Friday, 31 August 2018

THE NEW EVENTS BY LUXPERIENCE SHOWCASE

PC: Camera Creations
Following feedback from our attendees, key influencers and the market, in 2018 our premium events offering has been given an overhaul. The all new Events by Luxperience Showcase offers a more tailored product for the MICE market, connecting them with a hand-picked group of specialists.

Visionaries and creative types dealing in corporate meetings, events and incentives can participate within Luxperience in complete synergy while leveraging the opportunities of the evolving luxury and high end experiential market. Connecting a hand-picked network of events specialists, executive assistants, professional conference organisers and corporate end-users with an equally qualified collection of premium events products, the Events by Luxperience Showcase will be sure to inspire and delight.

The Showcase will take place on Wednesday September 19 with both full-day and half-day options. Numbers are strictly limited for just 15 exhibitors and 50 buyers, all of whom will have been pre-qualified according to our strict Luxperience criteria.

For more information, contact the team on tkezic@divcom.net.au or call us on +61 2 9275 9211.

Mekong Tourism vows to tackle issue of single-use plastic pollution in Greater Mekong Subregion

Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism
Coordinating Office makes his pledge to reduce the
use of single-use plastic in front of MTF delegates. 
(©2018 Sung Studio)
Amid recent reports of the Mekong River’s massive contribution of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, Mekong Tourism stakeholders hammered down on a commitment to significantly reduce the river-bound waste in the short term at this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF).

The MTF session titled ‘Mekong Opportunities & Threats’ focused highly on single-use plastic pollution in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and concluded with pledges from several institutional organizations and individuals to reduce single-plastic use over the next year.

“We wanted to get on-the-spot commitments from the industry players,” said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). “This is why we asked key delegates to record their pledges as well as post on their social media channels.

“Through this, we want to stress the urgency and effect of reducing single-use plastic in Asia right now, which we believe will have a profound impact on life around the Mekong River,” he said.

The mammoth Mekong River stretches to a sum total length of 4,350 km and passes through six countries in South East Asia. As one of the world’s longest water arteries, it has established to be an expressway for plastic waste to the South China Sea. The United Nations reports that over eight million tons of plastic make it into oceans each year. More shocking is that 86 per cent of ocean-bound plastic waste originates from Asian rivers alone.

“Plastic waste is a huge issue,” said MTF 2018 keynote speaker Jeremy Smith, author of ‘Transforming Travel - realizing the potential of sustainable tourism’. “We know that plastic pollution costs Asia-Pacific tourism, fishing, and shipping industries $1.3 billion USD per year according to [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] estimations.”

While Smith outlined South East Asia’s specific effect on the plastic waste epidemic, he also voiced his confidence in the anti-plastic efforts taking place in the region currently.

"Plastic has shot up the tourism industry agenda over the last few months," said Smith.

"Congratulations to the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office for not only putting this at the heart of its Mekong Tourism Forum event schedule this year but also pledging to go plastic-free itself. This example is really key in encouraging others to make pledges of their own.”

Ultimately, MTF delegates voiced a positive and inspiring message to further compound a plastic reduction effort already taking shape in the region. Notably, in January 2018, China banned imports of plastic recyclables from other countries. This ban, in effect, will force countries and trade partners to reflect on their plastics usage and recycling programs.

Another strong initiative is being led by a Cambodian-based NGO called ‘Refill Not Landfill’. The two-year-old NGO vows to cut down on millions of plastic water bottles discarded in South East Asian countries each year by providing a reusable aluminium alternative and refilling stations all over the region.

BambooLao founder Arounothay Khoungkhakoune spoke passionately to MTF delegates about the importance of reducing plastic waste immediately. Ms. Khoungkhakoune started BambooLao in 2015 with a goal to offer a replacement for highly hazardous plastic straws with ones made from Laotian bamboo.

“I learned from local villagers that bamboo is a remarkable natural resource,” said Khoungkhakoune. “After spending a lot of time with them, I began to understand that bamboo has many different applications in medicine, construction, and even food.”

“With a low-maintenance cost and no need for artificial fertilisers for optimal growth, bamboo is a sustainable and viable option for reusable drinking straws,” she said.

After last year’s MTF in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, this year’s forum had again been active in reducing plastic waste as much as possible. Refill water stations were available across all venues at Nakhon Phanom University as well as hotels and other event spaces used for MTF purposes.

“We think that the MTF should play a leading role by showing that sustainable environmentally-friendly goals and actions are compatible with conference events,” said Thraenhart.

“We will add solutions, initiatives, and best practices to the planned NoPlastic.asia website.”

NoPlastic.Asia is a planned initiative run by Destination Mekong, a public-private partnership aimed at curating and promoting sustainable tourism opportunities in the GMS. The initiative is also aligned with the ‘Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2020’, a five-year strategy framework created and published by the MTCO in conjunction with each member county’s ministry of tourism with support from the Asian Development Bank.

Thraenhart and other MTF delegates expressed confidence by vowing to publicise their progress during MTF 2019 in Dali, Yunnan, China.

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

Highlands Theatre Group proudly presents Sound of Music at the Mittagong Playhouse.

It is on for a limited season in the first three weekends in November. Tickets on sale now, and will sell out quickly as it’s not a huge venue. 

You can book tickets through the Highlands Theatre Group Website. They would love to see you there.

They have been in rehearsals since June and now the moment has come where you can reserve your seat for Highlands Theatre Group’s production of The Sound of Music. 

Opening Night is 2nd of November commencing at 7.30pm at the Mittagong Playhouse. 

To book tickets over the counter, please go to Destination Southern Highlands 62-70 Main St, Mittagong NSW 2575 or call on (02) 4871 2888.

For further details, please send an email to ticketing@htg.org.au.

The Mittagong Playhouse
Performance art theatre
Address: 114-116 Main Street, Mittagong, New South Wales 2575

Construction of the First Two Monorail Lines in Thailand

Thailand’s first two monorail train routes are being constructed to help ease traffic congestion in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, as well as facilitating the travel of commuters.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on 27 August 2018 presided over a ceremony to launch the construction of the two monorail lines. The Pink Line will be from Khae Rai to Min Buri and the Yellow Line from Lat Phrao to Samrong.

According to Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the construction of the two lines is a pilot project carried out under the Government’s policy of "public-private partnership fast track.” In this policy, the private sector is allowed to join the public sector in investing in major transport infrastructure projects.

