WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The inaugural ‘Dunlop Hamba’ kicked off on Saturday (September 20) from Gauteng, making a first stop in Ladysmith.This is an epic eight-day journey through South Africa, visiting renowned destinations and initiating community outreach projects, before ending off at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town this Saturday (27th). Dunlop is the proud sponsor of this heritage rally.The travel extravaganza will see participants visiting a number of on- and off-road South African stop-overs, while giving back to local communities along the way. A gripping combination of adventure and upliftment all rolled into one epic road trip that will build a lifetime of memories. The Dunlop Hamba is a true celebration of South Africa’s history, culture, people and sport, all while embarking on a campaign of goodwill. Conceptualised by MountainShak Adventures, who created and run the Put Foot Rally, Dunlop Hamba is a self-drive tour through five provinces with a number of unique experiences along the way, including visiting the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, learning how to make boerewors on National Heritage Day, cave exploring, and ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn.The Dunlop Hamba team will participate in upliftment programmes with impoverished, rural schools – such as sport development with the SA Rugby Legends, book and library donations, shoe drops and planting sustainable vegetable gardens. Day one (Saturday, September 20) saw the first stop in Ladysmith and a visit to the Siege Museum, before heading through to Dunlop Zone Mark’s Tyres for ‘padkos’ packs and tyre checks.Then on to Weenen to play a 20-a-side soccer game with Weenen Primary School and judge the children’s Rhino Art Competition run by Project Rhino. The rally teams then visited the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick and went on to Midmar for the night.
As expected, it was all glitz and glamour at the 2014 Ladysmith High School (LHS) matric farewell last night (Friday). WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Crowds of people turned up at the school in Farquhar Road in the afternoon to see the couples arrive in a variety of flashy ‘rides’, including a Ferrari and a horse and carriage. The matriculants were then taken by bus out to Naunton’s Thandana Conference Centre, where the actual farewell was held.Booming music added to the festive atmosphere in the afternoon, making for a great build-up to the evening’s activities.It was smiles and socialising at Naunton’s, as the Grade 12’s ‘oohed” and “aahed” over each other’s outfits and shared stories of their schooling careers. Then it was sitting down to a delicious meal, followed by dancing the night away.Definitely a night to be remembered by the ‘Class of 2014’!
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Young and old alike took part in the annual Gandhi Walk on Sunday morning.The 5km walk started in Azalea Drive and then snaked its way to the finish in Forbes Street.Water tables were set up at different points along the route so that the participants could keep hydrated with some welcome refreshments.All those who took part had an enjoyable morning of good exercise, keeping in mind that they were walking in the footsteps of a great man.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Four months have past since the explosion of Iceland’s volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, led to massive air travel disruptions but passengers still await airline refunds which may not be forthcoming.April’s volcanic ash cloud caused more than 30,000 flights to be grounded, stranding thousands of passengers across the globe and forcing many to face unexpected out-of-pocket expenses – all with the expectation they would be compensated.According to European Commission regulation 261, airlines have a duty of care to stranded passengers and must reimburse them for any expenses incurred, however some airlines have argued the ruling is too tough and have been slow to offer compensation to their passengers, reported The Wall Street Journal. The European Commission was compelled to intervene upon the realisation that KLM was reimbursing passengers only for the first 24 hours of their stranding, the Commission threatening legal action should the airline not bring its policy into line with European Union law, the newspaper said.”If [KLM do not change their policy] then further steps that can be taken include legal action at national or EU level to ensure the EU law is fully respected,” a spokesman for the European Commission said.A KLM spokesperson told the newspaper that the airline would not alter its reimbursement policy until a European Union Transport Council review of compensation laws was complete.Consumer watchdog the Air Transport Users Council received numerous passenger complaints in regards to airline compensation but claimed complaints were “across the board” and were not focused on a particular airline, reported the Guardian.”The complaints show that the airlines are dragging their heels,” Air Transport Users Council industry affairs manager James Fremantle said.“But there is no reason why [passengers] won’t get their money back.”The financial toll on airlines because of the volcanic eruption has been palpable, said the newspaper, with Ryanair claiming a loss of £41.5 million as a direct result of Eyjafjallajokull, EasyJet losing £65 million and British Airways reporting a £164 million loss, including strike action losses.
