilton Island Air and Hamilton Island.

Bordeaux at your fingertips!

Bordeaux
Since July 2017, Paris is at only two hours from Bordeaux with the famous TGV high-speed train compared to three and a half hour ride before. A new reason to discover this part of France!

Bordeaux is renowned worldwide as a place where to drink amazing wines or visit some of the most prestigious wine cellar's chateaux.

But not only!

This destination offers so much more such as: the ocean coast with its thermal city Arcachon and its Bay, the diversity of its landscapes from the wild North of Medoc to the sandy South of Les Landes surrounded by pine trees and resin smell, or the newly refurbished medieval city of Bordeaux.

For a few years, the destination has been very prolific in new gastronomic restaurants, five star hotels and creative and qualitative services.

If you are looking for a fun and dynamic activity, why not head for a ski session on pine thorns on top of a sand dune? 

Then continue your program by visiting an oyster farm and enjoying a tasting with a glass of white wine. In the afternoon, go for a tour on the Arcachon Bay on a traditional boat improved with an electric engine. 

End your day with a dinner facing the sunset, your feet in the sand, in one of the trendiest restaurant of the area.

Looking for an exclusive private dinner venue?

Why not privatizing an island nearby the Medoc area? You will be welcomed by the only inhabitant of this little islet, be invited to visit the lighthouse and be led to the dining room where the chef will cook in front of you most of the locally cropped produces. The chef will be delighted to talk about his job and the quality of the cooked produces.

Bordeaux is also a destination where you can meet the locals.

They will be more than pleased to share their passions and traditions. 

In Bordeaux city center, the new Cité du Vin, opened in 2016, offers a different point of view about wines across the world. Not only Bordeaux wines are displayed, but wines of all cultures and civilizations. This brand new building, although dedicated to wine only, also has the asset to be located in the new Bacalan area, enhancing this neighborhood, just after the docks rehabilitation a few years ago.

Bordeaux and its surroundings are now a breathtaking destination, offering a wide range of high-quality services, where culture and traditions are kept unspoilt.

Enjoy a 2 days/1 night break in Bordeaux during your stay in Paris with this fast train access from the French capital. You will see France from the inside and discover the most hidden treasures of our beautiful country.

For further information, please contact Pascal Roulland at france@euromic.com

Remarkable reef repairs

The Great Barrier Reef may be able to heal itself better than previously thought, after 112 'recovery reefs' were found dotted across our remarkable wonder. 

A team of scientists researched the reef as a whole to make this discovery and printed their findings in The Conversation.

Find out more

Indulge in the Latest Luxury at Swissôtel The Stamford

Be the first to experience the newly renovated guestrooms of Swissôtel The Stamford inspired by iconic Swiss vernacular, synonymous with impeccable quality and technical innovation.

Ideal for both business and leisure, these brand new rooms feature a 55” LED TV, free WiFi, spacious work area, dynamic lighting system with night lights, universal wall plug and multiple USB ports to enhance your stay. You can also enjoy a splash of contemporary comfort with our Nespresso machine as well as a welcoming bathroom fashioned by luxurious amenities, beauty light vanity counter and standing rain shower.

Located right in the heart of Singapore’s shopping, dining and entertainment districts, with the City Hall Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train station and other major transportation nodes at its doorstep, Swissôtel The Stamford is your ideal gateway to explore the lion city.

BOOK NOW TO ENJOY THE FOLLOWING:
  • 15% off Daily Rate in Premier Room or Premier Harbour View Room
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • 25% off Food & Beverage for selected outlets

LEARN MORE

BONDI BECOMES NATIONAL SURF RESERVE

Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach is now a National Surfing Reserve (NSR) after being recognised as one of Australia’s top surfing destinations.

NSW Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the recognition secured Bondi’s reputation as one of the State’s most valuable Crown assets.

“I’m very pleased that this world-class surf beach has gained the recognition it deserves,” Mr Toole said.

“Bondi is the most visited beach in Australia, and is now the 10th site in NSW to be dedicated as a NSR.

“Since 2006, when Maroubra was named Australia’s first NSR, beaches right along the NSW coast have been recognised for their intrinsic environmental, sporting and cultural value to this country.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring all our Crown land reserves, including our wonderful beaches, are managed for the benefit of the community now and into the future.”

