Thursday, 30 June 2016

Yin Yoga Retreat at Falls Creek ski lodge

Trackers Mountain Lodge, in the heart of Falls Creek Alpine Village, is building a reputation for its Yoga Retreats in the picture-postcard alpine resort’s snow season.

To enhance its standing amongst yoga enthusiasts the owner (an enthusiastic yogi follower) has pulled off quite a coup! Byron Bay-based Tara (pronounced 'terra') Fitzgibbon, who has embraced all things yoga for over 18 years, is coming south to host the second September Snoga Retreat at Trackers Mountain Lodge.

Tara will incorporate Yin Yoga into her repertoire at the quintessential ski lodge when she hosts a five-day Snoga Retreat between 11-16 September. With over 18 years experience, Tara's yoga classes and Yoga Nidra meditations are deeply restorative and nourishing for the soul.

Yin Snoga Retreat $1195 per person twin share including: Lodge-style accommodation, Daily Morning and evening Yin Yoga Sessions, Breakfasts, Dinners and daily afternoon teas, all day tea and coffee, Welcome and departure functions, Cross-country ski adventure, High country picnic, Laughs, lightness and joy.

Enquiries to info@trackers.comau Lodge Manager Brian 035758 3346 or Janette 0400 77 00 34

Christchurch Convention Centre to boost New Zealand on world stage

Sue Sullivan
News the Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre is on target to be opened in late 2019 is being welcomed by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ).

CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says the announcement of Christchurch’s new venue is another boost to New Zealand’s reputation as an exciting and unique conference destination.

“New Zealand has always punched above its weight, but we have needed this type of world-class infrastructure to attract large multi-day conventions,” she says.

“At this month’s CINZ Meetings tradeshow Christchurch’s new convention centre design was viewed by hundreds of local and international conference organisers and it was exceptionally well received.”

Sue Sullivan says having a purpose-designed facility in the South Island, with easy international access via Christchurch Airport, will lift help New Zealand’s profile as a great place to do business.

“It will bring people with new and world-class ideas to meet here, attract potential investors and export partners, and bring high-spending visitors.

“With the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland and this premium boutique centre in Christchurch we can now compete on the world stage, challenging Australia and South East Asia for high-value convention business,“ she says.

The key attendance drivers for convention delegates are education opportunities, networking and the destination. “We tick all the boxes here,” she says.

“Christchurch is the gateway to the South Island, and a smart, future-focused city with expertise to share in diverse sectors including agriculture, building technology, earth sciences, health sciences, international education, and technology.”

“The city is already winning major conference business and there is high demand for this new facility in Christchurch. We look forward to seeing it get underway very soon.”

Le Vasa Resort releases Flash Sale

Le Vasa Resort, a secluded boutique hotel on the island of upolu, Samoa, has recently released a flash sale
  • Stay 2 nights or more, receive 10% discount
  • Stay 3 nights or more, receive 15% discount
  • Stay 5 nights or more, receive 20% discount

  • Daily tropical breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • 1x happy hour cocktail on arrival
  • $50 SAT voucher that can go towards any activities at the resort (not redeemable for cash)
  • Sale Dates: June 28th to July 10th 2016 

Travel Dates: June 28th to October 10th 2016 (Valid for all room types except for Villa Le Vasa)

Le Vasa Resort
Le Vasa Resort is a boutique, oceanfront hiedaway featuring just 13 waterfront fales (homes) and 2 intimate, garden view studios. Situated on Upolu, the main island of Samoa, the property is skirted by a ½ mile of private beach and boasts a unique position overlooking both a lagoon and the glimmering South Pacific.

Find out more about Le Vasa

3 Weeks To Go Sydney

Fun, Fascinating & it's FREE! The Greatest Travel Show is ON!


* Two whole days of meeting new suppliers and industry experts from all over the world

* Access to a wide range of wholesalers and destinations

* Interactive and skilled participants such as ecreators, Jito, Expedia

* A holistic seminar program covering topics on professional develpoment and achieving success in the travel industry

* Connecting with niche players in the marketplace

* Networking drinks with all the show participants

* A vibrant and fun filled venue!


Wednesday, 29 June 2016


More than 1,000 people will gather at Port Stephens’ Shoal Bay Beach in a record breaking attempt to form the outline of a giant humpback whale on Sunday 3 July, 2016.

Coinciding with the beginning of the winter school holidays and the end of Port Stephens’ annual Naturefest – a program of events showcasing the area’s unique natural beauty – the annual Human Whale event is now in its fifth year and runs in recognition of whale conservation and the booming whale-watching season.

Part of Port Stephens’ annual Naturefest program of winter events, the human whale last year saw a record 1000 people form the shape of a 100m-long humpback whale, with locals and visitors alike uniting to create the spectacle, with more whale-formers expected this year to exceed the record.

More than 20,000 humpbacks are expected to trace the local coast between now and November, during their annual migration.

All participants will receive a certificate of appreciation and a ‘Love Nature, Love Port Stephens’ wristband entitling them to 25 per cent discount on merchandise at the Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre in Nelson Bay (excluding postcards).

To celebrate what is shaping up as a record whale watch season in Port Stephens this winter, school holiday visitors and locals alike are invited to help form the shape of a giant human whale on Shoal Bay Beach on Sunday 3rd July 2016. Coinciding with the start of the winter school holidays and the end of Port Stephens’ annual Naturefest celebration during June, the free human whale event is expected to draw a record 1000-plus crowd which will be captured forming the outline of a humpback by a helicopter hovering overhead.

Around 1000 people formed a 100m-long human whale on the sand at Shoal Bay last winter in what is now an annual celebration of Port Stephens’ increasingly popular whale watch season, with more than 18,000 humpbacks tipped to trace the local coast between now and November.

The whale will be created on the western end of Shoal Bay Beach in Port Stephens on Sunday 3rd July for a noon formation, with registration opening at 10am and participants to be in place by 11.45am at the latest.

Organisers from Port Stephens’ three major whale-watch operations – Imagine Cruises, Moonshadow Cruises and Tamboi Queen Cruises – are hoping hundreds of families and whale lovers will come and help form a 100m-long outline of a Humpback whale on Shoal Bay Beach in Port Stephens.

Make a Giant Whale – Western end of Shoal Bay Beach, Port Stephens. Parking along Shoal Bay Rd, Government Rd and Beach Rd.

Where: Shoal Bay Beach, Port Stephens
When: 10am for Noon formation, Sunday 3rd July 2016
Parking: Shoal Bay Rd, Government Rd and Beach Rd.

For more information about the Human Whale event, visit

Associations Forum delegates set to savour New Zealand wine

Delegates attending the Associations Forum National Conference (AFNC) next week will get a taste of New Zealand and a chance to take home a case of Cloudy Bay wine.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia Manager, Sharon Auld says New Zealand is renowned for its wine, and it is one of the many reasons Australians love to visit.

“Not only will we be offering our Australian guests a glass of wine on the stand, we will also have a wonderful prize draw. Delegates who come and talk to us about their conference will be in to win one of two cases of New Zealand’s exceptional Cloudy Bay wine.

New Zealand is leading its largest-ever team to the AFNC, with 14 exhibitors on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 4 and 5 July.

“We will be inviting delegates keen to experience our country for their conference to come and chat with us. We can provide plenty of support and advice on how New Zealand could work for their next event,” she says.