Intrepid Travel’s Australian-based operating companies have enjoyed a winning weekend at both the Brolga Northern Territory Awards in Darwin and at the Western Australian Tourism Awards. Intrepid Connections, a joint venture between APT and Intrepid Travel, won three awards at the 2010 Brolga Northern Territory Awards in Darwin including Major Tour and Transport category, staff member, Warwick Rock won Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and another staff member, Luke Paterson won the Interpretive Guide category. This is the third year running that Intrepid Connections has taken out the Brolga for Best Major Tour and Transport Operator. Kimberley Wild Expeditions, in which Intrepid Travel owns a stake, was also awarded Western Australia’s Best Tour Operator for the third year running at the 2010 Western Australian Tourism Awards. The prestigious award recognised the quality of Kimberley Wild’s 4WD tour product along with its strong commitment to protecting the local environment and respecting the local traditional Kimberley culture. James Thornton, Intrepid Travel’s GM Global Sales said, “We are thrilled to be consistently recognised for our high quality adventures in the Northern Territory and Western Australia for three years running.” “2011 marks our fourth year of operating trips in Australia and to see both our operators in the Northern Territory and Western Australia continuing to deliver such award winning product is a terrific result for us.” “We have expanded our Australian product range in 2011 – a decision we’re particularly happy about given our success in our own backyard!” Source = Intrepid Travel
Aiming to achieve forecasted targets and counter 2011 losses, Tourism Holdings Limited (thl) announced it is planning to reduce its fleet in Australia and New Zealand over 2012.Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this month, chairman Keith Smith explained the Group would reduce its fleet size down under “to align our asset base with the expected activity levels”.He explained the company was committed to improving its earnings next year even if current economic uncertainties continue to affect operations.“[We] believe the company is strategically and financially robust, well-run and well-adapted to market conditions,” he said.“It will gain from any improvement in markets, but in the meantime it expects to produce improve earnings even if the current conditions persist.”Renewed focus comes as the Group experienced a $4.3 million drop in operating EBIT for the full year ending 2011 as well as a loss after tax for the year of $27.3 million.Mr Smith added that looking ahead, the financial year for 2012 started off well, with Rugby World Cup business exceeding expectations in September for its New Zealand operations.Meanwhile its 11 month ownership of its US based Road Bear business experienced gains to date of over US$3 million and are expected to be higher before the end of the year.Since purchasing the business in December last year, the company saw its Road Bear fleet grew by up to 24 percent for this calendar year.“This business has benefitted both from growth in tourism visitation in the USA and a strong used recreational vehicle market to sell its fleet into,” Mr Smith explained. “As part of the due diligence process we reviewed learning’s from a number of New Zealand and Australian successes and failures in the USA to migrate risks where possible.”In total the company is forecasting to see its EBIT reach $17.2 million and NPAT exceed $5.9 million. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Tourism promoter Advantage SA has apologised after a PR campaign to invite media to Adelaide and “be the big fish in a small pond, and come test the water” backfired, with the death of a number of goldfish.Aimed at spruiking South Australia as a destination, 55 goldfish were sent out inviting guest to a tour partly funded by the state Labor Government and run by Advantage SA, the Australian reported. Recipients of the bowls with inscriptions “be the big fish in a small pond, and come test the water” were quick to complain, with news spreading of mass goldfish deaths. Advantage SA chief Karen Raffen yesterday apologised, explaining it was not the intention to either harm or cause any distress to the fish or those receiving the initiations.”On behalf of Advantage SA, I would like to personally apologise for any offence caused by the arrival of the fish,” Ms Raffen said. Ms Raffen said all fish were alive and healthy when they were hand-delivered to the media executives, with enough food to last six months.Advantage SA is contacting all recipients to check on the fish, and if they are not wanted, they will be found good homes. Dead goldfish
Virgin Australia today announced that Neil Thompson has decided to leave his position as Velocity Frequent Flyer Chief Executive Officer.Virgin Australia chief executive officer John Borghetti, said that Neil has had a successful as CEO of Velocity.“Under his leadership, member numbers have grown by more than 1.6 million, member engagement has increased significantly and a number of ground-breaking initiatives have been introduced, including the world-first Points conversion with Singapore Airlines, the Australian-first Global Wallet product and major partnerships with BP, Aussie Home Loans and Australia Post,” Mr Borghetti said.“Neil has done an outstanding job in delivering on all strategic targets for Velocity Frequent Flyer and has built a strong foundation for the future growth of the business. I sincerely thank him for his dedication and commitment and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”Mr Thompson will stay on as CEO until a suitable replacement is found to ensure a seamless transition. A global search for his replacement has commenced.He is currently Board Director of Plan International Australia and an Advisory Board member of ANU’s Centre for China in the World.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Source = Sichuan Airlines – World Aviation Services Sichuan Airlines to China from only $340* returnSichuan Airlines economy class Sydney/Melbourne to Beijing/Guangzhou/ShanghaiFrom only $340* return plus taxesSales and ticketing from Now to 15th November 2015. Departures from Now to 15th Nov 2015.For further information, please refer to your GDS or contact 3U on 1300 086 152.Click here to download full details: Hot Airfares Issue 29 2015 World Aviation Services book and fly Sichuan Airlines
