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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.’
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.
This week’s Journey Through Japan incentive winners are Shari O’Connor from Helloworld and GT Rodgers from Travel Professionals.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Fathom Asia has launched a range of self famils in conjunction with ground operator Asia DMC, giving agents the opportunity to have an indepth experience of several destinations at discounted rates.
Singapore Tourism Board, together with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Destination Asia (Singapore) and Air New Zealand, recently hosted a group of Kiwi incentive and events organisers on a famil to Singapore.
Despite India being a hot topic of discussion at this week’s TRENZ 2019, New Zealand’s major annual tourism showcase, direct flights between the two countries still appear to be some way off.
Adrian Littlewood, chief executive of Auckland International Airport, says the company has a team working with the outbound industry in India but direct flights into the airport are ‘not imminent’.
Though Chongqing may not be a top of mind name for New Zealand travel agents it is actually one of the most visited (though often briefly) destinations in China.
The ‘small port of only 30 million people’, as described by John McGough, Auckland-based national sales manager with CTS, is the place of boarding or disembarkation for popular Yangtze River Cruises through the Three Gorges area.
Six product managers from New Zealand and Australian travel wholesale agencies were invited by the Macao Government Tourism Office to view all the latest product of the Asian region at the 7th annual Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (MITE) at The Venetian Macao – this year extended to celebrate Macao’s 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region.