This is the sixth year for New Zealand at the AFNC, and the growing team represents an exciting range of venues and suppliers from the Bay of Islands in the north, to Dunedin in the south.

“This year we are delighted to have five new exhibitors from around New Zealand including Hamilton and Waikato, Nelson, Dunedin, Hobbiton™ Movie Set, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).

“Our 100% Pure New Zealand stand gives AFNC delegates a taste of what to expect when they come to New Zealand.

“Delegates will be able to find out how New Zealand can make their conference a success, while experiencing what we are so famous for, our special brand of Kiwi hospitality -Manaakitanga.”

Throughout the lunch and afternoon tea breaks on Tuesday 5 July, the New Zealand team will be serving premium New Zealand wine to guests visiting the stand.

The New Zealand exhibitors at the 11th AFNC in Melbourne are:
  • Air New Zealand
  • Auckland Convention Bureau
  • Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau
  • Destination Rotorua Business Events
  • Dunedin Venues
  • Hamilton & Waikato Convention Bureau
  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • Nelson Tasman Tourism
  • New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC)
  • SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre
  • The Langham Auckland
  • Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)
  • Tourism New Zealand (TNZ)
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)


BBR Festival is proud to announce the 4th annual weekend bustling with appreciation for everything FRENCH. Held over Bastille Day weekend,Thursday 14 July - Sunday 17 July, the four day open air Festival boasts an array of artistic events and delicious stalls for punters across Circular Quay foreshore and Customs House Square.

Paying homage to France’s National Day (La fête nationale), the BBR Festival celebrates Le “Quatorze Juillet” in style with an array of live concerts, traditional French cabaret, French films, food and exciting cooking masterclasses with French chefs ! Oui, s'il vous plaît !! Last year’s festival attracted 350,000 people over the three days. This year is expecting to go above and beyond with an additional day of celebration, more attractions, stalls and entertainers.

The French immersion begins Thursdays 14 July at 7am with a French croissant and a “Cafe crème” on actual Bastille Day. Live concerts will start at 11am, followed by the official Bastille day party from 6pm with French music and cabaret girls ringing in Bastille Day in style. Firemen officers will also be around to celebrate Bastille Day like the French do !! Celebrations are set to be so French, you’ll be transported from Circular Quay to the Moulin Rouge with tunes, dancing, eating and drinking. The party will be followed by the first of many films screened over the festival, the greatest cult French film “Les Bronzés font du ski” at the Open Air Cinema. (Free events)

Friday 15 July at 7pm, the Festival Village will host a 20 minutes authentic French Cabaret Show. Voted best three things to see in Sydney, The Magicians Cabaret will deliver an enchanting body of work at 2016 BBR Festival. When the curtain will rise, your will step back to Paris in the 18th century, the birthplace of cabaret. Experience its story telling, its song, its dance, its magic. (Free event)

For food lovers, one of the highlights of this year’s festival are the “Tour de France” cooking masterclasses held daily by French Chefs to learn how to cook traditional dishes from the regions visited by Le Tour de France 2016. From Mont St Michel to Mont Blanc, explore the culinary specialities of these summits crossed by Le Tour in 2016. The Masterclasses are the only ticketed events at this year’s festival.

The French Village Market features everything you need for a French experience in our backyards. Glorious French food with Stalls offering the best of the best from French eats. Bite into the best baguettes, smell stinky cheese and try traditional French cakes and treats.

The food centric market would not be complete without a feature of the best wines from the most reputable regions. Drink your way from Bordeaux to Beaujolais, Loire valley to of the nation’s luxury, Champagne.


This year, the BBR Festival also brings the best of European and French-speaking cultures home without the jet lag. Fest through the European village market with stalls across Greece, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland. In total, the festival boasts 60 food vendors from 9 countries over 3 villages.

The market place will also feature authentic European style Artisan and Flea Antique Markets, showcasing the best of Parisian lifestyle design so you, your home and your fridge are so “Oh la la!”

Daily entertainment will be provided by a range of Street Artists, performing each afternoon, ranging from fire twirlers, circus revellers, flamenco and salsa dancers, German, Italian and Grec Folklore, and tantalising acrobats daily at Gateway Plaza.

We will also enjoy 14 free live concerts by French and international artists and bands and funky free dance parties in the Festival village.

This year,watch your favourite French movie in a bed ! The Open Air Cinema will run nightly, featuring cult French movies with English subtitles, a selection from the funniest to the most popular family friendly films.


One of the biggest highlights of the BBR Festival 2016 is the Canadian Snow Island which will cover AMP Square/ Scout Place with 3 tons of real snow throughout the weekend for a total winter experience. The winter island welcomes a hockey field where the Sydney Bears players are set to host a street hockey game. There will be also a Maple Candy on ice station to create your own lolly with Maple syrup, a Maple products shopping area and of course the traditional Canadian “poutine”

The festivities end on Sunday 17 July with bang as a parade featuring all the performers takes place throughout the festival locations.

The BBR Festival is a not-to-be-missed celebration of the French “art de vivre”. 3 villages will transport you to the streets of Montmartre on a sensory exploration of Europe and snowy French Canada through wild entertainment and delicious delicacies across four days in Sydney’s Circular Quay foreshore.

AVANI Hotels & Resorts to Launch First Hotel in the Middle East

AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel
Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 146 hotels and resorts in 22 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has announced that effective 1st July 2016 it will be taking over the operation of the 216-room Mövenpick Hotel Deira in Dubai. The property will operate under the group’s dynamic AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand as the AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel. This represents a milestone for Minor Hotels as the first AVANI hotel in the Middle East. The change comes after the hotel's parent company, Bin Sulayem Investments, signed a management agreement with Minor Hotels.

Located in one of the most diverse and culturally rich parts of the city, the property is ideally situated just four kilometres from Dubai International Airport and the world-famous Gold and Spice Souks. Close to several shopping malls and the Dubai Metro offering ease of access to Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach and Dubai Marina, the hotel is well-placed for guests to explore the city. This upscale hotel offers 216 guest rooms and two unique dining concepts, meeting rooms, an outdoor pool and a fully equipped gym.

Robert Kunkler, Chief Operating Officer of Minor Hotels, said “This key acquisition to our portfolio allows Minor Hotels to take a strategic foothold in the Middle East for our fast expanding AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand in what is a vitally important market. We are thrilled to continue our excellent relationship with Bin Sulayem Investments. AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel will have the freedom to establish and maintain its individuality and distinct character while benefitting from being part of the Minor Hotels portfolio.”

Abdulla bin Sulayem, General Manager of Bin Sulayem Investments commented, “This property being rebranded to AVANI is an important step in the evolution of our owned assets. We are excited to strengthen the current relationship with Minor Hotels and look forward to working with them as a key partner in fulfilling the potential of this uniquely positioned property.”

AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in 2011 to complement Minor Hotels’ five star Anantara brand. AVANI offers relaxed comfort and contemporary style in city and resort destinations to guests who value the details that matter. The brand currently has 13 properties in operation in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia, with a pipeline of further openings in Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. MH has plans to grow the brand across its global footprint.

For more information, please visit

Cairns business events team hones industry skills

Business events operators in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef have been given the tools to succeed in the highly competitive industry after attending a professional development day last week (22 June).

Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Director (BECGBR) Rosie Douglas said 42 members had attended the workshop to gain insight into the corporate, incentive and association segments of the industry.

“Facilitated by Nigel Collin, acclaimed business speaker, innovation and leadership expert and author of The Game of Inches, the workshop provided participants with practical tools to assist them in effectively managing events from the sales and enquiry stage through to execution,” she said.

“Kim Hesse from Venues 2 Events spoke about corporate events, Karen Livermore from ID Events talked about the incentive market and Mike Pickford from ASN Events focused on the association sector.

“Joining these highly regarded and experienced industry decision makers were representatives from Business Events Australia and BECGBR who gave industry updates.

“There was also a focus on content development, including traditional and social media, to assist members in positioning and marketing their products, with a presentation from Business Events Australia Communications Manager Monica Armesto and BECGBR Destination Content Executive Kimberley Roberts-Salee.

“Member feedback from the workshop has been very positive and BECGBR is confident the outcome will be even stronger industry collaboration, which our destination is already known for.”

MICE Sales Executive and Digital Officer at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Marni Barnett found the workshop very motivating.

“I enjoyed all of the sessions and walked out of there with great ideas and a renewed energy towards getting things done to help my MICE clients and our business,” she said.

Kim Hesse also commended BECGBR for leading the way for members to develop on a professional level and thrive in the business events industry.

“This event provided valuable insight for venues and industry suppliers who are looking to win more events.

“It was a proactive and member focused initiative and I truly believe the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef industry is very lucky to have the support of such an innovative bureau."

Photo: Nigel Collin (facilitator), Rosie Douglas (BECGBR), Kim Hesse (Venues 2 Events), Monica Armesto (Business Events Australia), Karen Livermore (ID Events) and Mike Pickford (ASN Events).

Viet Nam among top 50 most beautiful places in Asia

Conde Nast Traveler (CNT), one of the world's premier luxury and lifestyle travel magazines, has cited three destinations in Viet Nam among 50 of the most breathtaking sites across Asia: Reader’s Choice 2016.

Accordingly, Sa Pa, Hoi An and Ha Long Bay- three ideal destinations are on the list.

Besides fresh and cool air, Sa Pa is famous both for its fine, rugged scenery and for its rich cultural diversity, CNT reports.

Hoi An ancient town with mossy houses, wooden bridges and ancient wells is always a magic magnet for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists.

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination in Quang Ninh province. It features thousands of limestone karstsand isles in various sizes and shapes.

Rounding on the list of top 50 include Bunaken Marine Park in Indonesia, Taj Mahal mausoleum in India, Nara Park in Japan, Luang Prabang in Laos, JeJu Islands in the Republic of Korea and Langkawi in Maylaysia.

Lonely Planet Showcases Stunning New Australian Headquarters

Lonely Planet, the world’s leading travel media company, has moved its Australian headquarters into dynamic new office premises on Levels 2 & 3 of The Malt Store (the heritage-listed former Carlton & United Breweries site), located at 551 Swanston Street in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Carlton, Victoria.

Lonely Planet’s CEO Daniel Houghton says, “We are really pleased to have been able to secure such a stunning site for our new Melbourne office. It is vital for Lonely Planet to continue to have a presence in such a key market for the business, and it feels right that our new home should be in the old premises of another heritage Australian brand - Carlton & United Breweries. Melbourne as a city can be credited with a fantastic creative and progressive culture that has always been part of Lonely Planet's identity. I'm pleased that this will continue to be the case.”

“We are excited that our team in Australia, who are so pivotal to many aspects of Lonely Planet's business, have a workspace that allows effective and enjoyable working, and reflects our brand heritage and passion for travel,” Daniel says.

Lonely Planet has worked closely with the acclaimed Siren Design Group to ensure that the custom design and fit-out of the new premises is inspiring, functional, and true to the iconic Lonely Planet brand. Siren’s portfolio of previous design work encompasses clients of all budgets and sizes, and they are especially adept at delivering cost-effective solutions that make a striking impact.

Excitingly, Lonely Planet’s new HQ is also open to the general public. The Reception area on Level 3 of The Malt Store also doubles as a full retail shop showcasing Lonely Planet's extensive suite of products, including guides, kids’ books, travel merchandise, and gift pictorials.

Conceived as a journey that begins at an ‘arrivals/departures’ lobby lounge, the design of the new Lonely Planet space unfolds over two levels to reveal various destination ‘zones’, spanning from the bright lights of New York City, to the overgrown tropical jungles of Borneo; from the icy landscapes of Iceland to the traditional architecture of Japan’s Edo period.

A combination of reclaimed and recycled furniture from Lonely Planet’s previous Melbourne office was adapted for the new office fit-out. Items such as table bases and lounges were given new life when partnered with new, sustainable finishes. All the products and materials used in the project were chosen for their sustainability. Workstation areas were positioned around the perimeter of the space to capitalise on the natural light entering the building, minimising the need for artificial light sources.

Lonely Planet’s Melbourne warehouse has also relocated. The company’s Melbourne Distribution Centre has now moved to a much larger custom-fit facility at 16-20 Clairmont Avenue in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is the world’s leading travel media company, providing inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, Lonely Planet has cultivated a dedicated traveller community and printed more than 130 million books in 14 different languages to most destinations on the planet. The Lonely Planet ecosystem also includes digital and mobile apps, a comprehensive ebook portfolio, 12 international magazines and an award-winning website. 

Visit us at, and join us on Facebook (, Twitter (@lonelyplanet and #lp) and Instagram (

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


The first weekend in July will see the Ballina Fine Wine & Food Festival showcase some of the Northern Rivers’ best produce, products, restaurants, culinary expertise and live music, together with premium wines, craft beer, cider and spirits.

Highlights include the Friday and Saturday ‘Flavours of the Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour’ by bus including a wonderful mix of venues with visitors able to experience, explore and learn about the region’s many delectable delights.

The event is supported by Destination NSW through the Regional Flagship Events program. Visit the Festival website for more information.

  • 3rd July (Sunday), Main Festival Day, Ballina Jockey Club $25, bus ticket(return) $5. 18+ event
  • 1st July (Friday), Gala Dinner, Ballina RSL Club, $95
  • 1st & 2nd July, Gourmet Bus Tour, $7 * Booking fee applies to online ticket purchases

“All Weather, All Undercover Event”

This year the festival will have 3 events run over 3 days showcasing a fusion of the best produce, products, restaurants and culinary expertise our region has to offer, along with premium wines, craft beer, cider and spirits. A highlight of the festival will be performances by Rachael Beck, Michael Cormick, David Cameron, The Heart Collectors and Jed Zarb.

Taste of Ballina Gala Dinner

The festival kicks off on Friday 1st July with ‘Taste of Ballina Gala Dinner’ The night will feature degustation style food, teamed with stunning wines and craft beers held at the Ballina RSL Club.

Flavours of Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour

The festivities continue on Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd with ‘Flavours of Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour’. The bus tour will include a wonderful mix of venues, showcasing the best the Northern Rivers Region has to offer. Tour attendees will get to experience, explore, learn and indulge while touring our region.

Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival

The main festival ‘Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival’ on Sunday 3rd July, held at the Ballina Jockey Club from 11am – 5pm featuring exhibitors, information sessions, demonstrations and quality entertainment.