Artist’s Impression – Indicative OnlySouth East Queensland and Northern New South Wales will benefit from a proposed multimillion dollar investment in the Gold Coast Airport under a plan which will address current peak hour capacity issues and meet forecast demand up to 2023.The proposed redevelopment, named Project LIFT (Lets Invest for Tomorrow), comprises redevelopment in the southern portion of the airport and will meet future demand and deliver better services, while creating jobs and other economic opportunities for the future.Stage one of construction is due to commence in early 2016 and includes an initial three new widebodied aircraft stands and a three level terminal development, with provision for up to two aerobridges associated with the new infrastructure.This stage of the proposed redevelopment will be substantially completed in late 2017 prior to the Commonwealth Games, when more than 126,000 visitors, athletes, officials, and media are expected to descend on the Gold Coast.Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd (GCAPL) Chief Operating Officer David Collins said more than 5.8 million passengers use Gold Coast Airport every year, with leisure-based travel accounting for an estimated 75 per cent of all traffic, making it Australia’s sixth busiest airport.“This redevelopment will ensure more efficient use of terminal space and offer increased capacity, meaning service for travellers is faster and more efficient, with broader retail choice,” he said.“Recent investigations have found the capacity of aircraft parking stands is currently exceeded at peak times, and if no action is taken to provide additional aircraft parking by 2018 access to the airport would need to be restricted.“This could significantly impact the airport’s ability to service future domestic and international passenger demand,” Mr Collins explained.The existing terminal is also experiencing capacity issues during peak hours in the areas of check-in, international arrivals, domestic and international departure lounges, baggage handling, and domestic baggage reclaim.The redevelopment represents an investment of more than AUD$200 million by Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), an Australian owned Queensland-based company which owns and operates Gold Coast Airport as part of its portfolio of airports in the state including Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach.“This significant investment demonstrates our confidence in the Gold Coast and its ongoing role as a major contributor to the Queensland and New South Wales economies,” QAL Managing Director Dennis Chant said.“Project LIFT will allow us to meet forecast demand for the next eight years while also creating additional employment, generating further economic activities, and providing capacity for future growth.” Gold Coast AirportSource = Gold Coast Airport
TCEB inaugurates new campaign for 2016Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau or TCEB has spearheaded a response to the government direction of advancing key policy areas by announcing a campaign to reassert Thailand as a destination at the HEART of ASEAN among the international business community. Making the announcement at the IBTM World, the region’s premier MICE and travel industry event, TCEB introduced its ‘Thailand CONNECT….Our Heart Your World” brand communication campaign for the 2016 fiscal year.“Thailand CONNECT….Our Heart, Your World” highlights three key pillars of Thailand’s MICE industry: DESTINATIONS OF THAILAND : Your Heart’s Desire Diverse Destinations with Seamless Connections, Business in Thailand : At the heart of the world Helping you seize the opportunities across the globe, Asia and ASEAN, and PEOPLE OF THAILAND :Seamless Excellence, Passion Hearts.Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of TCEB revealed that, “The strategic direction to promote Thailand’s MICE industry is in response to the government policy of reinforcing international confidence in Thailand, and especially boosting the vibrancy of the country’s MICE industry. For business events, Thailand is not only a unique destination at the HEART of ASEAN and an unparalleled business hub at the HEART of both the emerging Asian region and the global marketplace, but also a thriving hub, where passionate people offer seamless service from the HEART, and with an unforgettable smile.For 2016, TCEB has developed the “Thailand CONNECT…Our Heart Your World” brand communications campaign to capture the essence of Thailand’s unique position as a preferred global business events destination, highlighting how the country’s service-oriented translates into tangible opportunities for business travelers, with all elements working in perfect synergy.The Thailand CONNECT…Our Heart Your World builds on the strong legacy of the three fundamental pillars of Thailand’s MICE industry including (1) Destinations (2) Businesses and (3) People, by showcasing the best of all three elements.Source = TCEB
French Travel Connection special offers for your clients plus gifts for youAustralia’s leading France holiday specialist French Travel Connection unveils a 116-page programme offering more Regional France Packages, a Monaco Exclusive Passport to Monte Carlo, Chateaux stays, Local Experiences, Cycling and walking tours.French Travel Connection (FTC) has launched their 2016 116-page brochure at the French Travel Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne on 14 and 16 September 2015.“We are excited to announce our 2016 brochure includes more products than ever, offering a comprehensive range of experiences for Australians travelling to France” says French Travel Connection Business Development Manager Alex Fayan.