Find out more about National Surf Reserves.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

WITH 2017 CITM, YUNNAN STAKES ITS FUTURE TO TOURISM INDUSTRY

“Kunming hosts any number of economically fueled expositions each year — ranging from automobiles, cosplay and agriculture to trade. One annual event is notable for its markedly increased and increasing importance, so much so that today its influence and prestige is on the cusp of rivaling the hyper-enormous China-South Asia Expo. That happening is the China International Travel Mart (CITM), which just recently wound down on November 19.

Any expo is a good place to suss out what trends a given industry is creating or following and, here in Yunnan, they are often fairly accurate indicators of which way the governmental winds are blowing. South of the Clouds, the tourism sector is ascendant, perhaps more so than ever before, bolstered by renewed national and provincial support.”

“It appears the aim at the end of 2017 is to repurpose, rebrand and reinvest in Yunnan’s tourism industry to the point where it becomes the driving force in terms of sustainable economic progress. To that end, this year’s CITM was the largest expo of its kind yet held in the Spring City.

The three-day event began November 17, with an opening ceremony dubbed “Shangri-la Night”. It attracted close to 700 dignitaries and travel insiders from around the globe and was co-hosted by GoKunming’s own Yereth Jansen. The evening was filled with speeches, the unveiling of promotional videos and an ethnic minority fashion show.

The choice of Shangri-la as a theme grows out of a three-province strategy to promote travel opportunities in the Tibetan areas of Yunnan, Sichuan and, of course, Tibet. The goal is not only to attract domestic tourists, but also those from other countries. The region those three provinces have deemed “Shangri-la” encompasses northwest Yunnan, huge swathes of western Sichuan and eastern Tibet.

In Yunnan especially, the tourism industry is being pushed as a way to raise rural — and often minority — populations out of poverty, as president Xi Jinping has declared the entire country will be “free of extreme poverty by 2020”. His stated goal is expected to pull more than 70 million people out of destitution.

In total, this year’s CITM generated 4.6 billion yuan (US$695 million) in memoranda of understanding. These tentative business agreements, while not legally binding, involve investment from nearly every Chinese province and dozens of other countries, with the vast majority of the money earmarked to create poverty alleviation efforts centered around Yunnan’s tourism industry.

For years, Yunnan has subsisted on what government cadres are fond of calling “pillar industries”. Typically these included agriculture, mining and hydropower, but more recently the province added several others. Tourism is not the only prime mover on this updated list, but it is currently receiving the most obvious public attention. The high-tech, logistics and bio-tech sectors will also be relied upon for sustained economic growth, according to government economic blueprints.”

Read full article at GoKunming:https://www.gokunming.com/en/blog/item/4050/with_2017_citm_yunnan_stakes_its_future_to_tourism_industry

One million reasons to celebrate

Tourism and Events Queensland reached a major milestone recently, hitting one million pieces of content shared with the #thisisqueensland hashtag on Instagram. 

That's one million photos and videos from locals, industry and most importantly, visitors to Queensland that have tagged their favourite places and experiences across the state. 

This is a great indicator of our advocacy strategy to see people share their own personal and authentic Queensland stories to social networks, which helps promote Queensland as a travel destination.

See the images

Busby Marou and Troy Kemp set to headline the Whitsunday Clipper Race Carnival!

The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival is gathering momentum with the announcement of a stellar line-up of entertainment for two of the signature events, Busby Marou and Troy Kemp Band.

The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival (January 13-29, 2018) will be two-weeks of exciting events to celebrate the arrival of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet.

The Whitsundays will be the last stop of the Australian leg of the race and all eyes will be on the region as the Clipper crews, their families and friends take a well-earned break at the halfway point of their epic adventure.

The Bendigo Bank Clipper Race Welcome Party will take place on the Airlie Beach Foreshore on Friday, January 19, this is a free event with everyone invited to come along and give the Clipper crews a warm Whitsundays welcome.

Australian duo Busby Marou, who won the "Blues & Roots Work of the Year" category at the 2012 APRA Music Awards, will be performing at the Bendigo Bank Clipper Race Welcome Party.

Originally from Rockhampton (Queensland), the duo are characterised by their melodic guitar riffs and meaningful lyrics - as exemplified in their #1 hit single ‘Days of Gold’.

