Asia trends: islands, villas

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 08:03

Island destinations, short lead in times and a move towards more private, stand alone accommodation are all characterising bookings out of New Zealand to Asia now, says Rahul Sharma, managing director of Exotic Holidays.

‘Thailand has been the biggest gainer because it opened up months ago and has been selling for the longest duration.

Club Med Bali to reopen

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 07:19

Club Med has announced the reopening of Club Med Bali from 28 May, featuring a new repertoire of activities and programmes.

It will include new entertainment line-up, including a digital Colours Show, Magic Tribe show and Nomad Festival-themed day.

Wendy Wu's partner, solo specials

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 06:58

Wendy Wu Tours has launched a ‘Partner Flies Free or 50% off the single supplement offer’ on a range of popular tours. Clients can save up to $1,490 per couple on the partner flies free deal and up to $1,540 with the single supplement.

Managing director Paul Dymond points out there are over 20 tours and over 120 departure dates included in the offer across Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka tours. Tours are available for travel in 2022 and 2023.

India: Travel recovery continues

Monday, 18 April 2022 02:46

India continues to have the largest share of inbound travellers to the APAC region, at 24.4% of total arrivals in Q1 as of 11 March, according to data from analytics company Forwardkeys.

ForwardKeys’ VP of insights, Olivier Ponti pointed out at ITB India that this is ‘not a bad result’ when considering air ticketing data shows that international arrivals in APAC in Q1 was down by 86%.

New JNTO NZ country manager

Friday, 08 April 2022 00:43

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has re-appointed Julie King & Associates (JKA) as its representative in the New Zealand market for the fourth consecutive year. 

In conjunction with this, Alita Holdaway has been appointed as the incoming country manager - New Zealand. Holdaway, who started this week, was previously business development manager – Auckland for Wendy Wu Tours and has spent five years as an international Flight Centre consultant. She is based in Auckland and has a national responsibility for managing all travel trade partner relationships, training, supporting media requirements and participating in B2B and B2C events. 

Trans Bhutan trail to open

Thursday, 03 February 2022 18:56

In March 2022, following two years of extensive restoration, the Kingdom of Bhutan will reopen the historic and sacred Trans Bhutan Trail for the first time in 60 years. The trail will be officially inaugurated by His Majesty the King of Bhutan, whose vision it was to restore the ancient route for tourism, adventure and connection. From April 2022, international tourists will be able to walk the trail for the first time, simultaneously providing economic benefits to rural communities along the way. 

Focus on Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 08 December 2021 03:34

New Zealand-based Mark Snoxell from Exposure Downunder has been appointed CEO of The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka. Managing director, Laahiru Jayamanne, says Snoxell has been instrumental in driving The Travel Concierge to be future ready, weathering the tough times of the pandemic, and enabling the company to drive tangible digital and sustainable projects. Snoxell says it is great timing with Sri Lanka being a perfect destination for Antipodeans ready to blow the dust off their passports.

Slojourn adds Sri Lanka

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 03:57

Slojourn Studio has welcomed Resplendent Ceylon’s three properties – Cape Weligama, Ceylon Tea Trails, and Wild Coast Lodge – to its portfolio of travel clients.

Slojourn will oversee the group’s sales, marketing and representation in New Zealand and Australia. Sri Lanka has opened its borders to international travellers who are able to prove they have been vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival and can produce a negative Covid-19 PCR report within 72 hours of embarkation.

Kyushu webinar and incentive

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 20:56

The Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation has put together an Introduction to Kyushu webinar.

Agents can familiarise themselves with some of the key destinations across the region – from the volcanic peaks of Mt Aso and Sakurajima to the seven bubbling hot spring ‘hells’ of Beppu. The webinar also provides key information on how best to access Kyushu from gateway cities of Osaka and Tokyo, and outlines some recommended itineraries to help sell the destination.

Scenic’s 2022-23 South East Asia

Friday, 17 September 2021 00:36

Scenic has a new nine-night river cruise on the Mekong River and new Scenic Freechoice experiences, with the release of its new 2022 and 2023 South East Asia itineraries.

Adam Burke, Scenic journey designer, says while the locations guests explore onshore are similar to the seven-night cruise, they will see a greater diversity of the riverside landscape. ‘Scenic Spirit sails in the afternoon with more time to absorb the essence of Vietnam and Cambodia, and additional time to relax on board.’