“Due to increasing demand for unique experiences in France, we have also developed our range of Chateaux stays in France, as well as our range of regional options with new packages and new pages dedicated for Corsica but also our cycling, walking tours and cooking classes through the regions of France” says French Travel Connection Product Manager Sophie Meunier. Highlights in FTC 2016 Brochure include: • FRENCH WATERWAYS: 2016 Early birds are available on huge range of crewed canal barges and self-drive boats. If you book any France Waterways product for your clients before the 30 November, you will receive a $75 gift voucher for yourself. Click here for more details • EXCLUSIVE Passport to Monte Carlo: exclusive to FTC, the ‘Passport to Monte-Carlo’ 3-night package offers free inclusions to Australians such as helicopter transfers from Nice airport (conditions apply), special VIP treatments and a book of entrance tickets to the museums and attractions of the principality. If you book a 3-night package in Monte-Carlo for your clients before 31 October, you will have a chance to win a stay in Monaco. Click here for more details • PARIS I LOVE YOU FTC offers more free inclusions on selected 3 and 5-night Paris packages, Paris-based apartment-hotels, Paris Private apartments. Book through us to offer the best holidays for your clients • NEW La Grande France Escorted Tour includes the best of France in 15 days, all inclusive. Visit Loire Valley, Dordogne, Provence and French Riviera regions on board of a luxury coach. • NEW special interest section including stays in chateaux, cooking classes, walking tours, cycling tour, languages classes and more • NEW Corsica, we have also created 2 pages dedicated to Corsica, the Beauty Island. • REMEMBER FOREVER: Somme Battlefield Exclusive ToursTo support the use of their new products and brochure, French Travel Connection’s Business Development Manager Alexandra Fayan will regularly provide training through webinars and sales calls to assist travel agents in booking France. Brochure Delivery started on Monday 14 September and order will be available from 5 October through TIFS in Australia.For full details and bookings contact French Travel Connection on 1300 858 304, email email@example.com or visit www.frenchtravel.com.au About French Travel Connectionlearn more hereSource = French Travel Connection
New Zealand’s biggest business events showcase kicks off in AucklandConventions and Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) biggest showcase ever, MEETINGS 2016 celebrated its 20th year with a welcome event for 650 people at The Langham Auckland last night.CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says the event is New Zealand’s leading platform for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with key regions, meeting facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.The two-day industry show, which opened this morning, brings experiences from 19 regions of New Zealand and more than 190 exhibitors under one roof at ASB Showgrounds.Exhibitors and buyers are paired together for 6,000 appointments and networking opportunities across two days and three nights.“We are seeing strong interest in New Zealand as a place to host great conferences, incentives and events. The feedback from 60 Australian event organisers who toured our regions this week has been tremendous,” Sue Sullivan says.“Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand have brought 40 influential buyers and media from South-East Asia, India, China and North America to this year’s show.“New Zealand buyers have travelled from all over the country to join us for the two days, together with a significant number of local Auckland event organisers coming in each day.”CINZ MEETINGS 2016 is open to anyone who organises business events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentive travel.Air New Zealand is principal sponsor of MEETINGS 2016, and major sponsors are ASB Showgrounds, Peek Exhibition and Centium Software.Speaking at the event from 10.30am to 12 noon tomorrow are leaders from MBIE, Air New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, ATEED, New Zealand International Convention Centre and Christchurch Airport. Conventions & Incentives NZSource = Conventions & Incentives NZ
NCLH China President, David J. Herrera and Norwegian Joy Godfather, Wang Leehom Chinese Pop Star Wang Leehom named godfather of Norwegian JoyChinese Pop Star Wang Leehom named godfather of Norwegian JoyArriving in Summer 2017 with home ports in Shanghai and Beijing (Tianjin), Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship for the Chinese market and designed to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences.Along with serving as Godfather of Norwegian Joy, Leehom will also represent NCL China as its brand ambassador, introducing Norwegian Cruise Line’s unparalleled cruise experience to Chinese consumers through a variety of platforms, including television and radio commercial campaigns, as well as on social media. Wang Leehom will become the first Chinese Godfather of any cruise ship brand, joining the likes of renowned hip hop artist, Pitbull, Godfather of Norwegian’s most recent ship, the Miami-based Norwegian Escape. Leehom’s role will include a number of special appearances including the traditional role of christening Norwegian Joy at the ship’s inauguration ceremony in Summer 2017, as well as other exciting roles at the launch event and beyond.A Chinese-American singer songwriter, music producer, actor, and film director, Wang Leehom is known as the “King of Chinese Pop” for his wide range of musical styles blending pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, classical and traditional Chinese music. His musical collaborations have included work with international stars including Tony Bennett, Avicii, Usher, Lang Lang, and JJ Lin. He has performed in over 100 cities worldwide in his career. Leehom’s film career includes a starring role in Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution.As a bridge between Eastern and Western worlds, Wang Leehom is a worldwide cultural ambassador, with a platform of more than 60 million social media followers.Leehom’s appointment as Godfather displays Norwegian Joy’s vision of delivering the best of the Norwegian Cruise Line brand to China, while also being customized to the Chinese traveler.“I’m honored to have the opportunity to share the cruising lifestyle with Chinese guests as Godfather of Norwegian Joy. Cruising is an exciting way of experiencing travel and leisure that I’m thrilled to be sharing with China.” said Wang Leehom.