The Australia Day long weekend will be marked with a Rodeo by the Reef, in Bowen, on Saturday, January 27, featuring the singing skills of Golden Guitar winner Troy Kemp.

Troy’s debut solo album Against The Grain is a hard-hitting country-rock album that really defines Kemp and his sound with the first two video singles off the album both hitting the #1 Spot on the Country Music Charts and both getting to #1 on the Australian Top 40 Country Radio Charts.

The rodeo will be set in between the beautiful azure sea and the iconic Grandview Hotel and is set to be a night of fun and excitement. The program featuring the inaugural BBQ by the Reef competition where entrants set out to smoke meats to take the grand prize along with amusements for the family, market stalls, live entertainment, mechanical bull and finishing with the rodeo.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival was shaping up to be one of the biggest events the Whitsundays had even seen.

“It will be a two-week extravaganza of events right around the Whitsundays,” he said.

“With a rodeo, a Long Lunch on Whitehaven Beach, a Progressive Cruise Lunch and a Clipper Race Day, there really is something for everyone.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our funding partners – the Australian Government, Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland’sIts’s Live! In Queensland events calendar, Whitsunday Regional Council, Tourism Whitsundays and Abell Point Marina.

“Thanks also to our event sponsors - Bendigo Bank, Fish D’Vine, Whitsunday Foodservice and the Boating Industry Association - and also our carnival supporters, Angel Signs, Paradise Outdoor, News Corp, Graphic House, Cruise Whitsundays, Grant Broadcasters and Lion Pty Ltd.

“Tickets are already selling fast for the paid events, so treat yourself or a loved one to a Christmas present with a difference, and get amongst it at the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival!”

More information and tickets can be found at www.whitsundayclipperrace.com.au

#lovewhitsundays     #clipperrace     #thisisqueensland     #seeaustralia

Muang Thai Chiang Mai Marathon 2017

The 12th Muang Thai Chiang Mai Marathon 2017 will take place on Sunday, 24 December, 2017, featuring a marathon, half marathon, mini marathon, fun run and kids run.

The race route is flat, with no mountain climbs, and takes runners along city roads past ‘Lanna’ style buildings and temples, the city moat and other enchanting sights, with the iconic Doi Suthep mountain providing a dramatic backdrop.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY CELEBRATED ON NYE

A rainbow waterfall of red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver fireworks will cascade from Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebrations.

The dramatic technicolour display will confirm Sydney as the NYE capital of the world, and celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

The rainbow waterfall is a tribute to the Sydney 78ers, who marched for gay rights 40 years ago, and also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

The two NYE fireworks displays, at 9pm and midnight, will be made up of more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects created from eight tonnes of fireworks, 30,000 shooting comets and 13,000 shells.

Find out more about the best fireworks viewing spots, parties, events and public transport on NYE.

Monday, 11 December 2017

d’ARENBERG OPENS ITS FOLDING ORIGAMI DOORS

The d’Arenberg Cube
The d’Arenberg Cube is set to open its doors to the public, with Premier Weatherill cutting the ceremonial ribbon on Saturday 9 December.

The five-storey building has the optical illusion of floating in a vineyard, unique folding origami doors, and each level has spectacular views overlooking the rolling hills of Willunga. Inside is the winery’s new cellar door, a restaurant, private function areas and numerous artworks and features throughout, detailed in the company’s new smartphone application, ‘The Alternate Realities Museum’. 

From Thursday 14 December the building is open to the public, the cellar door is operational seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm. 

A $10 entry fee includes a standard tasting experience, with the option to upgrade to one of several premium tasting flights. The restaurant is accepting bookings from Thursday 14 December. 

Open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday, the kitchen offers seasonally changing degustation menus, with an extensive wine list. 

Two levels of degustation dining are available, priced at $150 and $190, with different levels of wine matches for both, including a non-alcoholic pairing. 

The existing restaurant on the property and McLaren Vale institution, d’Arry’s Verandah, will continue to serve lunch daily, offering both a la carte dining and degustation options. 

For more information about the experiences offered or to make a restaurant reservation, visit darenberg.com.au, call +61 8 8329 4888, or email bookings@darenberg.com.au.

Summer Haus sale is back, saving you over 50% from now until the end of February

Summer time has officially started and what better way to escape the hustle and bustle than with the Gibraltar Hotel Bowral annual Summer Haus sale.