Japan on the road, virtually

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 01:31

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) will launch its 2021 virtual roadshow in November.

It will consist of two virtual events, connecting agents and wholesalers with local suppliers to better equip them with the tools to sell Japan, once international travel resumes.

Cambodia looks to reopen

Thursday, 09 September 2021 23:08

Moves are afoot within Cambodia’s tourism industry to work towards a possible reopening of borders for fully vaccinated international travellers by November this year.

The Cambodian tourism ministry recently announced that fully vaccinated international tourists with proof of their inoculation could be allowed into Cambodia as soon as November 2021.

Cambodia is also considering lessening or removing the 14-day quarantine policy for fully vaccinated tourists, barring certification showing a negative Covid test 72 hours before travel and another negative Covid test upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport.

Singapore's borders to ease

Tuesday, 24 August 2021 23:03

Singapore looks set to reopen its borders to allow in vaccinated tourists from destinations that include Hong Kong, Macao, Germany and Brunei.

Residents travelling from the listed countries will be able to enter Singapore from 8 September without needing to enter quarantine. They will be able to bypass the isolation requirement if they test negative to four Covid-19 tests.

The testing requirements for the new travel lanes mean each person will require a pre-departure test within 48 hours of their scheduled flight, an on-arrival test at Changi Airport, and post-arrival tests on days three and seven at a designated clinic in Singapore.

2022-23 Japan digital brochure

Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:50

Wendy Wu Tours has a new 2022-23 Japan interactive digital brochure, also featuring Taiwan and South Korea.

It features the operator’s range of fully inclusive group tours including its Classic range covering the essential highlights of Japan as well specialised itineraries. Also featured are immersive Go Beyond tours and dedicated solo departures on popular itineraries with additional inclusions such as free chauffeur transfers and airport lounge passes (selected cities).

Win with Malaysia training

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 02:27

Malaysia Airlines & Tourism Malaysia launched a new module for the Malaysia Travel Expert Programme this week.

Ethnic Heritage of Malaysia will enable agents to learn about the indigenous people or ethnic groups of Sabah and Sarawak plus the aboriginal people of Peninsular Malaysia.

Thailand: Quarantine, vax update

Thursday, 08 April 2021 03:07

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reports the Royal Thai Government has endorsed issuing a Covid-19 vaccination certificate in the kingdom, while approving shorter quarantine periods for international arrivals. Both measures took place late last week until further notice.

New Thailand training modules

Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:40

Tourism Authority of Thailand is launching five new modules and quizes with incentives for agents who pariticipate – they can win return flight tickets to Thailand.

Agents must complete all five new modules and the interactive quizzes before 18 June 2021 to qualify.

The 2021 Amazing Thailand Specialist programme is designed for agents to refresh their destination knowledge, get inspired and help create their clients’ dream trip.

Asia 2022 tours filling up

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 01:19

Agents with clients who are thinking of travelling to popular Asian destinations in 2022 should be aware that a number of tours are already starting to sell out, says Paul Dymond, New Zealand based managing director of Wendy Wu Tours.

The company has just launched a Year of the Ox festival sale, with savings of up to $2400 per couple on itineraries in Japan and other destinations in 2022. The tours can be secured with a $99 deposit per person, with no more to pay before departure and a number of other flexible features.

Win dinner with JNTO

Wednesday, 10 February 2021 03:15

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched the ‘Best Uniquely Japanese Experience’ incentive and invites the travel trade to share their special Japanese experience, or their dream Japanese experience, to win an exclusive dinner evening in Auckland. 

Examples could be, but are not limited to, dining with a geisha, learning how to craft a samurai sword, sampling Japanese street food or regional cuisine, visiting a sake brewery, island hopping, wandering the pilgrimage trails and ancient temples, attending a music festival, or visiting a garden in full spring bloom.

Win and learn with Oita Japan

Wednesday, 10 February 2021 03:04

Travel agents and brokers have the opportunity to learn about Oita, the ‘hottest place’ in Kyushu, Japan, this month. They also have the chance to win a wide variety of prizes, such as traditional pottery, gift cards and more.

On 17 February, JTB will take agents on an hour long ‘webinar adventure’ to Oita and show them a different Japan to the one they know already.

New JNTO platform

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 20:52

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched a NZ Travel Trade Private Community Group page .