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand signed an investment agreement with Northern Bangkok Monorail Company for the Pink Line. As for the Yellow Line, it signed an agreement with Eastern Bangkok Monorail Company.

The two companies will invest in the project for a total period of 33 years and three months. The project is divided into two phases. The first phase lasts three years and three months and involves design and public works. The second phase lasts 30 years and involves monorail services and maintenance.

The Pink Line runs a distance of 34 kilometers and has 30 stations. The Yellow Line, with a length of 30 kilometers, has 23 stations. Both lines are expected to be competed in 2021 and to be open for services in early 2022.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the Government had included the construction of mass rapid transit systems in its 20-year National Strategy. These systems would help enhance the country’s competitiveness and upgrade the people’s quality of life.

The two monorail lines will improve the efficiency of transport networks in Bangkok and nearby provinces. A common ticketing system will also be adopted to facilitate travel for all users.

Coast prepares for biggest ever Pan Pacific Masters Games

More than 15,000 athletes have registered to compete at this year’s Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast, setting a new record for the event and helping to cement the legacy of the Commonwealth Games.

Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister Meaghan Scanlon said athlete numbers were up by 18 per cent on the 2016 edition with the bi-annual event set to pump $20m into the Gold Coast economy.

“In 2016, the Pan Pacific Masters Games delivered a $19 million boost to the Queensland economy with 13,241 people taking part across all sports bringing a further 18,000 supporters to the Games,” she said.

“This year the Pan Pacs Masters are set to continue to grow with more than 15,000 participants from 30 overseas countries, as well as each state and territory of Australia, taking part in 43 sports during the 10 days of competition while.

“We expect the event will generate more than $20 million for the local economy.

“This is a great legacy of the Commonwealth Games. During the Pan Pacs, events will be held at newly built and upgraded Games venues across the city including the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, the Gold Coast Hockey Centre and the Nerang Mountain Bike Trails.

Ms Scanlon said the growth in participants for 2018 reinforced the Gold Coast’s reputation as a world-leading events destination.

“We invest in major events because they deliver a strong economic return for the Gold Coast,” she said.

“More than 1.5 billion people watched the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast – we’re working hard to capitalise on this great exposure from the Games to grow our major events industry and position the Coast as a hub for international sport.”

The Pan Pacific Masters Games will include eight nights of live entertainment at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the line-up including Killer Queen, the Koi Boys, Lisa Hunt, Magic Carpet Ride and DJ Emma Lancaster.

Events Management Queensland CEO Cameron Hart said the Pan Pacific Masters Games provided an opportunity for over 30s to play their favourite sport and enjoy much-loved entertainers on the Gold Coast.

“The beauty of this event is that it allows both former champions and those who never quite made it to compete side-by-side in a friendly environment where no qualification is required,” he said.

“After the day’s play has wrapped up, opponents become friends and the Games Village is buzzing with the camaraderie for which the event is renowned.

“Throw in some world-famous beaches, a lush hinterland and an idyllic spring climate and you have a recipe for an unforgettable Queensland experience.”

The 11th biennial Pan Pacific Masters Games, featuring 43 sports, will be held from 2-11 November.

The Pan Pacific Masters Games is organised by Events Management Queensland - a major event management company wholly owned by the Queensland Government as part of Tourism and Events Queensland.

Visit mastersgames.com.au for more information.

Ning chemistry son "Hai Si You Xue" debut experience "to the southeast"

Recently, the Spring Harbor Cultural and Sports Tourism Press and Publication Bureau and the Ninghua County Tourism Bureau jointly held the "Hai Si You Xue" debut event. 

The first batch of 28 students from Ninghua County came to Quanzhou to experience the “Southeast” Haisi study tour. 

During the 5 days and 4 nights, the students have experienced the experience of Quangang Shih-hsiang, the “Mirror of the Sky” mountainside salt field, Quanzhou Ancient City, China’s Fujian-Taiwan Museum, Quangang’s Tukang Port, and the watertight compartment. 

Manufacturing technology, Huiyu Island, etc., not only travels the human landscape, learns the culture of HaisiExperience non-genetic inheritance, and experience a cultural feast that touches the soul.

Reading thousands of books, traveling thousands of miles, study tour is a fusion of poetry and distance. Recently, the Quanzhou Haisi travel and tourism market has developed rapidly. Students from Chongqing, Xi'an, Changsha, Hefei and other provinces, as well as large and middle school students, kindergartens and social tourists from many schools in the province have come to Quanzhou to carry out Haisi culture, Minnan culture and non-legacy. Experience the diverse and richly themed sea travel tour activities.

Soak up Spring on the Sunny Coast

Spring has returned - We welcome the warmer weather, sunny days and blue skies! Bring the family along for the Big Fish Little Fish family rave, at the Wharf Tavern September 1st. For the "bigger kids" there's the annual Eudlo Car and Motorcycle Show held on the same day. If you own a unique motor vehicle or motorbike it's your opportunity to 'show & shine' with your pride and joy and compete for a prize in one of the many categories available.

We'd like to wish all the dads a very happy Father's Day. Bring dad to the Australia Zoo Father's Day Challenge, it's a giant inflatable obstacle course. There's a chance to win big, with an Oztent RV5 tent worth $1399 up for grabs.

School holidays start September 22 and bookings are rolling in. Remember the Queen's Birthday long weekend is coming up October 2. We'd love to welcome you for your next getaway, book online, email us or call 07 5444 0077 while apartments are still available. Don't forget to check us out on Facebook.

September on the Coast
1-2 Sunshine Coast Wildflower Festival continues
2 Father’s Day
2 Fathers Day Celebrations at Australia Zoo
5 Peregian Beach Food & Fashion 2018
6 Julius Caesar on at the Events Centre Caloundra
14 Coolum Wave Coolum Civic Centre
16 Pacific Explorer arrives on the coast Mooloolaba
22 Open Air Movie Night - Avatar (Bokarina)
21-24 Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Festival
22 - 7 October SCHOOL HOLIDAYS QLD
24-28 Coast Club School Holiday activities
26 Qld Symphony Orchestra Caloundra
28 Caloundra Music Festival
28-2 Kenilworth Arts Festival

Raffles Mooloolaba
65-69 First Avenue, Mooloolaba, Qld 4557
Phone : 07 5444 0077
Fax : 07 5444 3708
email:info@rafflesmooloolaba.com.au
www.rafflesmooloolaba.com.au

Wild Sri Lanka

Despite its small size Sri Lanka boasts of one of the highest rates of biological endemism in the world whether in plants or animals and is included among the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world. Of the ninety-one species of mammals found in Sri Lanka Asian elephants, sloth bear, leopards, sambar and wild buffaloes engage the majority of the attention of wildlife enthusiast. Yet the rarest mammals of Sri Lanka are the red slender Loris, Toque Macaque, and Purple-faced Langur, who according to IUCN clarifications are endangered due to habitat loss.