Choose either our Summer Haus package two-night stay in deluxe accommodation for just $428, or $597 for three nights. Let the Gibraltar Hotel Bowral welcome you with a cocktail at Harvey’s Bar as you decide what two for one Spa treatment you might enjoy during your stay. The Gibraltar Hotel Bowral day spa provides the perfect antidote and will help you relax and ease into the Silly season.

Enjoy Two for One tickets to some of the Gibraltar Hotel Bowral favourite local attractions such as the Donald Bradman Museum & International cricket hall of Fame or Illawarra Fly Tree Top Adventures. For families who book during school holidays, kids get to stay and eat free – so it’s a win win for all the family, so book today!
BOOKINGS + INFORMATION

New Year's Eve
Still not finalised your plans to see in the New Year? Don’t worry, the Gibraltar Hotel Bowral provides the perfect one stop destination with our All that Glitters is Gold New Year’s Eve package. Avoid traffic and queues and start the New Year as you mean to go on, with a two-night luxury stay including a sumptuous 5-course New Year’s Eve Degustation Dinner. Dinner starts at 6pm and is followed by an after party at Harvey’s bar, that even Cinderella herself could not resist!


Gibraltar Hotel Bowral

Boronia Street & Centennial Rd
Bowral NSW 2576
P.02 4862 8600

The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s Elements Restaurant Receives Michelin Star

The management of The Okura Prestige Bangkok is pleased to announce that the hotel’s Elements restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Star in the inaugural Bangkok edition of the famous fine dining guidebook.

Under the stewardship of Executive Chef Antony Scholtmeyer, Elements has developed a reputation for serving finely prepared gourmet French cuisine with seasonal Japanese influences. The restaurant’s wide selection of à la carte dishes is refreshed regularly to take full advantage of the freshest available produce from Thailand and carefully selected international markets.

Commenting on the award, Mr Edward E. Snoeks, General Manager of The Okura Prestige Bangkok, said, “Receiving a Michelin star is a great honour for Chef Antony and his team. It is the culmination of a fantastic 12 months for Elements, which began with the restaurant placing in the top 5 of the country’s 10 best eateries in Thailand Tatler’s Best Restaurant Guide 2017. Indeed, Elements is no stranger to the Michelin organisation and is a popular venue for chefs of international renown. Over the past four years, the restaurant has welcomed leading Michelin-starred chefs from some of Europe’s top restaurants. It is fantastic that we now have a star of our own! To be part of the first Michelin Guide Bangkok is an affirmation of the skill and commitment of Chef Antony and his team in delivering dishes of a consistently high quality.”

One of only 17 Bangkok restaurants to receive a Michelin star, Elements represents new generation lifestyle dining where East meets West with classic ease. The restaurant provides outstanding cuisine in a relaxed and informal atmosphere with the added attraction of an open kitchen. The open kitchen gives diners an ‘up close and personal’ feel for the skills and expertise of the chefs, creating culinary theatre at the very heart of the restaurant.

“Earning a Michelin star is a wonderful accolade for Elements and a testament to the hard work of our culinary team and front-of-house staff,” said Chef Antony. “We take pride in what we do and pleasure in satisfying our guests with an innovative dining experience. To receive a Michelin star makes the process of creating good food all the more rewarding.”

Elements is open for dinner from 6 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday - Saturday.

OKURA HOTELS & RESORTS
Park Ventures Ecoplex, 57 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2687 9000 Fax: +66 (0) 2687 9001 

SNOWIES TO WELCOME MORE VISITORS

The attractions, events and unique accommodation in the Snowy Mountains will be promoted to more visitors across Australia this Summer thanks to a funding boost from the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Fund.

Tourism Snowy Mountains has secured $100,000 in NSW Government funding to help deliver a cooperative marketing campaign aimed at increasing overnight visitation outside of the peak holiday period.

The integrated marketing campaign will include digital and social media advertising as well as digital support from online accommodation website, HotelsCombined, placing the Snowy Mountains front and centre across the next five months.

Managed by Destination NSW, the Regional Tourism Fund provides investment into the regional visitor economy on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.

Find out more about the Regional Tourism Fund.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL! - Melbourne tickets on sale 13 December

BEAUTIFUL is a broadway sensation described by the Entertainment Weekly as 'A JOYOUS CELEBRATION' that is 'ALL KINDS OF WONDERFUL' (Channel 7). Featuring hit songs including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, You’ve Got a Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Locomotion, I Feel The Earth Move and many more!