The Facebook page will keep the trade informed and supported with information, resources, incentives and competitions. The aim is to assist the travel trade to be better equipped to promote and sell Japan as a destination.

AKL-BKK flights suspended

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 20:08

Thai Airways’ scheduled flights between New Zealand and Thailand have been suspended until further notice. Flights will be subject to the adjustment of Government policies to reopen the borders for unrestricted international travel. Passengers with flights cancelled by THAI are entitled to claim an extended travel validity until December 2022.

In co-operation with the Royal Thai Embassy, Wellington and Thai Consulate General, THAI will continue to operate repatriation flights from Auckland to Bangkok for both Thai passport holders and non-Thai passport holders permitted to enter Thailand.

Taiwan's Covid success

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 22:27

Taiwan’s continued success in controlling Covid-19 is a reminder that New Zealand’s ‘travel bubble’ plans should not be restricted to Australia and the Pacific, a number of trade sources point out.

Paul Dymond, managing director of Wendy Wu Tours in New Zealand says the Taiwanese seem to have successfully managed Covid-19 and should soon be in a position to open borders with

Singapore opens up to Kiwis

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 22:11


The New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC) is welcoming Singapore’s decision to open its border to Kiwis from September 1.

Singapore announced on August 21 that it will not require anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14 days before their flight to go into self-isolation on arrival.

Instead, travellers will undergo a Covid-19 test at the airport, and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.

Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), says the move by Singapore is indicative of what is starting to happen around the world.

‘The world is working out how to live with COVID-19,’ he says. ‘New Zealand will lose international connectivity with airlines pulling out unless it keeps abreast of what its competitors are doing and considers the implications. Once airlines pull out it will be extremely hard to compete to get them back and that will have major impacts for the price of tickets for travellers and for exporters relying on air freight.’

Meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed Singapore’s announcement on the easing of border measures for entry into the country. It is urging other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely, including through the implementation of travel bubbles.

‘COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the airline industry and the road to recovery is going to be long and slow,’ says Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific. ‘Our latest forecast indicates that travel demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, a year later than previously expected. Key to the recovery is the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions and measures such as quarantine.’ He says Singapore’s announcement is positive and a step in the right direction. ‘We hope to work closely with the government so that Singapore’s aviation industry can restart safely while mitigating the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. And we urge other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely.’




New portal for Japan travel

Monday, 27 July 2020 23:25

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has a new portal showcasing content that inspires travel to the country’s off-the-beaten-path destinations.

The hashtag #stayhomewithjapan encourages people to ‘look beyond the clouds’ and share personal links with Japan found in everyday life, and keep Japan at front of mind for when travel begins anew. 

Latest winners with Japan

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 00:16

This week’s Journey Through Japan incentive winners are Shari O’Connor from Helloworld and GT Rodgers from Travel Professionals.

With with Japan webinars

Wednesday, 10 June 2020 05:33

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO New Zealand) is running a series of agent webinars. Covering the nation’s cities, regions and the diversity of experiences on offer, the websinars will help agents plan their clients’ itineraries to the destination when international borders re-open. 

Talking Taiwan live workshops

Saturday, 06 June 2020 22:50

Taiwan Tourism is hoping its face to face reconnection with key members of the travel trade will be followed up by a reopening of borders between the nation and New Zealand in the not too distant future.

Taiwan Tourism hosted small groups of agents to two sessions on Wednesday at Kawau Kitchen near Auckland Airport, with a total of about 25 agents taking part in the workshops

Sri Lanka: no deposit offer

Monday, 25 May 2020 23:50

The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka is offering New Zealand agents the facility to book future holidays without the need to pay a deposit.

Spa Candy for children

Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:09

Centara Hotels & Resorts will launch a dedicated kids spa inspired by the the adventures of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

The experience is for children aged 15 years and under to enjoy candy-themed spa treatments, manicures, pedicures, get creative by mixing their own lotions and potions or even hold parties.

Nine days in Taiwan

Sunday, 17 May 2020 23:32

Exotic Holidays is promoting a cutural tour in Taiwan for when it is safe to travel again.

Priced from $5297 per person twin share, the new nine-day land only tour visits some of the country’s key highlights.

Taiwan is being widely recognised a success story in the battle against Covid-19 at present.