Meanwhile, the ocean around Sri Lanka is home to large families of cetaceans including the mighty blue whales, sperm whales and lively dolphins. Altogether 26 species of cetaceans rule the waters surrounding the country, making it one of the best locations for whale and dolphin watching.

Despite the mighty elephants and rare amphibians found in the country birds are the glory of Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Boasting nearly 433 bird species of which 233 are resident Sri Lanka holds 20 endemic species while another 80 species have developed distinct Sri Lankan races, compared to their cousins in Indian mainland.

Although less celebrated, Sri Lanka has one of the richest diversity of amphibians in the world, containing over 106 species of amphibians of over 90 of which are endemic. The country has long claimed to have the highest amphibian species density in the world with a high concentration in the Sinharaja rainforest.

KOP LIMITED GROUND BREAKS INTEGRATED INDOOR SKI RESORT, WINTASTAR SHANGHAI

Wintastar Holdings Pte. Ltd.
SGX Catalist-listed purveyor of luxury lifestyle, real estate and hospitality, KOP Limited (“KOPL”, 高鸿集团, or the “Group”) is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of Wintastar Shanghai (冰雪之星) – its highly-anticipated integrated sports-entertainment-tourism resort that will house the world’s largest indoor Ski & Snow Park. KOPL also announced today that it has partnered up with leading integrated lifestyle provider, Majid Al Futtaim to operate Wintastar Shanghai’s indoor Ski & Snow Park.

The groundbreaking event held in Shanghai today was graced by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, as well as Mr Chen Jie, Party Secretary of the Shanghai Lingang Administrative Committee. Consul General of the Singapore Consulate in Shanghai, Mr Loh Tuck Wai and Consul General of the UAE Consulate in Shanghai, Mr Rashed Matar Alquemzi were among the key dignitaries at the event.

Ms Ong Chih Ching (王芝菁), the Executive Chairman and Executive Director of KOPL said, “This is KOPL’s largest project so far, and like our past track record of iconic projects, we are excited to work alongside our strong local partners to push new boundaries and introduce new and innovative concepts to the Chinese market. The large-scale mixed-development will also offer opportunities for KOPL to build new income streams, many of which are recurring in nature, for our sustainable growth going forward… The timing for Wintastar Shanghai could not be better, with Chinese consumers yearning for travel, leisure, novel experiences, and winter sports being the next big thing in China because of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.”

Wintastar Holdings Pte. Ltd.
On the partnership with Majid Al Futtaim, Ms Ong commented, “Majid Al Futtaim’s impeccable track record will help bolster Wintastar Shanghai’s vision to bring world-class, hi-tech and safe indoor skiing and snow play into China. As a Singaporean company familiar with the Chinese culture, combined with our international track record and reputation in developing new-to-market concepts, we hope to work with Majid Al Futtaim and other foreign partners to deliver new experiences to Chinese consumers.”

Highlights are as follows:
  • The multi-billion renminbi mixed-development project marks KOPL and its luxury hospitality brand Montigo Resorts’ maiden entry into the PRC
  • With a total GFA of 227,000 sqm, Wintastar Shanghai’s highlight is the alpine-themed 90,000 sqm Ski & Snow Park, which will be the largest of its kind, complete with hotel ski-in-ski-out access and après-ski
  • Targeted to complete in 2022, Wintastar Shanghai expects to attract an estimated 3.2 million visitors annually on a stabilised basis
  • Montigo Resorts to operate four themed hotels with over 1000 room keys, including an Ice Hotel
  • Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based conglomerate and operator of Ski Dubai and Ski Egypt, will also make its first foray into China as operator of the Wintastar Shanghai 90,000 sqm (GFA) indoor ski park

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Rob Holmes - dedicated to authentic storytelling for the travel industry

Rob Holmes
Rob Holmes is the Founder & Chief Strategist of GLP Films, an award-winning content marketing agency dedicated to authentic storytelling and ROI-based content marketing campaigns for the travel industry.

He looks to collaborate with like-minded individuals and/or top-tier organizations focused on developing new business models and opportunities to advance our respective initiatives.

Rob has a diverse background in multimedia production, authentic storytelling, sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, global strategic marketing, adventure travel, multi-media production, photography and entrepreneurship.

In his work with GLP Films, Rob has spearheaded partnerships with global travel brands, including international and domestic tourism boards, leading media, global organizations, travel and outdoor brands, and numerous NGO and international partners. Rob currently serves as board member for the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN) and Maine Huts and Trails.

In-line with his passion for sustainable tourism, Rob is a proponent for wildlife conservation, with a BA in Wildlife Management and Conservation Biology from Hobart College.

Rob also holds an MBA from the University of Washington in International Business, Marketing and Environmental Management. Rob lives in Kennebunkport, Maine and is the proud father of two children.

ROB HOLMES
Founder & Chief Strategist - GLP Films https://www.glpfilms.com
Connect with Rob: Website | Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Ethnic cultural activities to be held in villages for holiday

A series of activities celebrating the 73rd anniversary of National Day (September 2) will take place at the Viet Nam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism from August 31 to September 30, reported the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism on August 27.

The event – held at the site in Son Tay town, 40km from downtown, Hanoi - aims to honour and preserve the cultural identities of the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups, increase exchanges amongst ethnic groups, and attract tourists during the holiday.

Over 220 artists, students, and people from 13 ethnic groups will join the event, including Mong from Ha Giang, Kho Mu from Dien Bien, Thai from Son La, Tay from Thai Nguyen, Muong from Hoa Binh, Dao from Hanoi, Ta Oi and Ko Tu from Thua Thien-Hue, Xo Dang from Kon Tum, Raglai from Ninh Thuan, Ede from Dak Lak, Cham from Ninh Thuan, and Khmer from Soc Trang.

One of the highlights of the event will be a market introducing specialities from the northern province of Lang Son such as roasted pork and duck, rice cakes, and horse intestines, as well as music and dance performances.

In particular, the organising board will introduce the lion mask dance of the Nung ethnic group, a piece of national intangible cultural heritage, and the group’s wedding rituals to visitors.

