Today's News

Aussie photographer wins at Red Bull Illume Image Quest in Chicago

Winner of Red Bull Illume 2016 Image Quest 'Energy' Category 2016

Photographer: Luke Shadbolt Red Bull Illume 2016
Category: Energy
Athlete: Renan Faccini
Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

It’s not the first time his work has received awards and accolades, but right now Aussie professional photographer and creative director, Luke Shadbolt, from the Central Coast of NSW, is celebrating his first place win yesterday in the ‘Energy’ Category of The Red Bull Illume Image Quest awards held in Chicago.

Luke’s black and white image, featuring surfer Renan Faccini against a huge swell in Brazil, impressed the panel of 53 judges who crowned him winner of the category against tough competition – 5,645 photographers from 120 countries submitting a record-breaking 34,624 images.

Plaza Premium Lounge opens in Brisbane

plaza-premium-lounge-brisbanePlaza Premium Group (PPG) and Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) jointly celebrated the grand opening of the new Plaza Premium Lounge in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Located on level 4 between the departure gates 81 and 82 of the International Terminal, the new Plaza Premium Lounge spans over 4,500 square feet with a seating capacity of over 100 and views of both the terminal and runway.

Exclusive deals for under 26 travellers on Eurostar


Rail Europe GSAs have released an exclusive Eurostar offer to help youth travellers (under the age of 26) to better plan and budget for holidays during the festive season and university holidays.

Turbo boost for Travel Counsellors turnover

steve-byrneThe latest financial results for Travel Counsellors show a 22% rise in the last 12 months, which the company believes is due to an emphasis customer service and commitment to the latest technology.

Figures for the year ending October 2015 were $288m, up from $236m the previous year, on sales of $903m.

The business has seen a 13 per cent increase globally in sales made through its in-house quote and booking technology.

Fakeout Friday – the return of the ‘sexy lady’!

Casa-Morada-TubCandles, natural light, a couple of blooming orchids and lots of bubbles … this lady is certainly enjoying her bath.

Thirsty LAX visitors can refresh at new airport brewery

Angel City Brewery at LAX

Angel City’s Srirachelada

LA purveyors of craft beer, Angel City Brewery, is one of the newest tenants at LAX, opening in Terminal 3 to quench the thirst of parched travellers!

The microbrewery is already a crowd favourite in the vibrant Arts District in downtown L.A., and is known for its special brews, including Srirachelada, a spin on the classic Mexican ‘coctel cerveza’, with all michelada ingredients, plus a splash of sriracha, pre-brewed in the keg for quality control of the perfect spicy beverage.

Rewards for agents from #thenewwu

wendy-wu-cupcakesThere’s a lot happening with #thenewwu, with the company making it easy for agents to book Asia, even if they don’t know the destination and agents able to secure commission on every segment of a Wendy Wu tour.

The 2017 program has just been launched, along with several agent incentives, offering the chance to win one of eight places on a bespoke Sri Lanka famil next year as the headline incentive.

TA gains additional funds to target youth market

ta-youth-725x2501While the industry isn’t happy with the government’s decision to retain the ‘backpacker tax’, even though it has been reduced from 32% to 19%, some good has come out of it, as Tourism Australia will receive an additional $10 million in funding for a global advertising campaign targeted at the youth market.

The funding comes as part of a range of measures targeting working holiday which include setting the tax rate for working holiday makers at 19 per cent on earnings up to $37,000; reducing the application charge for working holiday maker visas by $50 to $390; and introducing more flexible visa arrangements to benefit working holiday makers and industry.

Virgin takes the lead in punctuality

ClockEvery month, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) releases statistics on the punctuality of Australian airlines, with August 2016 figures showing an average 88.4% for on time departures and 87.5% for on time arrivals.

This month’s on time arrivals figure was higher than the long-term average performance for all routes (82.8 per cent) and the on time departures figure was also higher than the long-term average (84.2 per cent). The rate of cancellations was higher than the long-term average of 1.4%.

Sun Princess rescues boat passengers


A rescue mission, co-ordinated by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Noumea, enlisted the assistance of Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess to aid a vessel adrift at sea, west of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu waters.

Five people, including family members of a senior Vanuatu government minister, were in the stricken boat for 48 hours before Sun Princess successfully completed the search and rescue operation around 1am [local time] yesterday.

Wolfgang Puck and Heineken open @ T1 Sydney

The Bistro by Wolfgang Puck

The Bistro by Wolfgang Puck

Fancy some top notch eats and drinks with your next overseas flight? Sydney Airport’s T1 International terminal has opened the doors on ‘The Bistro by Wolfgang Puck’ and Heineken House, both set within the new premium dining precinct, City View, and both designed and created for the Airport by Emirates Leisure Retail.

World-renowned chef Puck has many strings to his bow, including catering the Oscars for the past 21 years, and now adds an Australian airport first to his long list of culinary accomplishments.

Introducing the ‘Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures’

Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures

Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures

G Adventures has announced a new partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, releasing a program of 20 wildlife trips to form the Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures – and each trip has been endorsed by the renowned primatologist.

Under the guidance of its founder and namesake, the Jane Goodall Institute has worked tirelessly for nearly 40 years to foster a deeper understanding of great apes and to protect their natural habitats.

Travel Counsellors hit the Hollywood hotspots

the-london-rooftopDo well at Travel Counsellors and you can be well rewarded, as eight agents and Anne Dugdale from the head office Phenix support team recently discovered!

The top users of the company’s in-house booking system Phenix, experienced some of California’s hottest restaurants, bars and hotels while on a rewards trip to West Hollywood and San Diego.

Be quick – Vietnam roadshows are on next week!

vietnamTravel agents and wholesalers are invited to attend a series of presentations and B2B networking sessions, as the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Hanoi’s People Committee and industry partners showcase their new offerings and services.

The 2016 Vietnam Roadshow will visit Sydney Melbourne and Brisbane next week.

DFAT travel advisories

Somalia: Do not travel

Turkey, Zimbabwe: High degree of caution