Country music legend Troy Cassar-Daley has been announced as the headline act for the 30th Trundle Bush Tucker Day.

Located in Central NSW just 40km from Parkes, Trundle Bush Tucker Day attracts thousands of people and offers a full day of entertainment. It will be held on 3 September 2016 from 8:00am - 12:00am.

The program includes bush tucker cooking, ‘master bush chef’ competitions, a fun line-up of traditional bush games, including a billy boiling race, bushman’s relay and dog jumping, as well as whip cracking and sheep shearing demonstrations. 

Your entry fee into Trundle Bush Tucker Day includes entry into our cooking competitions, bush tucker taste testing, rides and activities in the FREE KIDS CORNER & Live Entertainment throughout the day and evening.

  • Featuring Troy Cassar-Daley
  • Master Bush Chef Cooking Competition
  • Prizes award awarded 1st and 2nd place in each Category, Cooking Demonstrations. Billy Boiling Race, Bushman's Relay, Dog Jumping, Live Bands throughout the day and evening.
  • Free Bush Tucker Taste Testing, Whip Cracker and Sheep Shearing.
  • Camping is on site @Trundle Showground. (Prizes awarded for best Bushman's, Modern or Retro Camp Sites.)
  • Market Stalls, Food Stalls

Parents can wander around in peace while the kid's enjoy the FREE Kid's corner with activities including Stage Coach Rides, Jumping Castle, Gold Panning, Face painting, Bush Olympics, Junior Bush Chef Competition and more....

Click here for tickets.

When: 03/09/2016 (8:00am - 12:00am)
Organisation: Trundle Bush Tucker Day
Venue: The Trundle Showground
Address: Austral Street TRUNDLE, NSW 2875
Contact person: Jo-Anne Clarke

World’s largest cabin cable car system inaugurated in Quang Ninh

The world’s largest cabin cable car system and the highest Sun Wheel were inaugurated at Bai Chay tourist site, Ha Long city, the northern province of Quang Ninh on June 25.

At the inaugural ceremony, representatives from Guinness World Records presented certificates recognising the cable car system as the world’s longest largest cabin cable car system and the Sun Wheel as the world's highest ferris wheel.

The Nu Hoang (Queen) cable car system and the Sun Wheel are parts of the Ocean Park project of Ha Long city, which cover an area of nearly 200 hectares with a total investment of around VND6,000 billion.

Visitors will have a chance to enjoy sightseeing of Ha Long Bay, Ha Long city, Bai Chay bridge and Cuu Luc river from different angles.

At the inauguration, Chairman of the Quang Ninh provincial People's Committee said the cable car system and the Sun Wheel will help boost socio-economic development for Quang Ninh province as well as help will turn Ha Long into a more attractive tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.

Sustainable Brands’ inaugural Sydney conference demonstrates Australia’s commitment to positive change

Dr Sally Uren, CEO, 
Forum for the Future
The first day of the Sustainable Brands Sydney conference has brought together over 200 of Australia’s sustainability industry professionals to analyse the environmental and social impact of brands. Local and international thought leaders discussed how Australia can be part of a sustainable world, creating business models that deliver both purpose and profit, at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 27 June 2016.

Day 1 kicked off with the first session led by Dr Sally Uren, CEO, Forum for the Future, who flew in from the UK to highlight key opportunities for Australian brands, such as system innovation, the circular economy, pre-competitive collaboration and closing the circle between government, business and the consumer/community.

“The role of business in delivering solutions to society’s current set of significant and complex sustainability challenges has never before attracted so much attention. It’s critical to transform the key systems we rely on and to involve everyone in the value chain, from the producers and manufacturers right through to the end-user, all working together towards a common aim,” said Dr Uren.

Tom Szaky, Founder and Chief Executive of TerraCycle – a leader in eco-capitalism and upcycling, shared insights into how his brand has grown by engaging consumers in recycling post-consumer products and packaging.

“Recycling something that isn’t recyclable, like many other key sustainability functions, requires an investment of money, so what we really have to unlock is that we can learn to create value from sustainability investments.

Tom Szaky, 
Founder andChief Executive 
of TerraCycle
“At TerraCycle we repurpose hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from used cosmetics to coffee capsules and cigarette butts. The waste is collected through free, brand-funded recycling programs, as well as various consumer and government-funded models. The collected waste is recycled, reused or upcycled into a variety of sustainable consumer and industrial products,” said Mr Szaky.

Ben Peacock, Founder and Partner at Republic of Everyone together with Mark Chapman, Director of Tax Communications at H&R Block discussed how brands are attracting millennials as another view on brand sustainability.

“Millennials think differently. Brands need to consider ‘purpose’ as a driver, for people for whom financial rewards are no long top of the motivation tree. There’s oodles of research to show that millennials – and indeed Gen Y – will go out of their way to work for a company who shows a genuine commitment to CSR, environment and sustainability. And that current workers are more engaged and stay longer in a company that shows real purpose and commitment to reducing its impact on the world,” said Mr Peacock.

Closing Day 1 of the Sustainable Brands conference, Andrew Petersen, CEO of Sustainable Business Australia congratulated brands who worked to align their business strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Australian business is becoming very aware of the opportunities that are opened up by the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and many are planning strategic partnerships to pursue and implement the Goals. I’d like to congratulate my members, Abergeldie, KPMG and NAB, who were listed in the Top Ten of the 8th Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand, released today.

“Businesses are powerful actors to help resolve the big challenges of sustainability, and the collaboration of businesses to deliver transformational solutions cannot be underestimated.

“Our members, as well as others in the business community, are taking steps to create a more sustainable future,” concluded Mr Petersen.

Day 2 of the conference continues tomorrow, 28 June 2016 and Day 3 on 29 June 2016. Day 2 speakers include Simon Mainwaring, Founder, We First and Author; Venerable Phra Anil Sakya, Buddhist Monk and Deputy Rector for Foreign Affairs and Lecturer on Religious and Cultural Studies at Mahamakut Buddhist University; Sandra Chipchase, CEO, Destination NSW & Executive Producer, Vivid Sydney; Malcolm Rands, Founder and CEO, Ecostore; Emma Welsh, Co Founder and CEO, Emma & Tom’s; Bert van Son, CEO, MUD Jeans; Marie Perriard, Director of Global Brand and Corporate Communications, Sustainable Brands; Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability, Westpac; Robbert Rietbroek, CEO, PepsiCo; Henry Churchill, Senior Manager, WWF Australia; Tim O’Leary, CSO, Telstra; Grazyna van Egmond, CEO, Banksia Foundation and many more.

SB16 Sydney is organised by MCI Australia and supported by host partners Banksia Foundation and Sustainable Business Australia and Strategic Partner Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Register to attend:

Monday, 27 June 2016

Skiing on Any Budget

With snow falling for the start of the 2016 NSW Ski Season, Snowy Mountains chalets, hostels, hotels and lodges plan to welcome skiers and snowboarders as they hit the slopes to enjoy a variety of winter holidays, from budget to ski-luxe.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Mr Stuart Ayres said NSW is home to Australia's five highest peaks including Mt Kosciuszko, and four snow resorts, making the Snowy Mountains the perfect location for a winter break with family and friends.