A Mong ethnic ceremony to relieve bad luck in Lang Son province will also be performed.

The Ban Me coffee programme will feature coffee roasting and grinding at the Ede ethnic group village from August 31-September 3. Honey products and souvenirs from Buon Me Thuot and the Central Highlands will also be available.

A space for children will offer folk games and local snacks such as peanut candy, boiled corn, glutinous rice cake, and dry pancake.
Source: VNA

WHAT’S NEW AT LUXPERIENCE 2018

Along with the new venue this year, ICC Sydney, Luxperience has over 40 per cent new exhibitors ranging from indigenous experiences and eco lodges to exclusive yacht charters and high-end hotels and resorts.

There is a strong presence of new exhibitors from Europe, especially products and properties from France, Greece and Italy: popular destinations for the Australasian market.

The trend for travellers wishing to experience the unusual, less-travelled and authentic is obvious at Luxperience this year as destinations such as Ecuador, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Galapagos, Myanmar and Rwanda will be exhibiting. Sri Lanka has increased its presence at the event and the Korea Tourism Organisation will attend for the first time.

It will be the inaugural attendance for the Rwanda Development Board, which is showcasing several of its best operators during Luxperience.

‘We are privileged to be attending Luxperience 2018, for the first time, a show that is congregating the crème de la crème of travel professionals in the Tourism Industry globally. It is an opportune moment for us to introduce and showcase Rwanda to the Australian market,” said Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Tourism Officer, Ms Belise Kariza. “Rwanda is a safe destination that offers diverse, authentic and premium experiences in a sustainable way. We can only build the momentum and ensure that tourists from Australia get to experience the hidden gem that is Rwanda.’

New products using the event as a launching pad include new resorts and hotels from Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia and the InterContinental Danang Sun, Vietnam to Le Grand Hotel, Sri Lanka and the Henley Hotel, New Zealand. Several properties will be introducing buyers to their newly renovated hotels such as Wains Hotel, Dunedin, Trump International, New York and Millbrook Resort, Queenstown. Several companies are promoting their expanded experiential offerings such as Discover Aboriginal Experiences, Australian Wildlife Journeys and Journey Mexico. Cruising such as Australia’s True North and Setouchi Yacht Charter from Japan will be presenting their new itineraries and the Isabella II from Ecuador will highlight its extensive renovations. Wellness travel is still strong with the world-class holistic resort The Farm at San Benito, Philippines, making its first appearance at Luxperience. The Japan National Tourism Organization will be updating everyone on the impending 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Olympics 2020. There are also new exhibitors from New Zealand including Unique Stays & Experiences.

“I am very excited to be representing our exceptional range of product for the first time at Luxperience to a tremendous international audience,” said New Zealand based Unique Stays & Experiences’ Director, Ms Louise Frend. “We are fully cognisant of how important the Australian market is but we’re also welcoming the opportunity to meet with global partners at this great event to present our suite of luxury New Zealand accommodation and experiences.”

Luxperience is being held at the ICC Sydney 16-19 September 2018; connecting the world’s most exclusive travel providers dealing in luxury and experiential travel.

A JOURNEY FOR THE SOUL

Jye Currie
A Journey for the Soul, is an Exhibition showcasing Jye Currie's latest trip to Africa, Jye ventured into some of the most remote parts of Kenya with charity 'The Africa Solution'. On a mission trip to capture & expose the conditions & poverty in which the people live through daily.

Now showcasing this story through still imagery, we invite you to be a part of this amazing journey!

Every ticket sold will provide enough food to feed 3 people for 2 weeks, as 50% of all proceeds will be sent back to Africa, providing food to those who need it most.

Thank you for helping make this world a better place!

We look forward to seeing you.

A JOURNEY FOR THE SOUL
Saturday 1st September 4:00 - 8:00pm
At The Cricketer's Arm's
Cost: $40
Tickets Available at www.jyecurrie.com/exhibitions
info@jyecurrie.com
0457101300

THE FIRST CAMBODIA TOURISM INVESTMENT FORUM

The overall objective of this event is to strengthen Cambodia’s tourism sector by bringing together public and private actors as well as development partners to discuss the important issues relevant to tourism investment. The focus of the forum will be to identify specific strategies and actions that support positive tourism investment and these will be published as a set of recommendations for further action.

The First Cambodia Tourism Investment Forum Description:

“Tourism Investment Opportunities in Cambodia”

For the tourism sector to reach its full potential in Cambodia, access, infrastructure and services must be provided to support the industry. The investment environment must be attractive for investors and individual investments must also match the social, economic and environmental objectives of the country and the region. A healthy investment environment can support all of these interests especially if industry stakeholders and communities have the opportunity to share and create such an environment.

The Forum in Siem Reap is designed to bring together public and private participants to share information, network and strengthening collaboration for the betterment of the tourism industry in Cambodia.

The forum will bring together representatives from the private and public sectors as well as development partners to share information and present issues for discussion. Key speakers will give informative presentations on the potential opportunities and current challenges associated with tourism investment in Cambodia. These presentations will be followed by a moderated forum where participants and stakeholders can share and discuss their knowledge and experiences. The acquired knowledge, which will contribute to the Ministry’s ongoing facilitation, promotion and support for sustainable tourism investment in Cambodia. The findings of the forum will be published as a set of recommendations for further action.

When: 17/09/2018
Where: Sokhalay Hotel, Siem Reap Province

For more information, please contact Mr. Yin Nat (yinnat79@gmail.com)
Registration here
Concept paper, Download here

PALAEO PLAYSPACE - go wild with dinosaurs!

Kids can go wild with dinosaurs every day at the  PALAEO PLAYSPACE in the Museum of Tropical Queensland. 

Experience Dinosaur rEvolution: Secrets of Survival with its giant skeletons, animatronic beasts and heaps of fossils kids can touch and explore.

Young palaeontologists can get their brushes working in the dig pit excavating for skeletons, explore fossil specimens at the interactive touch tables and create their own dinosaur masks to take home. 

Families can also visit the Ancient Queensland display on Level 2, to learn about the giant reptiles who once ruled the ancient inland sea.

Cost: Free with admission

Museum of Tropical Queensland
70 -102 Flinders Street, Townsville, Queensland 4810
(07) 4726 0600
www.mtq.qm.qld.gov.au

Dusit International Continues Middle East Expansion with First Hotel in Qatar

Dusit Doha Hotel
Thailand-based global hospitality company Dusit International has signed a management agreement with the Al Majed Group to operate Dusit Doha Hotel. Set to open in Q4 2018 this will be the group’s first Dusit-branded property in Qatar.