It tells the inspirational true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise from teenage songwriter to global superstar. She fought her way into the record business as a schoolgirl but it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally found her true voice and went on to become one of the most successful solo artists in pop music history.

Beautiful opens at Her Majesty's Theatre in  Melbourne in February 2018. Tickets go on sale 13 December, and will make an ideal Christmas present for your family and friends.

HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS LIGHT UP

Christmas Light Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens
Get your Christmas spirit on with a visit to the Christmas Light Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens, now in its 10th year.

This year, as well as the two million lights, the Gardens have added a ferris wheel, carousel and swing chair to the attractions.

With food stalls, roaming entertainment, carollers and nightly performances by a children’s music group, this is set to be a festive family favourite.

Santa takes a thrill-seeking ride on P&O Cruises flying fox

P&O Cruises received a surprisingly early visit from Father Christmas, who swapped his Christmas sleigh for a thrill-seeking ride down the 70m flying fox onboard Pacific Eden berthed at White Bay Terminal in Sydney on December 7, 2017.

Pacific Eden is one of five ships in the Australian home-ported fleet and will take 2000 guests away for Christmas this year with her four sister ships carrying a total of 8000 guests. More than 3000kg of turkey, 2000kg of ham, 1000kg of seafood, 500kg of chocolate and 10000 handmade mince pies will be served whilst the ships are on their festive cruise.

Warm welcome for China Southern

It was an exciting day for Queensland on Tuesday, as the first China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou to Cairns landed at Cairns Airport.

The new route is expected to pump $90 million into Tropical North Queensland over the next three years, while more than 33,000 Chinese visitors are expected to arrive in the first year alone.

China is the fastest growing international market for Queensland and the new service was secured through the Advance Queensland Connecting with Asia fund, in partnership with Cairns Airport, Tourism Australia, Cairns Regional Council and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

Read more


CeMAT AUSTRALIA explores Industry 4.0 and greater global competitiveness

Announcing its return to Melbourne in 2018, CeMAT, the world’s leading trade fair for intralogistics and supply chain management, is set to explore Innovation and Industry 4.0; The Future of Intralogistics, Materials Handling and Supply Chain.

In its third year, CeMAT AUSTRALIA will focus on the fourth industrial revolution, sharing insights into how smart technology, efficient information management systems and data are enabling industry competitiveness through improved processes and timely decision making.

Across the CeMAT Exhibition and Knowledge Theatre, industry leaders will showcase how improved automation, machine-to-machine communications, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digitalisation is shaping the future of warehousing, manufacturing and intralogistics.

Harvey Stockbridge, Managing Director, Hannover Fairs Australia - organisers of CeMAT AUSTRALIA - commented on the importance of embracing Industry 4.0 as a fast and flexible solution of automation and connectivity for Australian firms to maintain a global presence and competitive position.

“CeMAT AUSTRALIA will showcase first-hand how Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the manufacturing, materials handling and intralogistics industry and promises to be an unmissable event in 2018.

“The entrance of global retail giant, Amazon, to the Australian market will have a dramatic impact on manufacturing and supply chain management in our region, it is now more important than ever for manufacturers to keep their finger on the pulse of innovation and embrace technology to improve processes and productivity, and remain at the forefront of the industry.

“With live demonstrations and cutting-edge presentations, CeMAT AUSTRALIA offers visitors the chance to see with their own eyes how integration of warehousing and intralogistics technology will optimise production and reshape the industry,” said Stockbridge.

The continued partnership with KNAPP, global intralogistics experts, as Silver Sponsors for the third year demonstrates the invaluable platform the show provides the intralogistics industry.

“We are thrilled to partner with KNAPP again in 2018. As a world-leading innovator in the intralogistics space, KNAPP will demonstrate state-of-the-art industrial robotics that are facilitating the ever-increasing demands for continuous high performance and quality processing across long periods of time,” concluded Stockbridge.

The CeMAT Exhibition will showcase over 100 international and local companies who are utilising innovative technologies such as robotics and IIoT to redefine warehouse processes, including Swisslog, Kuka Robotics, Daifuku BCS, Jiangsu, SEW-EURODRIVE, Dematic, Vanderlande and Harley Industrial.