“As a Chinese star with a high international profile, connecting East and West through his music and movies, Leehom is the perfect Godfather for Norwegian Joy, a ship custom designed for our Chinese guests that also brings the best of the East and West together. We are thrilled to be working with him as a partner to introduce the NCL ‘First Class at Sea’ cruising experience to China next summer,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Frank J. Del Rio.“We are honored and excited to have Wang Leehom as the Godfather of our spectacular new premium vessel Norwegian Joy, and as a brand ambassador for NCL in China. Leehom is a highly accomplished artist and family man that we are proud to partner with in China and beyond.” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China President, David J. Herrera.About Norwegian JoyCurrently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Joy is Norwegian Cruise Line’s first purpose-built ship customized for China. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the experience that the ship will offer, a promise that guests will ‘Experience Paradise on the Sea.’ Accommodating 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, the new Breakaway-Plus Class Ship will debut in China in summer 2017.Designed to provide First Class at Sea experiences with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests, Norwegian Joy will provide a multitude of VIP accommodations including The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex, which will also include an all-new Observation Deck that features 180 degree views, and a Concierge level, an all-new accommodations category which will provide a VIP experience and feature larger balcony staterooms. Accommodation offerings will also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together, as well as a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies.Norwegian Joy will offer engaging and innovative activities including a first at sea two-level competitive racetrack, an open-air laser tag course, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls at the Galaxy Pavilion as well as hover craft bumper cars, a state-of-the-art racing simulator and two multi-story waterslides. In addition, Norwegian Joy will house a tranquil open space park as well as the line’s largest upscale shopping district, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to world-renowned global luxury brands. NCLbook hereSource = Norwegian Cruise Line
Source = AccorHotels AccorHotels signs an agreement to acquire Mantra Group LimitedAccorHotels signs an agreement to acquire Mantra Group LimitedAccorHotels today announced the signature of an agreement with Mantra Group Limited with the view to acquire all of the issued capital in Mantra by way of a scheme of arrangement to be approved by Mantra shareholders. Under the terms of the agreement AccorHotels would offer AUD3.96 in cash for each Mantra share including any potential special dividend.Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels said, “We are delighted to have come to an agreement to acquire the Mantra Group. This operation will underpin our long-term growth in the Asia Pacific region. Mantra’s portfolio would offer AccorHotels additional accommodation formats and a strong customer base to complement our successful hotel portfolio in Australia. We are confident that the transaction terms are attractive for shareholders of both groups”.Chairman of Mantra, Peter Bush, said, “The AccorHotels offer represents an attractive proposition for Mantra and for our shareholders and the Board unanimously recommends AccorHotels’ proposal. AccorHotels is one of the world’s leading hotel operators and we trust that our business will be in good hands. Mantra’s strong expertise in apartments, in particular, and our presence in resort locations are very complementary to the AccorHotels operations in Australia and New Zealand. The combined business will be an important part of Australia’s strong and growing tourism market and its customers will benefit from the market leading expertise of both groups”.Mantra is one of Australia’s largest hotel and resort marketers and operators with 127 properties and over 20,000 rooms in hotels, resorts and serviced apartments across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.Properties in Mantra’s portfolio range from luxury accommodations and coastal resorts to serviced apartments in city and key leisure destinations, under three key brands: Peppers (28 properties), Mantra (75 properties) and BreakFree (24 properties). Mantra also manages core accommodation services including guest relations and reception areas, restaurants and bars, conference and function centres, pool and entertainment facilities and offices. Mantra has more than 5,500 employees.AccorHotels and Mantra’s combined geographic footprint, together with enhanced distribution and systems, would form a favourable base from which AccorHotels can expand further in the region. Mantra’s expertise in apartment management, in particular, will offer a new opportunity for growth.The Offer Price represents:– A 23 percent premium to the last close price of AUD3.23 as at 6 October, 2017– An implied EV / 2018e EBITDA (including transaction costs) multiple of 12.4x pre-synergies and high single-digit post-synergies.The acquisition will be accretive to earnings per share in the first year of ownership pre-synergies. AccorHotels will pay AUD1.3 billion, equivalent to €0.9billion .Besides, AccorHotels confirms it is in discussion with potential investors in relation to the sale of part of the Share Capital of AccorInvest. The Group aims at signing an agreement before year-end 2017. At this stage, the Group has no certainty to reach an agreement.The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, the Federal Court of Australia and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, as well as the approval of Mantra shareholders and other customary conditions. It is anticipated that subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction should be completed by the end of the first quarter 2018.