Situated in the West Bay area of the capital city, the five-star property is within walking distance to the Doha City Centre, Gate Mall and the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. The hotel is located in close proximity to popular tourist spots such as the Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural Village and The Pearl, and only a 25-minute drive from the Hamad International Airport.

Ideal for both extended and transient stays, the 357-key hotel, will comprise 261 guest rooms and suites, along with 96 hotel apartments. Each guest room will be minimum 41 sqm, one of the largest of its kind in the West Bay area.

With a choice of Club, Suites, Deluxe and Premium Deluxe, the rooms come with modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. While the hotel apartments, provide a range of one, two and three-bedroom configurations, complemented by the hotel facilities, offering complete service for longer-stay guests. Its situation in West Bay, means it sits in Doha’s most prestigious neighbourhood, and presents amazing views across the bay, and out into the Arabian Gulf.

“Qatar is set to host two of the world’s largest sporting events: the FIFA World Cup 2022 – in which the country is expecting to host more than one million international visitors for the World Cup itself and the World Athletic Championship in 2019 which serves as a right time for us to open Dusit Doha Hotel to welcome the organisers, sponsors, and consultants who will be making Doha their home for the next few years. Dusit – being the first 5 star hotel in Qatar with Thai culture and heritage, would enable the vast Thai experience to the valuable customers”, said Ahmed Mahdi Al Majed, Al Majed Group.

“We have an excellent long-term relationship with Dusit International and firmly believe in their product quality and high standards of service. We look forward to yet another successful collaboration with them,” he added.

“It’s an exciting time for Qatar and we’re delighted to announce the Dusit Doha Hotel, our second property with the Al Majed Group. The hotel will be designed keeping in mind the latest developments in the vibrant city, to resonate with both business and leisure travelers alike,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International.

With 27 properties currently in operation across four brands in eight countries, Dusit International is in a significant growth phase which will see the number of Dusit properties reach over 50 within the next three to four years across key markets worldwide.

Stay warm and enjoy $25 off with free breakfast

Memorable Stays in Sydney

Experience a unique kind of service and experience that’s from the heart. Enjoy $25 off every night of your stay plus a complimentary breakfast.

Memories aren’t made of intricacies. It’s these little details that come and go, but a feeling travels with you through life.

We believe in a unique kind of service and experience that’s not a one-off, but it’s genuine and sincere. The kind that puts a smile on your face because a happy memory for you is one for us too. The kind that’s from the heart.

And we live and breathe it. Because when you book at Swissotel.com or AccorHotels.com, you enjoy $25 off every night of your stay, plus free breakfast!

RATES
  • For up-to-date rates, click "Book Now"

OFFER INCLUDES
  • Overnight accommodation in our well-appointed rooms
  • Free breakfast for up to 2 adults
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access
  • Complimentary access to outdoor heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and fitness centre

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
  • Fully pre-paid and non-refundable
  • AUD$25 off our Best Available Rate
  • Not valid with other discounts, promotions or packages
  • Occupancy date: 1st June to 11th November 2018
  • Blackout dates apply and subjected to availability
  • Kids breakfast will be charged separately: $12.50 for ages 5-12, $42 for ages 13 and up

Book Now

Where to stay, cruise and dine in Laos – Secrets’ Out

Lesser-explored than its neighbours, Laos holds a distinct charm has managed to retain its time-honoured traditions, culture and customs more than the rest of rapidly-developing Southeast Asia. The quiet country’s slower pace creates the perfect setting for which to discover its verdant landscapes, meandering rivers, mesmerising waterfalls and more.

See the boutique side of Laos journey across the country in Secret Retreats style with these select cruises, hotels and restaurants…

Luang Say Cruise & Lodge
Luang Say Cruise & Lodge
Luang Prabang – Huay Xai
Luang Say’s custom luxury riverboats offer a unique opportunity to witness life along the legendary Mekong River between Huay Xai (at the Thai border) and Luang Prabang. During the journey, guests spend one night at the picturesque Luang Say Lodge




Vat Phou Cruise
Vat Phou Cruise
Champasak – Pakse
Embark on the Vat Phou Cruise’s 3-day Mekong River journey in southern Laos to visit the Vat Phou temple, considered the birthplace of Khmer architecture. Featuring 12 newly renovated cabins, the river-borne hotel travels through timeless landscapes including the “4,000 Islands”.



Muang La Lodge
Muang La Lodge
Muang La
Hidden in the small village of Muang La, this lodge features just 9 traditionally designed rooms and villas. Best known for its tranquil ambience, it’s also the perfect base from which to explore northern Laos and its local ethnic groups on foot, mountain bikes or 4WD vehicles.



Satri House
Satri House
Luang Prabang
This intimate French colonial property was originally built in 1904 and the childhood home of the first President of Laos. Satri House’s tasteful elegance is apparent through its 28 airy guestrooms and three suites with handcrafted furniture and oversized balconies.

Contact the Concierge to start planning your Asian journey


Cairns Amateurs Racing Carnival

The Cairns Amateurs Racing Carnival is three days of fun, fashion, glamour, food and entertainment built around two days of horse racing in Cairns.

What began as a small meeting in 1959, designed to bring city and country together, has expanded over the years to become one of Australia's premier spring horse racing carnivals. Operated by the Far North Queensland Amateur Turf Club Inc., their event has become widely, and affectionately, known as "The Cairns Amateurs".

60 years on, the Cairns Amateurs is complemented by a host of social activities, some formal and some very informal including a number of Members-only and corporate functions as well as events and areas for the general public on both race days.

The beautiful mild September climate entices large crowds of locals as well as interstate visitors.

Where: Woree, Cairns Area
When: 7 – 8 September 2018
Visit Website
Buy tickets

LATEST INSIGHTS INTO AUSSIE TRAVELLERS TO CANADA

A staggering 2.67 million Australian travellers are very likely to visit Canada in the next two years, according to Destination Canada’s 2017 Global Tourism Watch (GTW) results, released in July 2018. 

Canada’s western provinces hold the greatest appeal for Australian travellers, with Ontario and Quebec also popular. 

For the first time, St John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, saw an increase in appeal, highlighting that Australians are becoming more knowledgeable about lesser-known Canadian cities.