CeMAT AUSTRALIA will bring together logistics, warehousing, supply chain, IT and finance leaders, from a wide variety of industries ranging from FMCG through to resources, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Tuesday, 24 July – Thursday, 26 July 2018.

For more information visit: www.cemat.com.au

FESTIVE SEASON AT THE CONTINENT HOTEL, BANGKOK


The theme “Christmas in Siam” will be showcased through the decoration of the hotel with Siam or Thai style ornaments throughout the hotel. A series of culinary activities including Gala Dinners and Buffets start on Christmas Eve and will continue all the way through Boxing Day, traditionally known as a shopping holiday. All diners will receive discount vouchers for select Shopping malls on Boxing Day.

Christmas in Siam then moves into Glitzy New Years.A selection of artistic DJ’s will be spinning Italian tunes in Medinii, Latino at H20 - the pool and elevated Club music at Bangkok Heightz on the 39th Floor. As a matter of fact the party begins at the front ramp of the hotel (entrance) where guests will be welcomed with a “ramp up DJ”. To encourage early bookers, a literally counting down rate of THB 4321++will be offered.

New Year’s Day will feature a live transmission of the famous New Year’s Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Ricardo Muti. Brunchers can close the brunch with the concert and Diners can soak in the concert at a New Year ramp up rate of THB 1234++. The concert will be streamed live at 17:15 hrs.

You read that right. Kai Dao is throwing an all hip hop pool party and BBQ. The weather is wavy, and we figured we’d take advantage of the fact that we can swim in Bangkok in December. So on December 23rd, we’re throwing a daytime pool party at the 5-Star boutique and lifestyle hotel: The Continent Hotel - at the infinity pool ‘H2O’’. In the heart of Asok, 37 floors up with stunning rooftop views of Bangkok with a stacked swim-up bar, we have DJ ARIN & DJ MUDplaying nothing but hip hop/R&B (old school and new school), classic Atlanta Bass, Miami Bass, and summertime booty classics for you to party to. Sunset rap performances from Bangkok rising rapper Maiyarap, a live cypher from Bangkok based party emcees SuperFly BKK, and a live show from UNDAwith special guest emcees.

The Continent Hotel is a 3 minute walk from Terminal 21 (BTS Asok) in between Sukhumvit 21 and 23.

A Kai Dao afternoon pool party filled with hip hop/R&B music and live rap shows. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy the music video vibes. It’s a movie.

THB 400 + 1 Free Drink

NEW ABORIGINAL TOURISM ACTION PLAN

Destination NSW has released a new Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2017-2020 to boost Aboriginal cultural tourism to the State.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “Since our initial Action Plan was released in 2013, the number of Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences in NSW has grown to more than 50, including 30 new products in rural and regional NSW. Export-ready Aboriginal tourism businesses have increased from five to 17, and the NSW Aboriginal Tourism Toolkit has boosted travel-packaging opportunities.”

“NSW has cemented its position as the most popular State for international visitors to experience Aboriginal tourism, with visitor participation growing by nearly 60 per cent in the last 12 months.”

The new Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2017-2020 maps out the growth strategies to ensure the sector continues to flourish, and will be implemented in partnership with the NSW Aboriginal Tourism Operators Council (NATOC), a newly formed tourism group.

NATOC Chief Executive Officer Dwayne Bannon-Harrison said, “Our founding members are Aboriginal-owned and operated cultural tourism businesses with a common goal of advocating for NSW Aboriginal tourism with Government and the tourism industry. It’s an exciting time to be involved in Aboriginal tourism. One of NATOC’s key activities will be peer-to-peer mentoring for newly established Aboriginal tourism businesses.”

To view the Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2017-2020 in full, visit Destination NSW.

Image: From L-R: Destination NSW Aboriginal Tourism Sector Specialist Shane Dredge; NATOC Member Mark Saddler; NATOC Member Peter Cooley; Minister Marshall; NATOC Chair Aunty Margret; Uncle Max ‘Dulumunmun’ Harrison, Yuin Elder; Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase; NATOC CEO Dwayne Bannon-Harrison; NATOC Member Andrew Smith; and NATOC Member Lindsey Adam.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Authentic Melbourne experiences immerse AIME buyers in the culture capital

Ten specially curated City Experiences will immerse Hosted Buyers in Melbourne’s renowned culinary and entertainment scene, and unique urban culture at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in February 2018.