Fraser Suites Muscat – Artist impression of bedroomFrasers Hospitality doubles Middle East portfolioFrasers Hospitality, a member of Frasers Property Group, announced new openings in Saudi Arabia and Oman in 2018. The recent opening of Fraser Suites Riyadh and soon-to-open Fraser Suites Muscat join existing properties Fraser Suites Seef, Bahrain, Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area Bahrain, Fraser Suites Doha, Fraser Suites West Bay, Doha and Fraser Suites Dubai. With three more properties planned in Dubai, one in Jeddah, one in Al Khobar and one in Kuwait, Frasers Hospitality is set to double its footprint in the region to 13 properties over the next few years.“It is timely for us to scale up in the Middle East. We have a loyal base of corporate customers and this has contributed to the success of our properties in Bahrain, Doha and Dubai, which are enjoying average occupancies of over 85 percent,” said Mr Choe Peng Sum, Chief Executive Officer of Frasers Hospitality.From now till 2020, the top three business travel markets in the Middle East are expected to be the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar1. Bahrain is also drawing large numbers of business tourists due to its hosting of conferences such as the World Islamic Banking Conference.In a first for Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is planning to issue tourist visas from April as it pushes ahead with major economic and social reforms. A massive tourism project along its Red Sea coastline is also on thecards2.“Saudi Arabia is expecting more than 31 million tourist arrivals by 20273 as it commits to implementing Vision 2030, its most ambitious economic reform program to date,” Mr Choe pointed out.Encouraged by such promising prospects, the newly opened Fraser Suites Riyadh aims to meet the needs of a growing financial district in the city where hospitality demands are largely driven by corporate clientele4. Located in Olaya, it provides easy access to top business and entertainment establishments as well as landmarks such as Kingdom Centre, which boasts the most luxurious brands in Saudi Arabia.With 95 fully furnished luxury serviced residences, Fraser Suites Riyadh features a range of accommodation options from studio apartments to two-bedroom penthouse suites. In a nod to holistic wellness, guests also have the convenience of a massage facility, an Olympic-size rooftop swimming pool, a 24-hour fully equipped gym, a library lounge and healthy eating options at two dining concepts.“Both Saudi Arabia and Oman have been highlighted as countries that are leading the region indeveloping cultural tourism, with a number of world-class attractions being built5,” Mr Choe added.In a landmark move into Oman, Frasers Hospitality will soon launch Fraser Suites Muscat, leveraging on the increase in tourism investment as Oman diversifies away from an oil-based economy6. Scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2018, the 120-unit property boasts a prime location close to the upcoming Mall of Oman, the diplomatic area and Ghala industrial estate. Offering one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments, residents have the choice of facilities such as a spa, fitness centre, rooftop pool and kids’ playground.Frasers Hospitality entered the Middle East with Fraser Suites Seef, Bahrain in 2009 and its portfolio hasexpanded to include Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area Bahrain, Fraser Suites Doha, Fraser Suites West Bay,Doha and Fraser Suites Dubai. The Group has been named as Middle East’s Leading Serviced Apartments Brand7 and Best Serviced Apartment Company in the Middle East 8 . The properties have also been individually awarded as Leading Serviced Apartments within the region9.As at 31 December 2017, Frasers Hospitality has equity interests in and/or manages over 16,000 unitsand has more than 8,000 units already signed up and pending openings. Its global footprint stands at more than 150 properties in over 80 cities.Source = Frasers Hospitality
Surf’s up: Direct to DurbanSurf’s up: Direct to DurbanTravellers hoping to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s shorter days and long, cold nights this winter have a new destination: the South African city of Durban with the start of British Airways’ new direct service.From October 29 holidaymakers will be able to surf their heart out along the Golden Mile, explore the lush green garden province and enjoy golden sun kissed beaches with three direct flights a week from Heathrow to the spectacular South African city.The service will be the only non-stop link between Europe and Durban and flights will be operated by the airline’s newest fleet of aircraft, the Boeing 787-8. The timetable will have a morning arrival into Durban and an evening arrival into Heathrow. The new route comes as British Airways rolls out a £4.5 billion, five-year customer investment plan, with a focus on excellence in the premium cabins and more choice and quality for all its customers.Durban is a year-round destination, with sultry summers and mild, dry winters. It has long been a favourite holiday playground for South Africans but will soon be easier than ever for international visitors to enjoy too.Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Durban’s warm water, hot summers and laid-back beachy atmosphere make this coastal city the perfect holiday destination. It is a gateway to many nature reserves, parks and historic sites, and has a thriving food, drink and art scene; defining the city as a must-visit for culture and adventure.“Durban is also home to the busiest port in South Africa and is a large manufacturing hub, so the new route will secure another important link between the UK and the region that will be a welcome addition for business travellers.”Sihle Zikalala, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, said: “We are proud to be able to showcase the city of Durban to the world through this new British Airways direct flight, the sheer diversity in travel and business opportunities that visitors can access through this gateway into the province of KwaZulu-Natal will unlock enormous potential.