FFA NATIONAL YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR BOYS ON COFFS COAST

Over 600 of Australia’s finest football players are set to converge on Coffs Harbour to contest the FFA National Youth Championships for Boys.

The Championships, hosted by Northern NSW Football, will take place from 24-28 September at the C.ex International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, where 36 teams from around Australia will represent their State, competing in age divisions of 13 and 14 years.

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the event is proudly supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“Supporting a wide range of events in our region provides a fantastic opportunity for local hotels, restaurants and tourism attractions to capitalise on additional visitors while showcasing our spectacular beaches, national parks and local attractions. We look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators to Coffs Harbour this September for another fantastic few days of football,” Mr Fraser said.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Raid Amazons 2018

Raid Amazons is a Multi-Sport adventure event exclusive for daring adventurous females which has become a hallmark international event in tourism destinations. A large number of teams in smaller groups take part in a massive adventure challenge such as Orienteering, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Riding, Running, Archery, Treasure Hunting etc in the competition to test the survival of the fittest.

Event runs for a period of 6 days enabling participants to go through a rigorous work out as well as witness, enjoy and experience different aspects of the country where ever the event is held.

Many countries bid for this event for the obvious reason of the publicity that it generates worldwide as a tourist destination for visitors from Europe.

Up to now, Raid Amazones has completed 17 editions. The event takes place annually in a specially selected country which comes forward to offer locations with facilities. The 1st Event was held in Guyana in 2001 and the 17th edition took take place in Cambodia.

Sri Lanka was fortunate to hold this event twice in 2004 and again in 2009 with the participation of over 225 and 138 Female Adventurers respectively.

Sri Lanka is looking forward to hosting this event in 2018 the 1st edition & 2019 the 2nd Edition which is timely in the efforts of repositioning the country as an upmarket tourist destination.

Read More >>

CONGRATULATIONS! LUXPERIENCE ANNOUNCES 2018 AWARD FINALISTS

Luxperience is pleased to announce the 2018 finalists for its prestigious awards celebrating excellence in luxury and high end travel experiences. Entrants were up this year with a broad range of this year’s Luxperience suppliers and travel designers from all over the world throwing their hat into the premium arena.

“We congratulate the finalists and wish them well for the announcement,” said Luxperience Event Director Michelle Papas. “We also wish to thank the efforts of the many companies vying for these sought-after awards. If the submissions are a barometer for the standard of the industry, we are in good hands.”

The 2018 Finalists are:
INSPIRING category finalists
  • Ayabex DMC, Japan
  • Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador
  • Saffron Travel, Vietnam
The INSPIRING AWARD recognises excellence in the planning and development of innovative products and/or services through entrepreneurial vision, market leadership and uniqueness.

MEANINGFUL category finalists
  • AccorHotels, Global
  • Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia
  • Hands Up Holidays, United Kingdom
The MEANINGFUL AWARD identifies excellence in the pursuit of preservation, sustainable tourism practices and/or environmental factors as its key goal.

CONNECTIONS category finalists
  • InterContinental Wellington, New Zealand
  • Steele Luxury Travel, United States
  • The Farm at San Benito, Philippines
The CONNECTIONS AWARD showcases the marketing strategy and campaigns which effectively connect with key target markets within the luxury or high-end experiential travel space or events and/or incentives.

DESTINATION category finalists
  • Japan National Tourism Organization
  • New Caledonia Tourism
  • Rwanda Development Board
  • Tourism Australia
The DESTINATION AWARD acknowledges the activities of regional, state and national tourism offices in the luxury and experiential travel space, and recognises destinations that incorporate luxury and high-end experiential travel as a key contributor to their overarching global strategy.

The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of experts including:
  • Mags King, Managing Photo Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald and Australian Financial Review, Fairfax Media
  • Rebekah Murphy, Marketing Director, Diversified Communications
  • Claire-Ann Leo, Marketing Manager, Luxperience
  • Lucy Jones, Luxury Travel Writer

As part of the revamped social event program this year the winners will be announced on the Luxperience opening night, Sunday 16 September, at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney.

Luxperience is an invitation-only business forum that is the only one of its kind based in the Australasia and Pacific region and is highlighted by an exhibition of the world’s most exclusive travel providers dealing in luxury and experiential travel. This year’s event is being held at the ICC Sydney 16-19 September 2018.

Chardonnay named Wine of the Show at a record breaking 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show

The 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show has produced a tale in two parts – the continued excellence of some of Australia’s household names in winemaking and the emergence of the new brigade.

The results of the 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show were announced overnight at a gala function held in Sydney.

Held across four days last week at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, entries from every wine region of Australia passed the lips of the 31 expert industry judges, including Guest International Judge Fongyee Walker MW.

Notable was the strong showing of Chardonnay amongst the gold medallists and Trophy winners.

More than 2300 wines were tasted across 66 classes during the Show, with Penfolds Wines’ 2017 RESERVE BIN 17A Chardonnay being named The KPMG Perpetual Trophy Winner for Best Wine of the Show and the Tucker Seabrook Perpetual Trophy Winner for Best State Show Wine.

P-J Charteris, the Chair of Judges for the 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show paid tribute to the diversity seen amongst the winning wines this year;

“This really was testament to the traditional wine regions stepping up with quality offerings and the newer regions in wine showing what they are capable of now and into the future."

"It is exciting to see as judges the traditions being maintained in what Australia is know for internationally in wine, yet the emerging and smaller wineries putting their stake in the ground through newer varietals and blends.

“The 2018 Royal Sydney Wine Show marks the 192nd year of the show and a turning point for the Australian Wine Industry.

“The last few harvest seasons have seen demand outstripping supply and as a result we are seeing improvements in quality as evidenced by the medal tallies across most classes in the show.

“As supply tightens we are seeing prices, particularly for wine bound for export increasing, which is important for the overall health of our industry,” P-J Charteris said.

Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee Sally Evans says the huge response to this year’s Show is proof Australia’s winemakers love pitting their best product against their industry peers;

“We were delighted to receive a record number of entries this year, taking us to full capacity for judging.

“Entries came from all corners of the nation, from a broad spread of producers – big, small and in-between.

“It shows us that the Australian wine industry values our Wine show and the effort we put into presenting a quality, professional and above all, relevant competition,” Sally Evans said.

The 2018 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show looked like this:
  • 2332 entries.
  • 369 Exhibitors
  • 66 Classes
  • 30 Judges across six panels – plus the Chair of Judges.
  • Gold Medals awarded - 120.
  • Silver Medals awarded - 276.
  • Bronze Medals awarded - 791.
  • 34 Trophies Awarded (All Trophy winners may have been a Gold Medallist).