Following the success of the City Experiences in 2017, Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has once again partnered with a selection of venues, accommodation providers and attractions across the business events sector to offer an exclusive selection of tours. The experiences will allow international and domestic event organisers to see first-hand why Melbourne was voted the World’s Most Liveable City for the seventh consecutive year by Economist Intelligence Unit.

Each tour will visit locations to go behind the scenes at Melbourne’s vibrant and distinct venues, and taste the delights of Australia’s food capital. With partners already secured for 2018, Hosted Buyers are set to experience the best of Australiana at Melbourne Zoo; be thrilled at Luna Park; and experience Melbourne’s distinct laneway culture with Hidden Secrets Tours.

Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau, commented on the value of partnerships and experiences on offer.

“We are thrilled to offer Hosted Buyers unique Melbourne experiences that showcase the depth and breadth of our city. Thanks to our partners who have been involved in the curation of these experiences we are able to illustrate just how diverse Melbourne’s business events offering is.

“Business events are the highest yielding sector of the visitor economy, delivering $11 billion to the Victorian economy annually. The ability to showcase a taste of Melbourne to a domestic and international audience is a unique and powerful offering to AIME,” said Ms Bolinger.

Hosted Buyers attending AIME 2018 will be able to experience industry-leading education programs, peer-to-peer networking sessions, appointments with event suppliers from across the globe, as well as complimentary travel and luxury accommodation.

AIME will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 20-21 February 2018.

Hemingway's Brewery Cairns to open mid-2018 - biggest brewery in NQ

Co-founders of Hemingway’s Cairns Tony Fyfe (left)
and Craig Parsell say cheers to the beginning of construction
in the heritage-listed Shed 2 of Cairns Cruise Liner terminal venue
CONSTRUCTION of Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns has commenced, with the city’s newest waterfront icon beginning to take shape at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal’s Shed 2 overlooking Trinity Outlet.

Located at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal’s heritage-listed site, the highly anticipated new venue will incorporate a state-of-the-art brewery with 10 times the capacity of Hemingway’s original venture at Port Douglas.

The multimillion dollar development at Cairns Wharf’s restored Shed 2 spans 1400sq m and will comprise a gastro brewpub and extensive events space in addition to the impressive brewery, which will house seven, 7000 litre fermentation tanks.

Innisfail contractor Mike O’Farrell is leading the build of the contemporary venue, to be operated under a 10-year lease agreement between Ports North and Hemingway’s Brewery founders Tony Fyfe and Craig Parsell.

The world-class venue’s exterior and interior design was jointly undertaken by Wolveridge and Total Project Group, and will feature breathtaking architecture reflecting the site’s historic status while integrating a cutting-edge Canadian-manufactured brewing system that will dramatically define the space with its working line-up of 6m high stainless-steel tanks.

Alongside the commercial grade brewery, which will also offer informative tours, Hemingway’s Cairns will include a 19m bar and full-service kitchen with capacity for casual and fine dining as well as functions of all sizes.

The venue’s restaurant will serve quality gastro pub-style food made from locally sourced ingredients, while a providore will showcase FNQ craft produce and a dedicated event space will cater for the MICE industry and weddings.

Mr Fyfe said the opening of Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns would provide an enticing tourism drawcard as the region’s economy experienced a renewed spike in both domestic and international visitation, while also catering to locals through its focus on investing in the community.

“Like Hemingway’s Brewery in Port Douglas, we are creating a special place that will be embraced by both locals and visitors who appreciate the character and authenticity of a brewery with its roots firmly planted in Far North Queensland,” Mr Fyfe said.

“Hemingway’s Brewery aims to build and operate the best gastro brew pubs in the country with a focus on brewing great craft beer, which is becoming increasingly popular as people discover the amazing taste of a beverage that is unfiltered, unpasteurised and preservative-free; made with just four key ingredients – yeast, hops, base malts and water.”

“When completed, our state-of-the-art brewery in Cairns will be like nothing ever seen before in the region, boasting an incredible capacity to brew a wide selection of high quality, fresh craft beers, produced in small batches for optimum purity and brewed by locals, for the locals.”

Mr Fyfe said additional core range beers were currently being developed exclusively for the Cairns opening.