“With the new Rex Express service operating between Sydney and the Snowy Mountains, this wonderful region is now more accessible for domestic and international visitors, and I encourage everyone to begin planning their trip to the Snowy Mountains for an incredible NSW winter experience,” Mr Ayres said.

On the opening weekend of the season, snow blanketed Kosciuszko National Park transforming the alpine resorts into a winter wonderland. More chairlifts and trails are now opening daily.

Destination NSW, CEO, Sandra Chipchase said, “NSW's ski fields offer a broad range of accommodation for a variety of budgets. Visitors can enjoy indulgent winter getaways or budget-friendly weekend getaways for alpine first-timers.”

Destination NSW offers the following itineraries for Snowy Mountains getaways that will suit all budgets:

  • Budget

A coach to the Snowy Mountains is an easy and cost-effective way to get to the snow. On arrival, check into Snowy Mountains Resort, the gateway to Selwyn Snowfields. Explore Selwyn's progressive terrain, working across the mountain from beginner to intermediate and advanced trails. Finish your snow trip by relaxing besides the log fire at Snowy Mountains Resort before returning home via coach.

  • Mid-Range

Drive five and a half hours from Sydney to the Snowy Mountains and check in to a Mountain View chalet at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa. Pick up ski hire fromHarro's Snow Sports conveniently located at the Resort before enjoying dinner at the waterfront restaurant, Cuisine. Jump on the Skitube from Bullocks Flat to Perisher Valley to enjoy a day of skiing and boarding exploring over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain across all of Perisher's four resorts including Perisher Valley, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega. Finish the day off with Après ski and listening to live music before heading back to Bullocks Flat via the Skitube.

  • Weekend Luxury

Commence a luxury trip to the Snowy Mountains with a private charter to Cooma Snowy Mountains Airport. From there transfer to Thredbo and check in to a ski-in, ski-out chalet before enjoying Thredbo Village bars and restaurants. The following morning, pick up a set of performance skis and enjoy a private one-on-one ski lesson with one off Thredbo's top instructors. In the afternoon, enjoy a scrumptious meal at Eagles Nest, Australia's highest Restaurant with 270 degree views of the alpine region. Cap off the weekend with a spa treatment before returning via private charter from Cooma Snowy Mountains Airport.

With skiing and snowboarding grabbing winter holidaymakers' attention, it's easy to forget that there is plenty to do off-piste.

“Alpine NSW offers many activities including cross-country skiing, trout fishing and snowshoeing through Kosciuszko National Park,” said Ms Chipchase.

For more information on the Snowy Mountains and Regional NSW go to

The Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel Changzhou launches

Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng
Hotel, Changzhou
Dusit Hotels and Resorts announces the launch of the Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel Changzhou, previously known as the Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel, after a renovation to bring the hotel in line with the Dusit Thani brand.

Comprising two towers, the premier hotel offers 349 guestrooms and suites in the west of the city, approximately 15 minutes by car from the Changzhou Railway and Airport. Changzhou city is located 40 minutes from Shanghai and Nanjing by high-speed train.

Located within the lush forest of Qingfeng Park, the main tower boasts 88 spacious and luxurious rooms with splendid garden and lake views, in addition to four lavishly designed and pillarless banquet halls. The second tower, also known as the Zhonghang Tower, covers a vast area of approximately 42,000 square metres. It offers 261 well-appointed rooms, blending modern design with a Chinese aesthetic and floor-to-ceiling windows where guests can enjoy picturesque views of the surrounding tree lined streets and pathways. The Zhonghang Tower also has a pillarless grand ballroom and six multi-function rooms, totalling nearly 2,100 square metres.

The Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel, Changzhou also offers four restaurants and bars including the renowned Tian Xiang Lou, an exquisite Chinese restaurant serving authentic Huaiyang, Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisines; Coffee Garden, featuring international fare from its signature open-plan kitchen; the Lobby Lounge and Centro Bar, which offers an excellent variety of fine cigars and wines. Its comprehensive recreation centre is a haven for fitness buffs with an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, massage and a fitness centre.

“We are pleased to bring the Dusit Thani brand, which embodies the richness and tradition of Thai culture, to this vibrant and prosperous city,” says Mr Chen Yong Hua, General Manager of the hotel. “With its unique location, outstanding facilities and gracious Thai hospitality, we are confident that Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel, Changzhou will set a new benchmark in local hospitality.”

The Dusit Thani Fudu Qingfeng Garden Hotel, Changzhou is currently offering ‘ a limited-time special rate ’ starting from just RMB 688. The package includes a stay in a Senior Room with buffet breakfast for two, one buffet dinner for two, a seasonal welcome fruit basket and more, valid now through 31 August 2016.

 For more information, please visit


The Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail Open Day is set to return on Saturday 2 July 2016 and brings with it a new creative opportunity for visitors.

Local businesses and organisations throughout the region will once again open their doors and visitors are encouraged to get out their cameras and share their creative flair for a chance to win exciting prizes.

The Greater Blue Mountains Heritage Trail offers historically minded visitors the opportunity to explore the region’s rich heritage and spectacular scenery, with historical societies, museums, galleries, gardens and historic businesses dotted along the trail. 

Visit for further information.

'One Year To' Go Until The Lions Tour New Zealand

New Zealand has celebrated one year to go until the New Zealand Lions Series 2017 with a fitting reminder of what's at stake – on and off the field.

'One year to go' until The British & Irish Lions tour New Zealand was marked on 3 June with an only-in-New-Zealand cultural ceremony involving the presentation of carved taiaha - a traditional Maori staff used in challenge - which will have significance for competing teams on the field as well as visitors coming to watch and experience the local culture and hospitality.

The ceremony centred on seven traditional Māori taiaha or spear-shaped weapons, which will become the official trophies for the 2017 series. The precious taiaha were hand-carved at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua and blessed before being presented to mayors and representatives of the seven host regions at the one-year-to-go celebration in Auckland.

New Zealand's Māori culture plays a leading role in the spirit of rugby and is most evident in the haka or battle cry performed by the All Blacks before each game. Taiaha are also associated with a challenge and were chosen as trophies for their cultural meaning. The weapon is used in the wero - the traditional Māori challenge during a pōwhiri or formal welcoming ceremony. A wero is commonly given to heads of state and visiting dignitaries welcomed to New Zealand.

The special Lions Series taiaha will spearhead promotion in each host region during the 12-month build up to the series, before being awarded to winners of each match played in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive, Steve Tew says the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, the Maori All Blacks and the five Investec Super Rugby teams will be doing their very best to keep the taiaha in New Zealand but will face stiff opposition. The All Blacks will compete for the New Zealand Lions Series 2017 trophy.

More than 20,000 visitors are expected to follow The British & Irish Lions tour around New Zealand and the message to those planning the trip is “come for the rugby and experience it all”. The series spans nearly six weeks taking in seven of New Zealand's most popular and geographically diverse regions from sub-tropical Northland in the top of the North Island to Otago in the depths of the South Island.

Host regions have begun preparing for the influx of visitors with additional infrastructure, plans for fan zones, fan trails and other match-related experiences for fans – as well as a variety of other local events and celebrations to coincide with the rugby action.

About the NZ Lions 2017 Series
A Lions tour only happens every 12 years and is a highlight on the global rugby calendar as well as a firm favourite with rugby-mad Kiwis.