Monday, 27 August 2018

Poseidon Boutique Residence - A Welcoming Luxurious Hotel

My Poseidon Boutique Residence Welcome
Poseidon Boutique Residence is small but very good hotel situated on the coastline of Thailand below Bangkok. I recently stayed there for three nights after I attended the Mekong Tourism Forum. I really enjoyed my stay there, it felt like a home away from home. I was treated by the manager and staff as an honourable guest rather than a paying customer.

There is a variety of well kept and tastefully decorated guest rooms on offer at the Poseidon. There are Superior Rooms, VIP Studios, Junior Suites and Master Suites. All of the rooms feature generous facilities and some room types come with exclusive additional options.

My Poseidon Boutique Residence Bedroom
I took the 90-minute bus journey from Sukhumvit Airport to its final drop off point in Pattaya. It was then just a very short walk to the Poseidon Boutique Residence. I was smoothly checked in at reception and offered a welcome drink.

I then went up a few stairs to my stylish VIP Studio and was impressed with its large 55 sq. meters of space.  Even though I was staying in the room by myself, I liked the room to move about with the sense of being hemmed in. In my room was a complimentary drink, a plate of delicacies to eat and fresh flowers. 

My Suite had first-class room facilities and are beautifully decorated. It was lovingly furnished with a comfortable King Size bed, wardrobe, desk and chair, in-room safe, cable TV, DVD player and wireless internet access. There was a cold minibar with free tea and coffee.

My Poseidon Boutique Residence Bathroom
The 30 sqm bathroom had a huge Jacuzzi style whirlpool bathtub and a separate shower. I found the bathtub ideal to relax in, with the water jets gently relaxing my body in a sea of frothy bubbles and the mood lighting switched on.

The Suite had views over surrounding trees and gardens through double-glazed window. The room was very quiet to sleep in at night and was nice and dark with blackout curtains. The two air conditioners worked well

For more luxury, I could have opted for a Junior Suite that has a separated living room and bedroom, each with TV. Or I could have stayed in a Master Suite. These are a huge 80 sq meters, and are ideal for guests who travel to Pattaya together but prefer to have separate bedrooms, or two couples wishing to share accommodation.

To start off my day I enjoyed my a-la-carte breakfast served on the verandah each morning.

My Poseidon Boutique Residence Bathroom
The Poseidon Restaurant has a reputation of being one of the best restaurants in Pattaya for lunches and dinners. It features an international chef with a crew of talented Thai staff, offering a range of international and Thai gourmet delicacies. Each month there are special menus created of multi-course meals that are just available for one or two days.

A feature of the Poseidon is the Poseidon Wine Cellar that offers a magnificent selection of wines ready for enjoyment. The range includes rose, whites and reds and are offered at the bar or to accompany meals in the restaurant. They offer monthly specials and arrange frequent culinary events.

For health and recreation, the newly opened indoor Jacuzzi Spa, Swimming Pool area and private Massage Rooms offer the ultimate place to relax. This is the cosy and private place to enjoy being alone or for laid-back socializing.

Jomtien beach
The Poseidon Boutique Residence is ideally located near the Jomtien beach and surrounded by many restaurants, bars and attractions. I walked to the beach during the day and to the nearby local night market. The Poseidon is at the top of the Jomtien Complex, now called Super Town Jomtien walking street. A songtow (blue pickup) costs just 10 baht to travel to Pattaya,

The Poseidon Boutique Residence is an ideal choice for all men, whether gay or gay-friendly, as they are very welcoming of everybody. I found the Poseidon to be very friendly and terrific value for money, as I enjoyed 5 star service at a 3 star price. 

To stay informed on the Poseidon Boutique Residence special events and offers send an email to info@poseidon-pattaya.com and they will add you to their mailing list. You can also check their Facebook and Pinktrails promotion page.

View out of my Poseidon Boutique Residence window

Poseidon Boutique Residence

413/3-5 Moo.12 Thappraya Road, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150
Phone: + 66 (0)38 303 698 - 701 
Fax: +66 (0)38 303 702
E-mail: poseidon@loxinfo.co.th
Web: www.poseidon-pattaya.com

Phu Manorom Huge Buddha Statue

Phu Manorom
Phu Manorom is situated in Wat Roi Phra Bat Phu Manorom which is located about 5 kilometres from Mukdaha City.

When i visited recently I saw the large seated 84m Buddha on top of the hill, which is nearly finished being built. I was able to walk up the stairs inside it go to a viewing platform, even though the handrails on the stairs had not been put in place yet. On a clear day, you can see for up to 50 miles away. When I was at Phu Manorom I saw views of the beautiful scenery of Mukdahan, the Mekong River, the Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, and Savannakhet Province in Laos. This viewpoint is 500 metres high.

The statue is so large that I could see it from inside my minibus as we were approaching it from a great distance away.

There are several 3D illusionary pictures painted on the paving where visitors can take their photos. I was able to walk around the gardens, smell the frangipani, and enjoy the water features. The hill has a replica of the Lord Buddha's footprint that is one-metre deep.

Phu Manorom has had the road up the hill improved and has provided a parking area for vehicles and a viewpoint pavilion.

To get here, head south on Samut Sakdarak Road, take the first U-turn after Mukdahan Tower then the first left, which will take you right up to Phu Manorom after a couple of kilometres. A tuk tuk can also take you here and back for around 200 baht.

Phu Manorom
Location: Mueang District
Admission: free

Mich Goh - Southeast Asian Region for Airbnb

Mich Goh
Mich Goh is the Head of Public Policy for Airbnb in the Southeast Asia region.

She engages with government, elected officials, associations and other relevant third parties across Southeast Asia in support of a fair and progressive regulatory framework that embraces the potential of home sharing and the sharing economy. 

She was previously a consultant who led teams advising multinational companies in the Technology and Consumer sectors on government relations and public affairs strategies across Asia Pacific. 

She holds a business management degree from the Singapore Management University. Mich is the Vice President of the Sharing Economy Association (Singapore).

Website: www.airbnb.com/

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Sea Festival on the horizon

The Ba Ria-Vung Tau Sea Festival will take place in Vung Tau city from August 28 to September 3, featuring a multitude of activities.

The festival is to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of National Day (September 2) as well as connect the trade, tourism, and economic activities of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and other coastal localities.