Each of the Hemingway’s Brewery award-winning beers tells a story relating to the history of FNQ.

Hemingway’s top selling pilsner, The Prospector Pilsner, is a refreshing brew inspired by the thirst for adventure and tireless efforts of James Venture Mulligan – the first to find gold in the Palmer River.

A total of 56 craft beer and cider taps will be available at the new brewery, with a further 50 boutique packaged, craft beers also available.

Since launching in July last year, Hemingway’s Brewery in Port Douglas has become one of the town’s most popular venues, sought out by locals and visitors for its inherently authentic ambience and picturesque marina location.

Patrons enjoy a range of bespoke craft beers made on the premises along with a ‘paddock to plate’ inspired menu and ‘Upstairs’ event space.

Mr Fyfe said Hemingway’s winning combination of great beer and great food in a great location was underpinned by the company’s core values prioritising the local community.

The venue is expected to open mid 2018 and will create more than100 new jobs in the region.

JESS+MATT LAUNCH 'SYDNEY TO ME' IN CHINA

Jess+Matt perform Sydney to Me in Mandarin in China
Australian pop sensations Jess+Matt have officially released their hit single, Sydney to Me in Mandarin in China through Sony Music Entertainment in a unique partnership with Destination NSW.

Their love song to Sydney provides Chinese travellers with a musical invitation to visit Australia’s famous Harbour City.

Sydney welcomed more than 713,000 Chinese visitors in the year ended June 2017, making China the number one visitor market to NSW.

The duo performed the new single, which will ensure NSW stays front of mind with Chinese consumers, in Guangzhou in front of Premier Berejiklian and senior Chinese Government officials and travel trade delegates before kicking off their promotional program.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase, who spearheaded the recording and release of the new single, said Sydney to Me in Mandarin is another first for NSW.

“We are the first State in Australia to sign a partnership with Sony Music and release a single in Mandarin that reflects the beauty and excitement of our gateway city and its surrounds,” Ms Chipchase said.

Jess Dunbar and Matt Price said, “Sydney is such an inspirational and vibrant city and we hope that Sydney to Me motivates Chinese travellers to fall in love with the city just like we did and encourages them to experience it for themselves.”

The activity tops out an incredible year for the pair, whose album Belmont Street, featuring the hit Sydney to Me track, debuted in February and soared to number 20 on the Australian charts.

Download Sydney to Me in Mandarin and watch Jess+Matt’s special Chinese music video here.

Friday, 8 December 2017

AUSSIE EXPAT OFFERS ALCOHOL AND BREWING TOURS OF SEOUL

For Australians travelling to Korea for the upcoming Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games as well as other times throughout the year there are some exciting new alcohol and brewing tours being offered by an Australian expatriate in Seoul, Julia Mellor and her partner Daniel McLaughlin through the 'The Sool Company'.

Julia has made a name for herself in Seoul as an expert of traditional Korean alcohol. Julia comes from Brisbane and has been an activist for the promotion of Korean traditional alcohol over the past five years. She has become known locally and internationally after she trained at a number of famous institutes in Korea including under Grand Master Park Rok Dam.

Her company 'The Sool Company' (sool meaning alcohol in Korean) is now offering various tours that can easily be booked online and are being enjoyed by many visitors travelling to Seoul.

Among the tours being offered are Makgeolli (traditional rice wine) brewing classes, a hands on experience where you can learn about brewing your own Makgeolli. The Insadong Taster takes you on a three hour traditional Korean alcohol tasting spree visiting three Makgeolli bars each with their own unique style. And you have Julia & Daniel's company to educate you about Korean alcohol, drinking customs and much more.

The Master Brewers tour offers a chance to taste some of the finest Korean alcohol available on the market. The brews that you will taste are unique, artisanal and superbly crafted.

Or you can experience the full spectrum of Korean traditional alcohol in one tasting and dining journey. Julia and Daniel will take you on a cultural and culinary exploration of makgeolli, takju, cheongju and soju paired with an exquisite array of local delicacies.

The Sool Company also provides public and private 'sool' consulting and event planning services to cater for groups or meetings and events. Participants can learn more not only about Korean traditional alcohol, but the culture, history and food of Korea.

To book a tour, learn more about 'sool' culture in Korea, bar reviews and more visit the official website for 'The Sool Company': www.thesoolcompany.com