New Zealand Rugby and The British & Irish Lions have agreed a programme of 10 matches during their 2017 series, kicking off in Whangarei, in the far north, on 3 June and finishing in Auckland on 8 July.

Three tests will be played against the All Blacks - two in Auckland at Eden Park on 24 June and 8 July respectively and the third in the capital city of Wellington on 1 July.

New Zealand Rugby will confirm full details of the ticket pricing and process for purchasing tickets in late June. Some 350,000 seats will be available with many of these tickets going on public sale in October.

About the host regions

Whangarei: The British & Irish Lions will kick off their 2017 tour of New Zealand at Whangarei's Toll Stadium in the Northland region on 3 June against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians. Sub-tropical Northland is a region steeped in Māori history and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is the site where the nation of New Zealand emerged. Dolphins play in deep blue waters of the Bay of Islands while the Poor Knights Islands are “one of the top 10 dive sites in the world” according to Jacques Cousteau.

Click here for more about Whangarei

Auckland: Two All Black test matches and a game against Auckland-based Super Rugby franchise the Blues will take place at Eden Park. Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with activities to suit thrill seekers such as the Sky Tower Walk and Harbour Bridge Bungy as well as amazing food and wine on Waiheke Island.

Click here for more about Auckland

Rotorua: Rotorua International Stadium will be the venue when the Māori All Blacks take on The British & Irish Lions. The rich cultural history of Rotorua is showcased at Te Puia and the Pohutu geyser is a must see. Whether it's a mountain bike through redwood trees or white water rapids you crave, Rotorua delivers.

Click for more about Rotorua

Hamilton: Waikato Stadium will be in full chorus when Super Rugby team the Chiefs take on The British & Irish Lions. The Waikato region is home to iconic tourist attractions The Hobbiton Movie Set and the incredible Waitomo cave system, along with the world famous Manu Bay surf break at Raglan.

Click for more about Hamilton - Waikato

Wellington: Wellington, New Zealand's capital, will welcome The British & Irish Lions for two matches during their 2017 series. Weta Workshop make movie magic come alive at their base in Miramar and a tour of the studios is an amazing experience. For a beautiful city view take the cable car up Mt Victoria, and when you come back down to earth sample a delicious beer in New Zealand's craft beer capital.

Click for more about Wellington

Christchurch: Christchurch is home to the Crusaders, the most successful Super Rugby team and The British & Irish Lions will take them on in 2017. Christchurch's emerging urban setting is the place to discover new bars, restaurants and cafes. The Garden City also offers some of New Zealand's best golf at Terrace Downs, Clearwater and Pegasus Bay.

Click for more about Christchurch

Dunedin: New Zealand's only covered rugby ground will host The British & Irish Lions when they play the Highlanders in 2017. Dunedin's beaches serve up some of the best surf in the country and the surrounding high country is a great place to go for a cycle. Local wildlife such as NZ fur seals and yellow-eyed penguins are always a highlight for visitors.

Click for more about Dunedin


This week Sydney Airport’s Arrivals SmartGates were permanently opened to eligible Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, Japanese, Korean, French and Swedish ePassport holders.

Arrivals SmartGate uses the information in ePassports and facial recognition technology to perform checks usually conducted by an Australian Border Force officer, enabling travellers to self-process through passport control.

The opening of SmartGates to more ePassport holders marks a significant expansion, increasing permanent use to 13 eligible countries, plus the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. This milestone marks another step in significant progress towards delivering streamlined and simplified border experiences for international visitors to NSW. Click here for further information on Arrivals SmartGate.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Tokyo ranks as top livable city

Monocle has released the results of its 10th annual Quality of Life survey, declaring that for the second year running Tokyo offers citizens the most comfortable lifestyle as the No.1 most liveable city in the world.

Monocle magazine, which looks at global affairs, design, business and culture around the world, focused this year on cities able to accommodate not only daytime lifestyles, but those which provide entertainment and relaxation opportunities for night owls keen to stay awake until the early hours. Monocle states “pulling people into the city at night makes the streets feel safer”, suggesting curfews imposed by cities in relation to drinking, clubs and bars, are not to be lauded as a positive implementation.

Cities were compared on their international connection, quality of the architecture, transport, retail scene, general safety and the quantity of independent bookshops and cafes. Tyler Brûlé, editor-in-chief at Monocle magazine, says “we have focused on the pleasures of being up all hours, noting the places that still serve a good meal after 22:00 and have transport that keeps going through the night”.

On Tokyo, Brûlé says: “where other cities talk a good game about being 2/7, Tokyo delivers”.

In Tokyo, which frequently is rated as one of the safest cities in the world, fun after dark is a way of life for most expats, visitors and workers. The all-night restaurants, convenience stores and cheap hotel options, including manga cafes and capsule hotels, help to make the city accessible at all hours of the day – even for those not living within reach of its major hubs.

Monocle’s survey highlights Tokyo as the most round-the-clock city in the world, followed by Berlin in second place, and Vienna in third.

Also in the top ten are two other Japanese cities; Fukuoka, which made 7th place, and Kyoto, which came in at 9th.

The full rankings are as follows:
1. Tokyo
2. Berlin
3. Vienna
4. Copenhagen
5. Munich
6. Melbourne
7. Fukuoka
8. Sydney
9. Kyoto
10. Stockholm

Monocle’s 2016 Quality of Life Survey can be found in issue 95 of the magazine, which was published on 16 June 2016.


Coming up in October, Tastings on Hastings is the most vibrant weekend for foodies to visit Port Macquarie and experience its burgeoning food and beverage industry. A plethora of wine bars have opened recently, there are groovy new cafes, award-winning restaurants and a relaxed coastal vibe.

Headlining this year’s festival will be celebrity chef, Matt Wilkinson, who will host a series of cooking demonstrations and delight festival-goers with special dinners. Popular chef and the Tastings on Hastings Producer’s Ambassador, Matt Golinski will also feature in this year’s program, bringing his passion for fresh, seasonal and local ingredients to Port Macquarie. Golinski is well known for his food columns and appearances on TV show Ready Steady Cook.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said “The Port Macquarie-Hastings region is renowned for its fresh produce, wineries, boutique breweries, food producers and restaurants, and I am sure all visitors will be impressed by this year’s exciting festival program showcasing the region’s abundance of gourmet offerings.”

Other event highlights include a Sustainable Table morning at The Lost Plot community gardens, a Beer Masterclass at Latin Loafer and the Tastings Ignites night-time festival.

Tastings on Hastings 2016 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, as part of the Regional Flagship Events Program.

Click here to visit the Tastings on Hastings 2016 official website.

VisitBritain Launches GIANT Tourism Campaign In Run-Up To The BFG Film Release And Dahl's 100th Anniversary

As Britain gears up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, VisitBritain is showcasing to the world what makes Britain a GIANT - and family-friendly - tourism destination.

The national tourism organisation is today launching an international 'Where Giant Dreams come to Life' film tourism campaign in its first-ever collaboration with Disney, producer of The BFG. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book by Cardiff born author Roald Dahl, was filmed at locations across Britain including Blenheim Palace, London, the Isle of Skye and Bamburgh beach in Northumberland. The BFG film launches in the US on 1 July and in the UK on 22 July.