Through the event, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau will introduce its tourism achievements over the past few years and orientations towards 2030, as well as its potential in different economic sectors to domestic and foreign friends.

Nearly 400 units have registered to participate in the festival to date, with about 843 booths.

Within the framework of the event, there will be exhibitions, art performances, a carnival, and a workshop, among other activities.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau, home to a 305km-long coastline, is one of the leading tourism hubs in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vung Tau city, lying on a peninsula of the same name, is the tourist and commercial centre of the province.

A number of beautiful beaches such as Ho Coc, Bai Sau, Dam Trau, and Bai Dua have become magnets for visitors in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, which also accommodating many tourist sites and high-end resorts.

With a continental shelf area of more than 10,000 sq.km., the province also has an important location in terms of security and defence, while boasting huge potential for the development of a sea-based economy.

In the first half of 2018, Ba Ria-Vung Tau welcomed approximately 6.5 million tourist arrivals and earning 2.8 trillion VND (around 123 million USD) from tourism activities, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.
Source: VNA

Sleep Perchance To Dream

A new physical theatre work co-presented by Tantrum Youth Arts in partnership with Alex Travers.

Get lost in a world of dreams where the line between reality and fantasy is blurred, where power is exploited, and female ambition questioned. See Shakespeare’s classic character Ophelia as never before, as she searches for purpose and seeks validation in a world beyond the pages of Hamlet.

Tantrum Youth Arts is proud to co-produce Sleep Perchance to Dream, the first full-length new work to be created out of the Trajectory Residency Program. In 2017 Alex Travers underwent a rigorous first-stage creative development at Tantrum, presenting a showing of the work at Crack Theatre festival in October and dazzling audiences with her incredible charm and adept skill as a physical theatre performer. In 2018 Tantrum has supported Alex and her creative team to further develop this work and realise it in a full-scale production under the guidance of mentor Stephanie Kehoe.

Join theatre maker Alex Travers and her creative team in Sleep, Perchance to Dream - a powerful and inspiring physical portrait of femininity and power.

Dates: 29th August – 1st September 2018
Venue: Civic Playhouse, Newcastle
Cost: $35 / $20
Member’s price: $20

TOURISM CREATING WEALTH OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR LAO PEOPLE

The United Nations’ World Travel and Tourism Council unveiled its latest report recently, which indicated that tourism has directly resulted in 114,000 jobs being created in Laos.

This is expected to rise to 121,000 jobs in 2028, which will represent about 3 percent of total employment.

As a whole, tourism and related services have generated over 385,000 jobs in the country, helping to improve per-capita income for the Lao people, particularly the poor.

Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Ounthuang Khaophanh, told recently that tourism was one of the top five income earners for Laos, driving economic growth and contributing to poverty alleviation.

In addition, tourism has resulted in the improvement of services and infrastructure including roads, as well as the construction of new hotels, restaurants, airports and other facilities.

According to a report in The ASEAN Post, improving the tourism sector will certainly help the country gain much needed additional revenue.

“The growth of the tourism sector would also be key in developing tourist related infrastructure such as airports and road links,” stated The ASEAN Post.

In 2017, the total contribution from travel and tourism to Laos’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was around US$2 billion, which accounted for 13.7 percent of total GDP. This figure is expected to rise to US$3.3 billion by 2028.

Given that tourism plays a significant role for the Lao economy, the government launched the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign to attract more tourists.

All provinces are holding activities as part of a nationwide effort to bring at least 5 million tourists to the country and generate revenue of about US$900 million.

Read full article at Inquirer New: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/995821/tourism-creating-wealth-of-job-opportunities-for-lao-people#ixzz5K6yYG84d

http://www.mekongtourism.org/

SYDNEY 7s TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Image credit: Getty Images
The non-stop action and entertainment of the HSBC Sydney 7s continues in 2019 with tickets now on sale to the iconic tournament that will be held from 1-3 February.

Teams from all over the world will descend on Spotless Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park to battle it out in the annual men's and women's World Series events.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said, “Western Sydney is the home of some of Australia’s biggest sporting events and most passionate sports fans, who will create an incredible atmosphere at Spotless Stadium.

“The Sydney 7s is synonymous with three days of festivities and Western Sydney hotels, restaurants and attractions are set to reap the benefits with visitors travelling from around Australia and the world to support their team.

“I encourage everyone to get their tickets early and start planning an extended stay.”

Tickets are on sale now via Ticketek.

Getabaruwa Esala Perahara 2018

Getabaruwa Esala perahara 2018 will be held from 20th - 26th September 2018 at the Getabaru Rajamaha Vihara temple in Deniyaya.

The Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, and lavishly decorated elephants.

The Sinhalese term ‘Perahera’ means a parade of musicians, dancers, singers, acrobats and various other performers accompanied by a large number of caparisoned Tuskers and Elephants parading the streets in celebration of a religious event.

Floriade is Australia’s Biggest Celebration of Spring

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. This iconic Canberra event will run from Saturday 15 September until Sunday 14 October 2018.

Floriade isn’t just celebrating the start of spring and the blossoming of more than one million bulbs and annuals, we’re celebrating the best of Pop Culture! Revel in an impressive array of retro inspired flowerbeds and a festival program brimming with live music, horticultural displays and unmissable entertainment.

Open daily from 9.30am – 5.30pm, weather permitting. Last entry to the event is 30 minutes before closing.

GETTING TO FLORIADE
Arrive any which way you can.

BY AIR
Direct international flights to Canberra departing from Singapore or Wellington, New Zealand are available with Singapore Airlines. Daily domestic flights are also available to Canberra. Canberra Airport is located a short 20 minute drive from Commonwealth Park.

BY LAND
Driving to Canberra is a breeze. Australia’s capital is a three hour drive from Sydney and an eight hour drive from Melbourne. Once in Canberra, visitors to Floriade can walk, ride bikes, catch public transport, drive, take a ferry, taxi or rideshare to Commonwealth Park.

PARKING
Parking at Acton Park across from Commonwealth Park is limited. Floriade is an easy walk from parking options in the Parliamentary Triangle, London Circuit, the Canberra Centre, CIT Reid or the National Convention Centre. Pick-up and set-down at the Regatta Point Entry Gate is permitted for less mobile passengers.

FREE SHUTTLE BUS
Courtesy of the Canberra Centre, a free shuttle bus will operate all 30 days of Floriade. Stopping at select city locations the shuttle bus will make round trips daily, between the hours of 10am – 6pm.