Hong Kong rethinks tourism

Friday, 01 May 2020 05:41

This is the ideal time to rethink Hong Kong’s position in the global tourism market and elevate service standards, says Hong Kong Tourism Board’s chairman Dr YK Pang.

In a recent web conference, Pang pointed out that the tourism landscape would be reshaped in the post pandemic world. ‘We will see a shift in preference and behaviour among travellers – the public health conditions of

Centara's Covid-19 efforts

Monday, 06 April 2020 22:09

Thailand hospitality company Centara Hotels & Resorts, has launched an initiative to support medical staff.

Thailand’s emergency decree

Monday, 30 March 2020 22:02

Thai Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, has invoked an emergency decree across the nation, effective from now to 30 April 2020.

Fathom Asia into niche areas

Monday, 09 March 2020 01:41

Fathom Asia is moving into new niche areas with the launch of its first specialist area, Fathom Asia – Adventure, while retaining its mainstream product.

Philippines: safe to travel

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 02:25

Philippine Airlines has released a statement reiterating that currently the Philippines remains free of the Covid-19 Coronavirus.

Sri Lanka famil

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 02:58

The Travel Concierge has a nine-night Sri Lankan famil for eight agents who will be immersed in culture and hospitality versus being stuck on an itinerary doing multiple property inspections.

Sri Lanka: guaranteed tours

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 01:04

The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka has released monthly small group departures to commence this coming May with a maximum of 16 people.

Cherry Blossom departures

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 00:43

World Journeys has few places left on its two small group hosted journeys Cherry Blossom Japan departing on 24 March and 8 April this year.

Wild times in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 30 January 2020 23:44

Active Asia has released an 18-day, 17-night tour for clients who like wildlife and the outdoors.

Free balloon experience

Monday, 20 January 2020 23:36

The Travel Concierge Sri Lanka has teamed up with its partner to offer exclusive complimentary hot air balloon experiences for guests from New Zealand travelling between February and April 2020.

Taiwan with Acrossia

Thursday, 16 January 2020 22:38

Acrossia has launched its first dedicated Taiwan brochure, reflecting the improved access to the destination and the corresponding increase in interest.

Out in India package

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 02:34

Clients travelling with New Zealand company, Out in India are offered a complimentary night at an &Beyond’s Taj Safari retreat when staying for five nights.

Resplendent Ceylon trail to get longer

Monday, 02 December 2019 00:11

Resplendent Ceylon, which currently runs three Relais & Chateaux properties in Sri Lanka, will be opening an elevated resort (including a swimming pool on its roof at tree top height) at Dambulla in 2022.

Family holidays in India

Monday, 18 November 2019 22:12

Family holidays in India and Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly popular and not only provide enjoyment but also education for children travelling, says Amaan Khan, managing director of Total Holiday Options.

Japan by train with Exotic

Friday, 01 November 2019 02:06

A journey on the bullet train is among the key features of a 13-day Discover Japan by Rail itinerary offered by Exotic Holidays.

Dedicated Sri Lanka, Active Asia plans famil

Thursday, 03 October 2019 22:38

When Active Asia principals Valentina Mould-Morelli and Lance Mould headed to Sri Lanka to research programmes on the destination they envisaged coming up with ideas for a six page add-on to an existing brochure.

Japan’s ski resorts in 2020

Monday, 30 September 2019 20:40

Major developments are currently underway at Japan’s ski destinations of Niseko and Rusutsu, reports travel&co.

Tigers on the rise

Monday, 23 September 2019 22:52

World Journeys says that the latest census in India has revealed a wild tiger population of almost 3000, an increase of close to 30% over the last four years.

Sri Lanka for foodies

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:16

A 12-day Culinary Tour of Sri Lanka is being offered by Exotic Holidays.

Marathon itinerary with Exotic

Monday, 19 August 2019 22:16

Exotic Holidays has an itinerary based around the JTBC Seoul Marathon.

South Asia with Exodus Travels

Thursday, 18 July 2019 23:55

Exodus Travels is offering 15% off tours to India, Sri Lanka & Nepal through until 30 April 2020.

Varanasi on self famil

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 02:13

Exotic Holidays’ Classic North India self famil offers the opportunity to visit Hindu’s holiest city, Varanasi.

Singapore Food Festival 2019

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 03:48

In its 26th year, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF), is on 12 to 28 July 2019 with a total of 20 event partners offering a myriad of dining concepts and gastronomic experiences.