VisitBritain's £350,000 six-week digital and social media campaign showcases magical, mysterious and dreamlike moments that can only be experienced on a trip to Britain. The campaign features a set of exclusive images featuring a selection of giant landmarks in Britain, including Angel of the North, Big Ben, the Isle of Skye and the lions in Trafalgar Square.

These images, and other giant visitor experiences across Britain are being promoted across VisitBritain's online and social media channels adapting its #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) to 'Oh My GIANT Britain.' The campaign also wants people to upload their own images of 'giant' experiences and locations in Britain to their own social channels.

VisitEngland/VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“Our collaboration with Disney on The BFG is a fantastic opportunity to promote to a global audience of millions an unexpected side of amazing, family-friendly moments that can only be experienced in Britain.

“By inspiring people to come and experience the best of 'GIANT' Britain we can drive growth from tourism and its economic benefits across all our nations and regions.”

Ms Balcombe said that the link between tourism and film - 'set-jetting' - was “a potent one” with recent films delivering a real increase in visitor numbers.

VisitBritain's campaign drives online 'traffic' to a BFG website on is external). The site has information on the British locations in the film, a 'user-generated' feed of #OMGB content, the official BFG movie trailer and details of visitor experiences linked to Roald Dahl and events to celebrate his 100th anniversary in September. Visitors to the site in the US, France, Canada, Russia and Australia can enter a competition for the chance to win a family trip to Britain, including a visit to Cardiff for its 'City of the Unexpected' celebrations in September.

Paid media campaigns are also launching in the US and France across Facebook, newsletters and entertainment website 'takeovers'.

VisitBritain has more than 15 years' experience in film tourism and film promotion is part of the cross-government Britain is GREAT campaign.

Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend with 36.1 million visits, 5% up on 2014, and spending up 1% to £22.1 billion.

The 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth is 13 September 2016

Other events throughout the year to celebrate this anniversary include:
  • London & Partners' Dream Jar Trail in London;
  • Cardiff: City of the Unexpected - a birthday weekend celebration taking place in September;
  • The Roald Dahl Estate in Great Missenden is planning a year of celebrations; 
  • The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl at the Southbank Centre until 3 July;
  • The launch of a new Gobblefunk Dictionary this month (June 2016);
  • Roald Dahl's Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park;
  • A new David Austin rose named in Roald Dahl's honour launched at the Chelsea Flower Show;
  • The BFG in Pictures at the House of Illustration, London;

Australia’s highest International Yoga Day Event at Mt Buller

Mt Buller will play host to a brand new event on the snow season calendar, celebrating the International Day of Yoga on Sunday, 26 June. Visitors can enjoy a free yoga class in a stunning alpine environment on top of the world, making it Australia’s highest International Day of Yoga event for the year.

The International Day of Yoga was declared by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and traditionally takes place on 21 June, the Summer Solstice.

Providing a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, Ella McRae from Fields of Yoga in Mansfield will offer a free one hour Vinyasa Flow yoga class to all who wish to join in on Sunday. Visitors will be able to participate in the free class at 10.30am on the deck at Alpine Central, with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

Gillian Dobson, Group Manager of Marketing, Sales and Events at Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management said the International Day of Yoga is a great way to shake off the winter blues. “We are very excited to be putting on such a fun and unique event. It gives us the opportunity to provide our visitors with another activity that gets them in touch with their inner wellbeing and spiritual side.

“Yoga is a popular both here in Australia and around the world. So we encourage all of our guests put on their active wear and participate in a world-wide phenomenon right here in our backyard – or slide in after a ski and you can even do it in ski gear!”

Limited mats will be available for people who don’t have their own and participants are encouraged to dress appropriately according to Mt Buller’s wintery conditions. Should poor conditions prevail on the day; the class will be conducted in the Alpine Central Sports Hall, Level 2, at 10.30am.

WHAT: Mt Buller - Australia’s highest International Yoga Day Event
WHERE: The deck at Alpine Central, Mt Bulle
WHEN: Sunday, 26 June 2016
TIME: 10.30am
TICKETS: Free event

For further information on the event visit the Events calendar at

Saturday, 25 June 2016

16th Annual Helpmann Awards Nominations in 41 categories announced

The Helpmann Awards are the premier celebration of Australia’s vibrant live performance industry and recognise distinguished achievement and excellence in Australia’s live performance sectors including musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre, children’s presentations, regional touring and cabaret.

Live Performance Australia (LPA) announced the Nominees in the 41 categories at simultaneous events in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson said “This year has been a remarkable year for live performances in Australia reflecting a vibrant industry with more than 18 million people attending shows across the country and ticket revenues of $1.5 billion”.

Ms Richardson also said “This year we are delighted to announce one additional award that will be given to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for their ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Comedy in Australia’. The Helpmann Awards Industry Panel and the Helpmann Awards Administration Committee (HAAC) felt strongly that the festival’s sustained development of comedians and comedy programmes around the country over three decades was worthy of recognition”.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres congratulated all the Nominees on their achievement.

“The Helpmann Awards celebrate and recognise Australia’s considerable talent in the live performance industry and I’m delighted the Awards will once again be held in Sydney. The NSW Government is proud to support the Helpmann Awards through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. I congratulate this year’s Nominees and look forward to the ceremony in July” Mr Ayres said.

The 2016 Helpmann Awards will also incorporate the final Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors. This year the award goes to Toby Thatcher who will receive a $10,000 prize. Currently Assistant Conductor for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since early 2015, Toby displays outstanding conducting and musical skills.

As previously announced, Michael Lynch CBE AM will be the recipient of this year’s Sue Nattrass Award®. The prestigious 2016 Sue Nattrass Award® honours exceptional service to the Australian live performance industry, shining a spotlight on people in service roles that support our industry.

The recipient of the JC Williamson Award® will be announced on Wednesday 29 June.

The winners of the 2016 Helpmann Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Monday 25 July at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on the set of Singin’ in the Rain.

Hosts for the 16th Annual Helpmann Awards Ceremony include Adam Garcia, Helen Dallimore, Guy Noble, Simon Philips, Queenie van de Zandt, Stuart Maunder AM and The Umbilical Brothers and will feature performances by the casts of Matilda the Musical, The Sound of Music, Ladies in Black and Singin’ in the Rain, with individual performances by Marina Prior and Mark Vincent, Sarah Blasko, as well as West Australian Ballet and the first prize winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition.

Tickets for the 16th annual Helpmann Awards are available now from Ticketmaster.

The 2016 Helpmann Awards will be broadcast live on Foxtel Arts and webcast free via

The Helpmann Awards are proudly supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Voyages Ayers Rock Resort showcases Indigenous art and crafts

Artist-in-Residence Raymond Walters Japanangka to feature at Ayers Rock Resort

In the coming months, Ayers Rock Resort will feature a fascinating line-up of Indigenous Australian and Australian artists as part of its popular Artist-in-Residence program. Each month, the highly successful program features an artist and craftsperson to create art in situ at the Resort, as well as to exhibit and sell their work.

The line-up of artists for the rest of 2016 includes sought-after Indigenous artist Raymond Walters Japanangka, who will be in residence at Wintjiri Arts & Museum throughout September, and up and coming artists from the Indigenous art communities of Yuendumu and Utopia (1 July-31 August), and Ninuku (1-30 November).