“Great Britain and KwaZulu-Natal share a very rich history, and we are excited to be able to rekindle that relationship with the launch of this new route. The investment and trade opportunities presented by this direct flight between Durban and London will undoubtedly add value to our economy.”Tickets are available to buy on ba.com and start from £599 in World Traveller (economy cabin), £1214 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and £3199 in Club World (business class). Customers can also choose to cut the cost of flights by using Avios in part payment.British Airways operates a twice daily service from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Johannesburg and flies year-round to Cape Town every day from Terminal 3 and three times a week from Gatwick during the winter season.British Airways has a long-standing partnership with Comair who fly direct from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Durban and six other destinations across South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.For those wanting to escape to the South African sun, British Airways Holidays has the following packages on offer:British Airways Holidays offers flight & five nights stay at the 5* The Oyster Box, from £1199 per person, travelling on selected dates in November. Includes World Traveller return flights from London Heathrow and accommodation with breakfast. Book by May 22. For reservations visit ba.com or call 0844 493 0787.British Airways Holidays offers flight and seven-day care hire from £539 per person, travelling on selected dates in November. Includes World Traveller return flights from London Heathrow and a Mini Manual car. Book by May 22. For reservations visit ba.com/car or call 0844 493 0787.For a weekend guide on what to do in Durban, head here.Source = British Airways
Air Canada launches one of a kind pop up YYCaesar BarAir Canada launches one of a kind pop up YYCaesar BarYYCaesar Bar by Air Canada brings together Caesars, travel & community support for Calgary Firefighters Charitable FoundationOpen July 6-14 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm daily on Stephen Avenue at 117-8th Ave SWAir Canada today announced its YYCaesar Bar will pop-up in Calgary during Stampede week, offering Calgarians and visitors alike the opportunity to sample several varieties of Canada’s national cocktail, take-off on an Air Canada flight through a virtual reality experience, and help support the important work of the Calgary Firefighters Charitable Foundation. People will also have the chance to win two tickets daily to any Air Canada destination. YYCaesar Bar by Air Canada pops up from Saturday, July 6 until Sunday, July 14.“We are delighted to bring visitors from across Canada and around the world to the Stampede and Calgary’s city-wide celebration. We can’t think of a better occasion to launch our one-of-a-kind YYCaesar Bar pop-up, right in the downtown core where the legendary Caesar was originally created 50 years ago,” said Ferio Pugliese, Air Canada’s Senior Vice President – Air Canada Express & Government Relations.“Building on our more than 80-year history and our long-standing commitment to serving Calgary and the rest of Alberta, we look forward to welcoming even more people to our award winning hospitality and invite everyone to explore the more than 200 destinations we fly to globally, including 59 directly from Calgary,” concluded Ferio.“The Calgary Firefighters Charitable Foundation, or CF2, is proud to announce our partnership with Air Canada. Funds raised through YYCaesar Bar by Air Canada will support our SAFE (Support After Fires and Emergencies) program initiatives,” says President Mike Henson. “Calgary Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s (CF2’s) mission is to serve and assist our citizens in their time of need. Our programs provide our citizens with resource information, education and/or financial assistance after an emergency – we are not done when the trucks leave, we are only beginning.”YYCaesar Bar by Air Canada Caesar choices:In addition to the classic Caesar originally created by Calgary’s Walter Chell, YYCaesar Bar by Air Canada will also present customized Caesars inspired by the Calgary Flames, Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Athletes, and a modern twist on the original.Caesars are priced at $7.00 each with a portion of proceeds from every Caesar sold going to support the Calgary Firefighters Charitable Foundation to support their critical work keeping Calgarians safe and resilient.Where and When:117-8th Ave SW on Stephen Avenue between 1st St SW and CentreOpen to the public from Sat., July 6 to Sun., July 14 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm dailyFive Fast Facts About Air Canada in Calgary:Direct flights to 59 destinations, including London Heathrow and Frankfurt year-round, and Tokyo Narita during spring and summer, plus newly announced route to Terrace-Kitimat beginning this fallAir Canada’s flights represent 6.9 million seats at Calgary2,750 proud employees based in AlbertaSpends $515 million in Alberta annuallySupports numerous organizations who help children’s health and help alleviate poverty, including the yearly Dreams Take Flights Calgary that provides a magical trip-of-a-lifetime to childrenAbout Air Canada:Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 220 airports on six continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served nearly 51 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 62 airports in Canada, 54 in the United States and 100 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.Source = Air Canada
Source = Club Med Club Med Seaside Flash SaleClub Med Seaside Flash SaleGet a head start on summer and escape to the seaside with Club Med – Six resorts, each at one fixed price for two weeks only!For bookings made between 8 – 19 July 2019, for travel from 31 August – 30 November, 2019.Choose in Asia from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia… or if you feel like going a bit further, choose the sun of Mauritius or the blue waters of Mexico!Club Med Bali, IndonesiaClub Med Phuket, ThailandClub Med Bintan Island, IndonesiaClub Med Cherating Beach, MalaysiaClub Med Cancun, MexicoClub Med La Plantation d’Albion, MauritiusAs always with Club Med, your package price includes accommodation, all-day dining at multiple restaurants, premium open bar, a wide range of sports and activities, child care and extra family services in Kids Club, nightly entertainment, WIFI, and basic travel insurance.For more information and sales tools visit www.clubmedta.com.auFor bookings, please phone 1800 258 263Club Med Bali, IndonesiaCLUB MED BALI, INDONESIA – 5 nights all-inclusive for $950 per adultBeachside oasis on the shores of Nusa DuaWhy you’ll love Club Med Bali: A modern and spacious beachside resortPlenty of space for family and friendsThe most relaxing adult-only Zen poolFrom yoga to tennis, so much to do!Delicious local dishesKids Clubs from 4 months* to 17 years oldExtra amazing family servicesClub Med Phuket, ThailandCLUB MED PHUKET, THAILAND – 5 nights all-inclusive for $850 per adultDelicious food and endless smilesWhy you’ll love Club Med Phuket: Located in Phuket’s most beautiful bayPerfect playground for a family holidayTrendy adult-only poolThai boxing lessonsAuthentic Thai cuisineFun activities for all like trapezeKids Clubs from 4 months* to 17 years oldExtra amazing family servicesClub Med Bintan Island, IndonesiaCLUB MED BINTAN ISLAND, INDONESIA – 5 nights all-inclusive for $1,210 per adultRevitalize body and soul from Indonesia’s best kept secretWhy you’ll love Club Med Bintan Island: A short ferry ride from SingaporeSurrounded by raw natural beautyPerfect place to rejuvenateYoga under the palapa, by the sea, or in the air with aerial yogaBeautiful spa* perched on the rocksTrapeze lessons overlooking the oceanIncredible views and food from the restaurantsKids Clubs from 2 years* to 17 years oldExtra amazing family servicesClub Med Cherating Beach, MalaysiaCLUB MED CHERATING BEACH, MALAYSIA – 5 nights all-inclusive for $890 per adultDiscover the beauty of the Malaysian jungleWhy you’ll love Club Med Cherating Beach:An eco-resort in the Malaysian jungle and by the oceanTreetop adventures for the thrill-seeking familyWildlife discoveries with monkeys and turtlesAdult-only Zen pool overlooking the oceanDelicious Malaysian dishesFly on the trapezeRock climbingKids Clubs from 4 months* to 17 years oldClub Med Cancun, MexicoCLUB MED CANCUN YUCATAN, MEXICO – 5 nights all-inclusive for $960 per adultSoak up the good vibes of MexicoWhy you’ll love Club Med Cancun:Fully redesigned all-inclusive family resortAccess to three white sand beaches & lagoonBeside world’s second largest coral reefSnorkeling, water-skiing and sailing galoreAuthentic Mexican dishesFly on the trapezeNewly added Jade Exclusive Collection spaceKids Clubs from 4 to 17 years oldClub Med La Plantation d’Albion, MauritiusCLUB MED LA PLANTATION D’ALBION, MAURITIUS – 6 nights all-inclusive for $1,745 per adultSlow down and reset in MauritiusWhy you’ll love Club Med La Plantation d’Albion5 Trident resortSurrounded by peaceful exotic landscapes & unique Creole cultureAdults-only zen oasis infinity poolSnorkeling, kayaking, tennis and trapezeWildlife encounters with turtles and dolphinsTraditional Mauritian cuisine & dancingKids Clubs from 2 to 17 years oldT&Cs Prices in AUD. Flash Sale for sale from 8 – 19 July 2019 for departures 31 August – 30 November 2019 for a minimum 5 nights consecutive stay at Club Med Bali, Club Med Cherating Beach, Club Med Phuket, Club Med Bintan Island, Club Med Cancun Yucatan and minimum 6 nights for Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. Blackout dates apply for this offer and a surcharge between the following departure dates will apply – Bali: 24 September – 6 October 2019, Phuket : 24 September – 6 October 2019 and Bintan Island: 24 September – 6 October, 3 – 5 & 26-27 November 2019, Cherating Beach: 24 September – 6 October 2019, Cancun: 31 August – 6 September, 24 September – 6 October, 13 -18 October, 9 – 14 & 23 – 30 November 2019, Albion: 24 September – 6 October 2019 & 13 October – 1 November 2019. Prices advertised are based on Adults (18+), Teens (12-17) and Children (4-11). All adult prices are based on 5 nights Twin Share in a Club room non-connecting, except for Club Med La Plantation d’Albion which is based on 6 nights. Child pricing is based on a child sharing a room with the parents. Ferry transfers included for Bintan Island. Local transfers not included in price but available for pre-booking. Offer is valid for new bookings by Australian residents only and is subject to availability and may change without notice. Offer not valid for group travel or in conjunction with any other offer. Offer not valid for group travel or in conjunction with any other offer.*Kids Clubs under 4 years old are an additional service at extra cost, everything else is included! Spa and excursions are at extra cost.For more information on our terms and conditions visit clubmedta.com.au
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A helicopter has been spotted over the last few days flying over several game reserves in the area at very low altitudes. It has not been commissioned by any of the reserves, and conservation experts believe it poses a credible rhino poaching threat in the area. “While we cannot say 100% that it is a poaching chopper, the fact that it is here and it is not a known local chopper is cause for concern,” explained a rhino protection officer who asked not to be named. “We need the community’s help to combat the brutal slaughter of adult and baby rhinos.”The chopper was spotted over the weekend and yesterday flying near Nambiti Conservancy and Spioenkop Game Reserve. Rhino protection forces in the area are on high alert.If you spot any helicopter in the vicinity, contact 078-722-2826.