Mingkiri Arts and Craftworks, located near Desert Gardens Hotel, will feature a regular Craftsperson-in-Residence, including jeweler Suzette Watkins (15 June-30 July), whose work is inspired by the Australian landscape, colours and light; Patrick Ferguson (1-15 September), who creates stunning punu (wood) artifacts, and well-known silk artist Heather Duff (1-31 December). A Glass of Fire jewelry workshop is also on offer from 15 September-15 October.

“Our Artist-in-Residence program is a unique opportunity for guests to engage with these talented artists and provide meaningful connections with Indigenous art whilst enhancing their understanding of Indigenous culture,” said Andrew Williams, Chief Executive Officer for Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

The art offering at Ayers Rock Resort is further enhanced by its momentous light art installation, Bruce Munro’s Field of Light Uluru, which has recently opened to worldwide acclaim. The giant solar powered artwork made up of 50,000 frosted glass spheres is open until 31 March 2017, with entry priced from $35 per adult.

Original Central Australian Indigenous art can be viewed and purchased at Ayers Rock Resort’s Wintjiri Arts & Museum near Emu Walk Apartments; Mingkiri Arts and Craftworks; the resort’s acclaimed Mulgara Gallery located at Sails in the Desert Hotel, and at the Indigenous Art Market at the Resort Town Square.

For further information go to
For bookings contact or 1300 134 044


After a record-breaking 23 nights, the lights went out last Saturday for Vivid Sydney 2016 which has been widely acclaimed as the best ever.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said “Festivals of this magnitude don’t just happen and I’d like to thank Destination NSW and the whole Vivid Sydney team, who delivered 90 light installations and projections throughout the city, programmed 190 Vivid Music gigs and hosted 658 speakers at 183 Vivid Ideas events.

“I’m absolutely delighted Vivid Sydney has once again shone a light on our stunning city.

“So many visitors enjoyed this year’s festival highlights, including Songlines on the Sails of the Sydney Opera House, the popular Cathedral of Light installation in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Vivid Sydney’s wildest precinct, Taronga Zoo, alongside a host of other much-loved precincts, including the world-famous Vivid Light Walk.”

Destination NSW CEO and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said “Sydneysiders have fully embraced this festival and are proud to share it with local and international visitors alike. From fantastic speakers at Vivid Ideas events, wonderful performances at Vivid Music, and of course the spectacle of Vivid Light, we are on track to break a few records when final figures are known.

“I’d like to thank all participants, volunteers, sponsors, venues and visitors for their support and contribution to making Vivid Sydney 2016 such a success.”

Vivid Sydney cements the global city’s position as a creative capital of the Asia Pacific, showcasing art, technology and innovation.

Binh Dinh kicks off Summer Tourism Festival

The Summer Tourism Festival 2016 kicked off on June 22 in the central square of Quy Nhon City in the central province of Binh Dinh.

Themed Quy Nhon Binh Dinh - Return to the Memorable Coast, the biannual event aims to promote traditional values and tourism attractions of the province, in particular, and Viet Nam in general.

The June 22 to September 2 festival includes a green tourism week starting on June 22, a two-day beauty pageant ending on June 29, the same day inauguration of the big-ticket entertainment and eco-tourism resort complex FLC Quy Nhon, and international scientific conferences in July.

Performances of Binh Dinh’s traditional martial arts on August 2-4 and competitions every Saturday night until September are also part of the tourism festival, which will end with fireworks displays on National Day, September 2.

The number of visitors to the province reached 2,6 million in 2015, an increase of 25 percent compared to the previous year. The Summer Tourism Festival 2016 is expected to attract more tourists to the province in coming years.

CEO’s sleep rough on MCEC steps for homelessness

Last night over 200 business and community leaders spent a cold, wet Melbourne night camping out on the steps of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for the 2016 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The eleventh annual St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) event was hosted by MCEC for the second year running, with MCEC’s own Director of People and Culture, Helen Fairclough sleeping rough to raise awareness and funds for homelessness.

“The Sleepout gives you a small glimpse into life on the streets, and it was rather overwhelming to experience what so many Australian’s face every night, especially families, women and younger people.

“It’s so important to gather together to bring attention to this significant issue. MCEC Executives have been taking part in the Sleepout for the last five years, and the entire organisation gets behind us each year to raise crucial funds.

“We’re immensely proud of our partnership with Vinnies and are looking forward to supporting this great community event for many more years to come,” Ms Fairclough added.

Each night more than 100,000 people find themselves without a safe place to sleep across Australia, with just under half female and almost a third children. The Sleepout plays a vital role in helping to fund Vinnies’ hostels and homelessness shelters, outreach programs and support services.

Vinnies Victoria CEO, Sue Cattermole said the event helps to highlight the changing face of homelessness and shift community perceptions.

“The event is a practical way for influential members of our community to step outside their comfort zone and to demonstrate their commitment to the provision of housing solutions and support services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, helping to send a strong message that homelessness needs our collective attention and considered action.

“On behalf of Vinnies Victoria, I would like to offer my personal thanks to MCEC for generously donating their time, resources and venue to this meaningful community event,” Ms Cattermole said.

MCEC’s chefs donated 70 litres of soup, 20 litres of milk and 15kg of their house-made yoghurt, plus complimentary coffee from MCEC’s newly opened Shed Café to refuel participants this morning. All AV requirements were also provided free of charge. These donated additions help to ensure every dollar raised from the Sleepout goes towards supporting the cause.

MCEC is committed to supporting and growing its community impact through supporting events and charities such as the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Royal Children’s Good Friday Appeal, Variety Australia, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and is an active supporter of Launch Housing and SecondBite.

It’s not too late to show your support. Visit or sponsor Helen by 31 July.


Following the very successful organization of the inaugural Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) in 2015, the Organizing Committee has found reason to present the event again in 2016. This year marks the 8th time that we are celebrating and recognising the brightest tourism Stars in the tourism industry.

The MTAA is organised to celebrate and acknowledge the brightest tourism Stars in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to instil a greater sense of pride and achievement for professionals and organisations and serve as recognition for quality excellence in tourism and hospitality in the alliance countries.

Date: September 7th 2016
Venue: GEM Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (TBA)


Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia
Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar
Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam


David Bondi
  • David Bondi
Chief Operating Officer for Informa Exhibitions Asia Pacific and President of Informa for ChinaInforma Exhibitions Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific
  • Ang Kim Eang
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA)
  • Maung Maung Swe
Vice Chairman
Myanmar Tourism Federation
  • Chutathip Chareonlarp
Tourism Authority of Thailand - Ho Chi Minh Office
  • Nguyễn Qúy Phương
Director General
Travel Industry Management Department, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
  • Vũ Văn Thanh
Director General
Hotel Industry Management Department, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Bùi Văn Dũng
  • Bùi Văn Dũng
Director Training and Membership committee, Vietnam Tourism Association
Chief Membership and Training Center
Training and Membership committee, Vietnam Tourism Association




1. The Best Airline of the Year
2. The Best Outbound Travel Operator of the Year
3. The Best Inbound Travel Operator of the Year
4. The Best Five-star Hotel of the Year
5. The Best Resort of the Year
6. The Best Tourism Website of the Year *new
7. Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion*new
8. The Best Festival of the Year *new


Global Exhibitions
Address: Unit 10.08, 10th Floor,
Indochina Park Tower
4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dist.1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam