Saturday, 29 September 2018

Phu Quoc eyes 2.5 million visitors this year

The resort island of Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang expects to welcome about 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2018, up 25 percent from last year.

Since 2015, the island has received more than 4.7 million tourist arrivals, 20.5 percent of which were foreigners. Earnings from tourism grew 42.5 percent annually in average.

According to Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc island district Pham Van Nghiep, Phu Quoc International Airport now has eight airlines operating 12 direct international flights to China, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Thailand and four domestic routes to Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi and Hai Phong.

The lodging services in the island have rapidly expanded to serve the increasing demand of visitors. The island now has more than 600 hotels and other accommodations, offering about 12,000 rooms, of which 10 are rated 3 – 4 star hotels and five rated 5-star

Phu Quoc is very famous for pearl farming, fish sauce, pepper and “ruou sim”, a wine made from sim fruit or Rose Myrtle. A variety of tours are provided for travellers, such as scuba diving, coral reef snorkeling, fishing and tours to visit traditional fish sauce making establishments, pearl farms, Ham Ninh fishing village, Phu Quoc National Park, pristine beaches and many more.

In addition, Nghiep attributed the success of the local tourism industry to new luxurious tourism services, including 500-hectare Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc – the first-ever and largest safari park in Viet Nam, Vinpearl Resort & Villas, Vinpearl Land and Vincharm Spa. Earlier this year, the world’s longest sea cable car route was launched in the island, connecting An Thoi town and Hon Thom island, he said.

Phu Quoc was once a sleepy area of around 100,000 people. In recent years, however, the 567sq.m island has become a tourist mecca for thousands of visitors from around the world.

Located 46km from the mainland, the island can be reached by air from HCM City within one hour and from Hanoi within two hours.

In September, it was named by CNN among the top five up-and-coming Asia Pacific destinations to visit this fall.

According to CNN, for those planning their first trip to the Asia-Pacific region, major destinations usually top the list, such as Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Tokyo (Japan) and Singapore.

“If you're dreaming of a beach getaway in Asia this fall, Phu Quoc in Viet Nam should be a top contender. For starters, the dry season begins in November and runs till April,” CNN wrote on its website.

Formerly a prison island during French colonial times, Phu Quoc's photogenic setting and clear waters caught the attention of international brands like JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, which debuted its Bill Bensley-designed resort late last year.

There's plenty to do aside from lounging and snorkeling around Ong Lang Beach.

The Phu Quoc Prison Museum offers a peek into the island's dark history while the Phu Quoc National Park and Suoi Tranh Waterfall will spoil nature lovers, it added.
Source: VNA

New ‘Steam Australia’ book by Tim Fischer explores the history of locomotives with exclusive images never seen before

What do Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain have in common? They all rode Australia’s steam train network in its heyday—and a new book explores its rich history. In Steam Australia: Locomotives that Galvanised the Nation (NLA Publishing, 1 November, $39.99), author and former deputy prime minister, Tim Fischer, provides a captivating insight into Australia’s locomotive history, illustrated with over 300 images from the National Library of Australia, many of which have never been seen in print before.

Much more than just a listed history, Fischer offers a compelling account of the great tapestry of transport weaved by the steam locomotive in this country. It details how the nation was galvanised by the economic growth steam trains delivered, and shares the stories behind famous named express trains such as Puffing Billy, Robert Gordon Menzies and The Ghan. It also includes a number of fascinating stories such as Albury’s ‘break of gauge’ platform, the Amiens branch line, the ‘garnishee’ order made against the Spirit of Progress, as well as those of important characters such as C.Y. O’Connor and John Whitton.

Deeply visual and well researched, Steam Australia provides a fascinating insight into locomotives and their important part in shaping Australian history.

Tim Fischer entered state parliament in 1971, switched to federal parliament in 1984, and became Nationals leader in 1990 and deputy prime minister in 1996. He was appointed ambassador to the Holy See in 2008, and is now a successful book author. Since travelling to boarding school by steam and diesel trains five decades ago, Tim has maintained a deep interest in transport issues, serving as the transport officer of 1RAR and on many parliamentary committees relating to rail and general transport issues. More recently, he was on the board of FreightLink and also leads rail tours in Australia, Europe, Russia and South Africa. For a review copy or to speak with Tim Fischer please contact me.


Riverside Theatres has gathered some of the best children’s entertainment from across the country for their seventh annual Spot On Children’s Festival from 9 th to 13 th October.

The five-day Festival will feature a fantastic line-up of theatre, musical performances, film and free activities that are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained these October school holidays.

This year’s Festival has something for everyone - from shows designed specifically for two year olds to older children and teens aged ten and above. The Spot On Children’s Festival is where children and their families can explore the world of the arts, delve into stories of magical creatures and places near and far, and experience the power of live theatre and dynamic cinema.

Avocado Smash
Program Coordinator Amy Matthews says “I am thrilled to announce the program for the seventh year of Spot On. It’s my favourite time of year, a time where for one week Riverside Theatres is transformed into a vibrant, colourful, magical land where families can create memories together.”

The Spot On Children’s Festival is dedicated to providing a relaxed performance for every suitable show - where the traditional rules of theatre are dismissed to cater for young audiences with diverse sensory needs. During relaxed performances, the theatre lights will be kept on, elements of the show including loud noises or sudden bright lights will be toned down or removed, and there are no rules about coming in and out of the theatre throughout the performance.

The Festival program includes:

Festival Opening Party with Avocado Smash – 9.30am on 9 th Oct
Led by two classical musicians, this free courtyard concert will take audiences around the world through storytelling and toe-tapping original hits promoting empowering and inclusive themes.

Ages 1+ years
Big Bad Wolf
– 10:30am and 1pm on 9 th Oct; 10:30am on 10 th Oct
Windmill Theatre Co’s hilarious production brings to life the story of the most misunderstood character in fairy tale history. With plenty of audience interaction, the Big Bad Wolf is reintroduced as a vegetarian, poetry-writing, people person!

Ages 5-10 years
– 2pm on 9 th Oct; 10am and 12:30pm on 10 th Oct
From Koral Chandler and Critical Stages, this multi-award winning interactive family show has melted hearts around the world with its glorious brand of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness.

Ages 5+ years
Josephine Wants to Dance: Drama Workshop
– 11am and 1pm on 9 th and 10 th Oct
An immersive and engaging workshop that will provide participants with the opportunity to delve into the world of Josephine, a kangaroo from Shaggy Gully who simply loves to dance.

Ages 5–8 years
Touch & Go
– 10am, 11:15am and 12:45pm on 9 th and 10 th Oct
Led by two friendly dancers and a live guitarist, this interactive performance designed especially for two year olds features a playful world of shapes and pathways, stepping stones and lines.

Ages 24-36 months
The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik
– 6pm on 11 th Oct; 10:30am and 1pm on 12 th Oct; 10:30am on 13 th Oct 
Animation, puppetry, projections, live and recorded music will combine in this visually spectacular production from The Last Great Hunt. Alvin makes a last ditch attempt to save the human race from the rising deep blue sea.

Ages 10+ years
Jospehine Wants to Dance
Josephine Wants to Dance – 2pm on 11 th Oct; 10am and 12:30pm on 12 th Oct 
Monkey Baa Theatre Company bring Jackie French’s popular book to the stage in this new musical about a bush animal you will never forget. Josephine Wants to Dance is a story about dreams, believing in yourself…and a dancing kangaroo.

Ages 4-9 years
ATYP Storytelling Workshop
– 10am and 1:30pm on 11th Oct 
Unleash your imagination, journey to faraway places and take an adventure of a lifetime – all while discovering how easy it is to create a story.

Ages 4-8 years
Gran’s Bag
– 10am, 12pm and 2:15pm on 11th Oct 
Presented by Smallshows, this funny and heart-warming show will see audiences join Gran on a magical carpet ride filled with puppets, songs and stories.

Ages 3-10 years
Maya The Bee: The Honey Games
– 10:15am on 12 th and 13 th Oct 
This charming Australian animated adventure film sees Maya forced to unite with a team of misfit bugs and compete in the Honey Games to save her hive.

Rated G
– 1:30pm on 12 th and 13 th Oct 
Selected for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, this gorgeous animation by Mamoru Hosoda is a time-traveling adventure about a young boy and magical portal.

Rated PG
ATYP to the Rescue: Drama Workshop
– 10am and 1:30pm on 12 th and 13 th Oct 
A fun workshop where the themes of friendship, loyalty and adventure are explored. Learn about objectives and obstacles and work on character development techniques while trekking the jungle, crossing the desert or exploring the North Pole.

Ages 8+
Lah-Lah 10 th Birthday Party
– 11am on 13 th Oct 
The stars of ABC Kids’ Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band will celebrate their 10 th birthday with an hour of singing and dancing fun. Party-goers will get to meet the band and the instruments after the show!

Ages 2–7 years
Spot On Free Activities – 9:30am to 3:30pm from 9 th to 13 th Oct 
Free activities will include face painting, a play gym, a crafting station, chalkboard art, games and a reading tent presented by the Parramatta Library.

The 2018 Spot On Children’s Festival program is available here:
What: Spot On Children’s Festival
Dates: 9 th October to 13 th October 2018
Tickets: Free to $26. From the Box Office (02) 8839 3399 or Discounts available for Riverside Theatres’ Members. Transaction fees: phone $4.60, web $3.60 and counter $2.60.
Venue: Riverside Theatres – Corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Recommendation: Children of all ages and their families

TAT partners THAI, Thai Smile, Krungthai to boost domestic travel

Mr. Sumeth Damrongchaitham, THAI President & CEO;  Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Mr. Payong Srivanich, Krungthai Bank President and Executive Director;
Ms. Charita Leelayuth, THAI Smile Acting President
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in partnership with Thai Airways International (THAI), Thai Smile Airways and Krungthai Bank, are coming together to boost domestic travel to 55 secondary destinations.

This impressive alliance will launch new ‘Local Link’ tours with a dedicated e-payment gateway in the last quarter of 2018 to promote Thailand’s emerging destinations.

TAT expects domestic travel to 55 secondary destinations to grow by five per cent to 60.33 million trips between January and September this year, generating 165 billion Baht (up nine per cent).

Currently the top five secondary cities are Buri Ram, Phatthalung, Mae Hong Son, Pattani and Ratchaburi.

DUNGOG FESTIVAL - celebration of film, music and food

The Long Table Dinner at the Dungog Festival
The countdown is on to the 2018 Dungog Festival, with the NSW Government announcing its support of the Upper Hunter’s friendly four-day community event.

Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said the event will be supported by the State’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“Once again the Dungog Festival will be a celebration of film, music and delicious regional produce, all set in the spectacular Upper Hunter region of NSW and I am delighted that we’re providing a boost to this event through Destination NSW,” Mr Johnsen said.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said supporting events in regional NSW is a key focus for the Government.

“Our continued support for events provides the perfect opportunity to promote the many wonderful destinations across the State, such as the beautiful Upper Hunter and we look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to the region this September.”

The 2018 Dungog Festival runs from 28 Sep to 1 Oct, visit

Quang Ninh to host National Food Festival 2018

The National Food Festival 2018 will take place from September 28 to October 1 at the Sun World Halong Complex in Ha Long City, northern Quang Ninh Province.

Organized by the provincial people’s committee in cooperation with the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, the event is a part of activities for the National Tourism Year 2018, in which Quang Ninh is the host.

The festival will have 50 to 70 booths introducing Viet Nam’s culinary art and delicious specialties from different regions and localities. It aims to honor and promote typical dishes from Quang Ninh in particular and the value of the country’s cuisine in general. At the same time, it also creates opportunities for restaurants, hotels, and cruises to exchange experience in improving tourism service quality.

It also adds a lively atmosphere to the National Tourism Year, where some 100 events have been organized in the province, attracting the attention of tourists and promoting its tourism image.
Quang Ninh targets welcoming about 12 million visitors, including 5 million international tourists this year. Last year it welcomed 9.8 million, including 4.3 million foreigners, up 18 and 23 per cent year-on-year.

On a total area of 214 ha, the Sun World Halong Complex consists of two main sectors linked by a sea-crossing cable car line, including a beach amusement complex and the Mystic Mountain complex. The 2-km-long cable car takes visitors to the Mystic Mountain complex. There are numerous activities and things to see, including a Zen garden, coin-op games, and the Sun Wheel, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

The Sun World Halong Complex is a product of Sun Group, one of the leading corporations in investment and construction of amusement complex and resorts, such as Sun World Ba Na Hills, Sun World Danang Wonders, and Sun World Fansipan Legend.
Source: VN Economic Times


This October long weekend there are so many things to do in Sydney and across the whole of NSW, from theatre shows and botanical exhibits to regional food trails.

At Sydney Opera House, the magical theatre production of Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, runs from 29 Sep to 6 Oct, exploring the power of storytelling. Beautiful but deadly, Plants with Bite is a free and fascinating display of carnivorous plants at The Calyx, Royal Botanical Gardens. For a celebration of diverse music and Aussie beach culture, head to Manly Jazz at Manly Beach.

On the North Coast, the Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk displays over 50 Australian artworks in the seaside landscape of Brunswick Heads. On the Coffs Coast, the annual Curryfest highlights the Punjabi heritage of beachside town Woolgoolga.

In Western Sydney, the Auburn Festival returns from 2-6pm on 29 September with food, carnival rides and music. The nearby Auburn Botanic Gardens is well worth a visit, particularly in Spring.

Head into the heart of New England farming country and stay in Armidale. On 30 September there’s a traditional country festival, The Kentucky Spring Fair, with hobby horse races, tug-o-war, cake decorating competitions and more.

The Deni Ute Muster celebrates all things Aussie in Deniliquin in the Riverina region from 28 to 29 September. Enjoy ute driving competitions and live music.


Anaheim plays host every October to a fun-filled Halloween tradition. The Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade take place this year on Saturday, Oct. 27. The parade transforms downtown Anaheim into a family-friendly haven with a nighttime pageant of ghosts, goblins, jack-o’-lanterns and witches. The 1.5-mile parade lights up the darkened streets of Anaheim beginning at 6 p.m.

The 95-year tradition began in 1923 and this year features Grand Marshal Elmer Thill, who hasn't missed a single parade. The 104-year-old is Anaheim's oldest lifelong resident and attended his first festival when he was just a young boy of 9.

Like other years, 2018 welcomes a new entry replicating a historic float from the past. “Anaheim Short Line Trolley” dates back to 1948 and was built by volunteers who painstakingly re-created the orange roof, stove pipe chimney and bell.

The self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Americana” Charles Phoenix is expected to rejoin the parade this year. The pop culture aficionado and author of “Addicted to Americana” appears atop his very own float: a re-creation of his decadent Cherpumple dessert, an epic tower of cherry, pumpkin and apple pies baked into different layers of cake.

The parade plays to nostalgic sensibilities with classic 1950s and 1960s automobiles, vintage hearses, marching bands, and a variety of floats and characters that evoke the excitement of “Trick-or-Treat”. Expect other old favourites to return to the parade route, including Andy Anaheim, the "Flying Sasser,” Rocket Witch and Pumpkin Man, the forest of Grumpy Trees and the "Modjeska Maiden" jungle boat.

Before the parade steps off, enjoy the daytime festival with the whole family. Vintage Halloween-themed carnival games, a giant Ferris wheel, fall foods, artists and spooky vendors will deliver hours of entertainment. Finally, don't miss a live performance from Anaheim teen Sean Oliu, recently cast in a reboot of the “Mickey Mouse Club” franchise.

The Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade take place in Downtown Anaheim on Saturday, Oct. 27. For more information, visit

Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang brings Dusit’s gracious hospitality to China’s renowned ancient water town

Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang
Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang, Managed by Dusit has officially opened its doors bringing Thai-inspired, gracious hospitality to Zhouzhuang, a renowned ancient water town in Jiangsu Province.

Managed by Dusit International, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel and property development companies, Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang is set within the Yungu Pastoral Valley, approximately 60 minutes by car from Shanghai and 40 minutes from Suzhou.

The distinctive property comprises 33 rooms in traditional houses featuring comfortable interior designs. Family-friendly amenities include a mini golf range and an outdoor play area.

This opening is the first phase of the Dusit Thani Zhouzhuang, which will also include an upscale, full service hotel comprising 160 guest rooms due to open in 2022. The hotel building will feature an all-day-dining restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a health club, an indoor swimming pool, and conference facilities.

Rich in history and natural beauty, Zhouzhuang is often referred to as “Venice of the East” due to its distinctive network of canals, rivers and lakes, well-preserved ancient houses and bridges, and splendid water views.

Zhouzhuang's main scenic spots and historical attractions, which date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, are all within walking distance of Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang.

“We are delighted to open this distinctive resort with historic houses in this beautiful water town," said Mr Lim Boon Kwee, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International. "Our comfortable rooms and excellent location provide the perfect platform to showcase Dusit’s unique brand of Thai-inspired, gracious hospitality, and we look forward to delighting domestic and international travellers alike with our thoughtful and friendly service."

To celebrate its opening, Heritage Villas Zhouzhuang, Managed by Dusit is offering a “Grand Opening” package featuring accommodation in a Heritage Room, and breakfast for two persons, starting from RMB 688. The package is valid until 31 December 2018.

For more information, and reservations, please visit:

Friday, 28 September 2018

Early X’ Mas, Festive & Annual Party Saver From The Continent Hotel, Bangkok

Viet Nam announces 8 more national intangible cultural heritages

Viet Nam has announced eight additional national intangible cultural heritages under the Decision No.3325/DD-BVHTTDL, recently signed by Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien.

They include papermaking by the Dao Do ethnic people in Viet Quang town, Bac Quang district, the northern province of Ha Giang; Dum singing in the communes of Phuc Le, Pha Le, Lap Le, Tam Hung, and Ngu Lao in Thuy Nguyen district, the northern city of Hai Phong; Qua Son temple festival in Boi Son commune, of Do Luong district, the central province of Nghe An; as well as Lang Son temple festival in Trung Nghia commune, Thanh Thuy district, the northern province of Phu Tho.

Others consist of the coming of age worship ritual by the Ede ethnic group in Song Hinh commune, in Son Hoa district, the central province of Phu Yen; Linh Son Thanh Mau (Mother Goddess of the Mountain) festival in the southern province of Tay Ninh; water puppetry in Nguyen Xa and Dong Cac communes, in Dong Hung district, the northern province of Thai Binh; as well as the traditional bronze casting of Che village in Thieu Trung commune,in Thieu Hoa district, the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Under the decision, the chairpersons of People’s Committees of localities, where the new national intangible cultural heritages were recognised, were required to manage them well in line with the law.

As of September 2018, Viet Nam boasted nearly 260 national intangible cultural heritages.
Source: VNA

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Happy World Tourism Day!

Digital advances are transforming how we connect and inform ourselves, transforming our behaviour, and encouraging innovation and sustainable, responsible growth strategies.

We must better understand the growing economic, societal and environmental impacts of technology and innovation in tourism if our sector is to sustain continuous and inclusive growth in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

“Tourism and the Digital Transformation” is the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD).

We know that a digitally advanced tourism sector can improve entrepreneurship, inclusion, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other important development objectives. This year’s WTD will help us to further explore the opportunities provided to tourism by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms.

In June 2018, in anticipation of WTD and to give visibility to innovative ideas capable of revolutionizing the way we travel and enjoy tourism, the World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) and Globalia launched the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition. The startups with the best projects will be announced as semi-finalists during the WTD official celebration in Budapest.

World Tourism Day 2018 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the potential contribution of digital technologies to sustainable tourism development, while providing a platform for investment, partnerships and collaboration towards a more responsible and inclusive tourism sector.

Join the celebration: #WTD2018

New Destination option in Italy - Matera !!

The EU Council of Ministers have selected Matera to be a European Capital of Culture for 2019.

Historic Apennine village, Matera is located in the south of Italy and is famous for its Sassi/quarters, a stunning and well preserved example of a village where hundreds of caves were turned into dwellings, churches and palaces. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the Sassi represent a unique hamlet throughout Italy: the earliest inhabitants date back to the stone and bronze age, in the middle ages it boasted several monastic communities and later became a vibrant farming center.

Today, the town of the Rocks, or Sassi, is a splendid cultural laboratory where new technologies can be tested. It stands as one of southern Italy's best known tourist attractions and a culinary destination that enables to discover the typical producyts of Basilicata that can be tasted in the traditional regional recipes.

Something even more special can make a trip to Matera an incredible experience...Sleeping in a luxury cave (Albergo diffuso).

"Saving Towns by filling Rooms in Italy" this was the title of a New York Times article about the Albergo Diffuso, literally "scattered hotel". The concept of "albergo diffuso" was born in 1980: rooms scattered through different buildings within the town, are overseen by the manager. Rooms are set within places and apartments which, being part of the historical center and appropriately restore according to the local culture, immediately provide the sensation of "being local" to their guests. The Albergo Diffuso represents a unique development which doesn't carry negative environmental impact: nothing has to be newly constructed, it is just necessary to restore and recuperate exiting houses and apartments according to the local cultural and historical backgrounds. There are more than 40 official Alberghi Diffusi in Italy and The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita is one of them located in Matera, Basilicata.

The Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita project is placed in the oldest part of the Sassi, the CIVITA, facing the spectacular Murgia park and its rock-hewn churches. It comprises 18 rooms (some of them more than 160 mq) and an ancient church, the "Cripta della Civita", now used as a common area, all renovated to retain their original features.

This is an amazing setting for staying, organize meetings and workshops out of the time and surrounded by a magical atmosphere where the past is still well preserved.


Open only if you deserve a break

Hi Everyone,

You do deserve a break, the superb weather and the Queens Birthday long weekend is the perfect time for a few days away and you can save on all our rates.

School holidays are here until October 8, Australia Zoo has a new patient, Cookie & Cream the turtle was found injured near a drain, most likely from a road accident. The veterinary team have been working hard bringing him back to health and his wounds are healing well. While you're visiting the Zoo, bring along your best wildlife photos for a chance to win big prizes!

Enjoy a meal in the bistro, and a relaxed drink on the deck at the Wharf Tavern Mooloolaba. Make sure you grab premium seating for the world lightweight championship Khabib vs. McGregor live on the big screen. There are only 2 tables left so be quick!

At the Helm Mooloolaba, catch Carmada, an Aussie duo returning for one of the funniest shows of the year October 11. We hear the best fish and chips on the coast is the Sunday Sesh Rayjays Fish & Chips Mooloolaba. They have entertainment every weekend and their hot seafood chowder is delish!

You can see the whales till the end of October and 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

Warner and Chris Banks and Bob James,
Management Team
Raffles Mooloolaba

October on the Coast
1 Queens Birthday long weekend
4-7 Netfest Netball Festival Mooloolaba Beach
5 The Angels at the Shed Aussie World
6 Qld Celtic Festival
8 School returns Qld
12-14 Home, Caravan, Camping & Boating Expo
13 Nambour Gemfest
14 Peregian Originals
19-21 SC International Fashion Festival
19-21 AFL Qld Schools Cup Grand Finals
20-27 Aussie World FestEvil
20 Oktoberfest Sunshine Coast
31 Noosa Triathlon and Multi Sport Festival 2018
20 Qld Open Water Swim
20-21 Buderim Garden Festival
20-21 Conscious Life Festival

Caravan Camping & Home Show
The Sunshine Coast Home, Caravan, Camping & Boating Expo is the region’s largest and most successful event of its kind. See over 200 local and regional exhibits, a massive range of displays with products for your home, lifestyle and outdoor adventure.

On show are everything from home and outdoor living ideas, solar, pools and spas, air-conditioning, blinds, builders and finance to caravans, camper trailers, vehicles, 4x4’s accessories plus outdoor adventure gear. 

Everything you need in one spot! Make sure you wear comfy shoes, it's a big venue and there are lots to see and do, adventure, shopping, learning and entertainment. There's delicious food and you might just bring home a new boat or caravan.

Nambour Gemfest
Don't miss this this this year Gemfest October 13. Discover the incredible diversity, array and exquisite beauty to be found. This year's festival is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Fossickers, Miners, Jewellers, Traders and the general public will be here searching for a bargain amongst the treasure!

Raffles Mooloolaba
65-69 First Avenue
Mooloolaba, Qld 4557
Phone : 07 5444 0077
Fax : 07 5444 3708

Flash Sale - 72hr up to 50%

3 DAYS ONLY! (28th – 30th September)

Book your next holiday to any of Centara hotels & resorts in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Rayong, Koh Chang, Trat, Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, Koh Samui and Sri Lanka are offering you fantastic discounts of up to 50%

Simply log-in to your CentaraThe1 account to get it!

Book before midnight on 30th September for a stay any time before 22nd December 2018. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Pha Lau – An exotic dish of Saigoneese

Pha Lau
Found in the list of the must-try street food in Sai Gon, Pha Lau is also supposed to be a specialty you should taste when coming to Ho Chi Minh city.

Pha lau is an exotic dish filled with pig or cow innards and cooked with herbs. These organs are stewed in coconut water with curry powder, spices and other ingredients for many hours until tender. So it’s a perfect blend of flavorful broth and chewy, tender, crunchy organ meats.

Pha lau with pickles is served with loaves of bread, or rice. However, drinkers often use it with their friends after a hard day’s work. The crispy and fat pork, chicken, duck or tenderly sweet meat and the smell of herbs easily makes people attracted.
Source: NDO

From Asia’s finest tropical islands to Japan’s finest snow: Elite Havens expands into Niseko

Niseko Boutiques
Elite Havens, the leading provider of high-end vacation rentals in Asia, owned by Dusit International, has expanded its luxury villa portfolio by acquiring the 17 beautiful properties of Niseko Boutiques, located in the picturesque wintery wonderland of Japan’s most famous ski resort.

A firm favourite with the international skiing/snowboarding community, Niseko is renowned for its spectacular scenery, scenic ski runs with guaranteed fresh snow, and après skiing. Elite Havens has built a sterling reputation for its 200+ rental villas in exotic tropical beach destinations from Bali to Phuket, Koh Samui, Lombok, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Niseko makes a dream holiday destination of a different kind, a veritable paradise for powder skiing.

Known as the powder capital of Japan, Niseko is blessed with a fresh blanket of snow nearly every day of the ski season (December to April) thanks to winds blowing down from Siberia blending with moisture rising from the Sea of Japan. The resort lures snow riders of all levels, including extreme adventurers enticed by exhilarating tree runs and off trail heli-skiing. Its four interlinking resorts also cater well to international families, with plenty of fun activities for all ages, including ski lessons.

Elite Havens will be managing, maintaining and marketing all villas in the newly acquired Niseko portfolio which includes luxury lodges, traditional ski chalets, and chic modern apartments. All come with a renowned concierge service and are perfectly situated to enjoy the enchanting scenery and magnificent views over picturesque Mount Yotei. All properties are set in the buzzing village of Hirafu, renowned for its cosy cafes, gourmet restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

The acquisition also includes Niseko Gourmet which means private chefs on call providing fabulous in-villa meals. To make your dream holiday escape as smooth as possible Elite Havens Concierge Service can arrange everything you need from ski lessons, to restaurant bookings, in-villa gourmet dining and direct transfers from New Chitose Airport, a trip of around two hours.

“We are delighted to add Niseko Boutiques to our luxury villa portfolio, and to offer a new range of exceptional experiences and activities for our guests. From white powdery sand beaches of southeast Asia, to the outstanding fresh powdery snow of northern Japan, it is our aim to provide the best private luxury accommodation across the region,” says Jon Stonham, CEO of Elite Havens.

While perfect skiing conditions are the major draw card, visitors can also immerse themselves in traditional Japanese culture with dozens of onsen – volcanic hot water springs found in the region. Not a skier? No problem, Niseko’s luxury lodgings and stunning mountain scenery can be enjoyed year-round. Blazing autumnal colours create a mesmerising backdrop for hiking and horse riding, while summer adventures include kayaking along the rugged coastline, white water rafting on the scenic Shiribetsu River, and canoeing on the vast expanse of Lake Toya.

“As customers in the past, we had seen first-hand what it meant to holiday with Elite Havens. It is an ideal fit to see the expansion of Elite Havens into Japan with such strong similarities and values across both companies. We are extremely confident that both our existing clientele and current owners will see a seamless transition and continued growth in future years,” says John Toland, General Manager at Niseko Boutiques.

Why wait? Start planning your next luxury ski holiday or summer adventure in Japan now.

For all press, media inquiries or a full suite of hi-res photos, please contact Bastien Boulay, at To learn more visit

Free School Holiday Activities at the Marketplace

There is plenty to discover at the Muswellbrook Marketplace these School Holidays. Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Sustainability Unit is hosting some free activities. Muswellbrook Girl Guides is also holding their annual book sale at the Marketplace.

Sustainability Activities
Discover a new range of creatures and embrace your inner scientist with Council’s Sustainability Team and the Australian Museum. The theme of this museum is Dinosaurs and the evolution of Australian plants and animals.

This free school holiday activity will take you on a journey filled with interesting, weird and wonderful creatures and fun, hands on activities. The sessions will run over two hours and you can take part at any time during a session. The activities are suitable for children aged 5-13 years.

Wednesday 3 October – 1pm to 3pm
Thursday 4 October – 11am to 1pm.
Tuesday 9 October – 1 pm to 3pm.
Thursday 11 October – 1pm to 3pm.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Ha Noi hopes to be come one of world’s leading city destination 2018

Ha Noi has been listed one of 17 nominnees of the category "World’s Leading City Destination 2018". This is a category of the world's most prestigious travel awards - World Travel Awards.

Ha Noi is one of the most attractive destinations for domestic and international tourists in Viet Nam. In the first eight months of this year, Ha Noi welcomed 19.7 million tourist arrivals, including 4.3 million international arrivals. Famous sights of Ha Noi are Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Huong Son Tourist Site, Ha Noi Temple of Literature, Ba Vi Tourist Zone, Viet Nam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, Walking Street around Hoan Kiem Lake ...

The voting time lasts from September 10 to October 24, 2018 at link

The other nominees for the award include Auckland (New Zealand), Cape Town and, Durban (South Africa), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Las Vegas and New York (the US), Lisbon (Portugal), London (the UK), Marrakech (Morocco), Paris (France), Quito (Ecuador), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Saint-Petersburg (Russia), Sydney (Australia), and Lisbon (Portugal).

Hong Thanh

Wild Boars to Youth Olympic Games

The Wild Boars Football players who were trapped in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand have been invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach to take part in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina between 6-18 October 2018. 

The team would also play a friendly game of either football or futsal with a Youth Olympic team in Argentina.


Professor Flint
Start your day in an extra special way at the  Museum of Tropical Queensland! Visit the Museum before it opens, enjoy a yummy BBQ breakfast on the balcony and take a guided tour of the Dinosaur rEvolution: Secrets of Survival exhibition with the world's favourite performing palaeontologist Professor Flint.

Professor Flint will reveal some of the hidden secrets of the exhibition and help you see dinosaurs in a whole new way.

These school holidays the Museum of Tropical Queensland have brought Professor Flint to Townsville for the first time ever to teach kids about the wonders of science and how it helps us understand all about the past.

Professor Flint is a singing palaeontologist with a story to tell! He has been digging up fossils since he first found an old fossilised sea-shell on the sands of Dundee beach in Scotland. Since arriving in Australia as a young child, he has not come to know, understand and help tell the extraordinary tale of the prehistoric past through tunes, stories and performances across Australia.

The Professor has released two albums of songs, "Dinosaurs Down Under" and "Dinosaurs Amongst Us!" and performed at leading Museums and institutions around Australia including SA Museum, Kronosaurus Korner and the Capricorn Caves as part of National Science Week 2018

Museum of Tropical Queensland
Address: 70-102 Flinders St, Townsville City QLD 4810
Phone: (07) 4726 0600
EXTRA DATE ANNOUNCED | Tuesday 2 & Wednesday 3 October 7.30-9.30am
Cost: $18 per person

Hola, Patagonia! Aussie’s epic journey from California to Argentina earns him Ultimate Traveller $10,000 prize

Tim Brown
Through capturing the raw beauty and emotion of his journey from California down to Patagonia, Tim Brown, 27, from Melbourne has earned the travel prize of a lifetime.

Now in its fourth successful year, the Ultimate Traveller video competition from Cover-More, Australia’s leading provider of travel insurance and medical assistance, received a record-breaking 150 entries for 2018. To enter, travellers from around the world were invited to upload a short video showing a fun travel experience or an exciting adventure for their chance to win a $10,000 travel prize.

Tim’s winning video Halfway to Patagonia, offering a reflective look at the meaning of travel while showcasing his adventures through the Americas, has earned him the title of Cover-More’s Ultimate Traveller and an extraordinary $10,000 to use towards his future travels.
You can view Tim's winning video here.

Winner of the People’s Choice Award (based on public vote) and a $1,000 travel voucher was Maddie Franco, 21, from Brisbane with her video Vanuatu, filmed on her recent holiday to the visually stunning destination.
You can view Maddie's winning video here.

After completing his masters in aquatic ecology back home in Melbourne, Tim decided to reward himself with an overseas trip. His brothers Justin and Simon joined him and the trio were halfway through an epic adventure, driving a 1989 Dodge van from California all the way down to Patagonia in Argentina, when Tim entered the competition.

Upon finding out his video entry had won the major prize, Tim said: "I'm going to have to rethink my plans for 2019, full-time work might have to wait at least another year."

With a passion for filming and photography combined with a love of travel, Tim wanted to create a video that truly captured the essence of travelling.

“It was important for me that my video reflected the true experience of what travel is all about,” said Tim.

“I’m still on this trip making my way down to Patagonia, and I’ve also done a lot of other travelling in the past. The thing that always sticks with me is that it’s those seemingly less significant experiences while you’re travelling, those goofy moments with your mates, the random people you meet, the places you stumble across, even when things go wrong – that can all be as rewarding as the big stuff.

“I’m so excited to have won the Ultimate Traveller competition. I hope my video inspires others to just get out there and really embrace travelling and everything that comes with it.

“Winning this prize from Cover-More will allow me to travel to Scandinavia and up into the Arctic Circle, and maybe Egypt and go diving in the Red Sea. Parts of the world I've dreamed of travelling to but haven't had the necessary funds."

And what’s Tim’s advice to anyone looking to enter the Ultimate Traveller competition next year?

“Make it authentic. Travelling is about those unique experiences you won’t have back home, so focus on those and make it your story. And there are plenty of good quality cameras out there today that are easy enough to use, so don’t be put off by technology.”

Cover-More’s Glenn Broadhurst said: “We were so impressed by the calibre of entries in the Ultimate Traveller competition this year. It’s clear there are a lot of passionate and creative travellers out there, so it was a tough job deciding on a winner.

“The best part of this competition is that we get to share all the incredible content with others, inspiring a whole new set of adventure seekers across the globe.”

Since it first began in 2015, Cover-More’s annual video competition has received entries from more than 29 countries including Japan, South Africa, Philippines, China, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, USA, Poland, Australia, England, Wales, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, India, Malaysia, Netherlands, Bahrain, Uruguay, Latvia, Hungary, Singapore, Egypt, South Korea and Turkey.

See all entries here:

Cover-More is Australia’s leading provider of travel insurance and medical assistance. Cover-More knows there’s nothing like travel to feed the soul and broaden the mind. But if the unexpected happens, Cover-More can be there to help travellers to keep travelling.

With more than thirty years of experience with travel insurance, Cover-More knows how to help with emergency medical assistance, medical evacuation and travel assistance services. More than 9 million travellers worldwide trust Cover-More to protect their trips at home and abroad.


Haiphong-Halong Express Way is officially opened

Haiphong-Halong Express Way is officially opened

In September 1 st 2018, Haiphong-Halong Express Way is officially opened. Now that it takes just 30 minutes to travel the 25-km distance between Ha Long – Hai Phong and 1,5 hours for the 130-km distance from Hanoi to Haiphong.

Train Street: The new attraction of Hanoi

The Train Street has recently emerged to be a famous location for tourists to capture the local life in Hanoi. Twice a day a high-speed train whistles past homes whose doors are just a few feet away from the rushing locomotive. You will see women tending to their rail side garden, children playing on the tracks and men using it as a place to sit and relax. When the train arrives people just wait behind the doors for some minutes for it to pass before carry on with their daily activities once again.
Train Street

Pu Luong (Ninh Binh) tour packages

Travelling to Pu Luong, Ninh Binh, is perfect for the nature lovers wishing to escape the bustle of city life and see imposing mountain ranges, intact rivers and waterfalls, poetic villages, and immense valleys of beautiful terraced rice fields. Plus, a tour of a less-visited place like Pu Luong makes it possible to get off-the-beaten-path and appreciate the remote life and taste the local cuisine.

Pu Luong
Our tours to Pu Luong are from 2 to 4 days with various activities such as sailing on Cham River and Sao Khe River, trekking and cycling among rice fields and remote villages of Muong and Thai minorities; resting in traditional homestay and enjoying local dishes; visiting Thung Khe Mountain Pass, Pu Luong Reservation Park, Doi (bat) Cave – the biggest cave in Pu Luong, trekking 14km to Hieu Waterfall, etc., to discover the untouched beauty of nature and landscape; visiting Hoa Lu, the first ancient capital of Vietnam date back to the tenth century. For any question, enquiries, or detail itineraries, don’t hesitate to contact us at .


Address : Suite 1705 - Artex building - 172 Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Tel : + 84 24 62514052
Fax : + 84 24 62514051
Email :


Sydney’s first four-dimensional cinema will open at Event Cinemas George Street, bringing Australia’s largest 4DX theatre to Event Cinemas from October. Hugely popular across Asia and the United States, Sydney audiences will now have access to enjoy the world’s biggest movie blockbusters in a whole new fully-immersive, sensory experience.

Widely considered to be one of the biggest innovations in cinematic technology to date, 4DX is the fastest growing cinema concept in the world. Specially designed motion chairs move to match the action on-screen and feature vibration effects, ticklers, facial water jets and air jets. 4DX at Event Cinemas George Street will also feature mind-blowing environmental effects including lightning, bubbles, wind, fog, scents, rain and snow.

Luke Mackey, General Manager of Entertainment for Event Hospitality and Entertainment said, “4DX is the first and leading 4D movie technology in the world. It has been hugely popular internationally and at our Village Cinemas Century City site in Victoria, so we are very excited to bring Sydney its first 4DX Cinema at Event Cinemas George Street.

“For the first time, what is seen on-screen will be complemented by what you physically feel, smell and see inside the theatre. From the smell of fresh coffee to weather effects like rain, snow or roaring thunder and lightning, 4DX takes all the elements on-screen and immerses you in the world you’re watching.”

4DX at Event Cinemas George Street will not only be the first four-dimensional, 4DX cinema in Sydney, it will also be the largest 4DX theatre in Australia, bringing movie-goers full feature-length Hollywood blockbuster films on a whole new level.

The introduction of 4DX cements Event Cinemas’ commitment to bringing Australian audiences world-class, premium cinema products combined with the very best in film exhibition technology to enhance and enrich the movie-going experience.

4DX at Event Cinemas George Street will launch in October, with tickets on sale from tomorrow, Wednesday 26 September, Upcoming films screening in 4DX will include Venom, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Aquaman andBumblebee.

Creative Travel Bags Six Global Honours!

Creative Travel, India's largest family-owned destination management company and our specialist brand, JungleSutra Wildlife Journeys, emerged as a clear industry favourite this week with top honours at two most prestigious global travel awards “ World Travel Awards (WTA) and South Asian Travel Awards (SATA). 

On September 3rd, at a red-carpet Gala at the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia 2018 Gala Ceremony in Hong Kong, Creative Travel is proud to have been awarded as "India's Leading Destination Management Company" (our 8th win) and "India's Leading Luxury Travel Agency" (our 5th win) and "India's Leading Experiential Holiday Company" (our 3rd win) for our specialist division JungleSutra Wildlife Journeys. This brings our tally to a resounding 20 wins of the globally-acclaimed WTAs. The awards were accepted by Creative's Chief Operating Officer, Dimple Singh and JungleSutra's Head of the Jungle, Varun Mathur.

This was also JungleSutraâ's third consecutive win in this category.

According to Mr. Varun Mathur, Head of the Jungle at JungleSutra, said "Thank you World Travel Awards for recognizing our work and effort! At JungleSutra, we love exploring the wildlife! Our aim has always been to showcase Indian subcontinent's most interesting, unique and even lesser known species. And this is only possibly because of a team that is truly enthusiastic and experienced with the wild! I am really proud of each one of them for their hard work which has brought home this honour for consecutive years."

On September 15th 2018 at a glittering award ceremony at the icon Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, Creative Travel was awarded with 3 accolades at the 3rd South Asia Travel Awards. Creative was named Indiaâ's Leading Tour Operator (North), India's leading Travel Agent (North) and overall South Asiaâ's leading Tour Operator. The award was received by Rajeev Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel.

Held in India for the first time, the South Asian Travel Awards is the first ever regional Travel Awards endorsed by the UNDP and many Multi-National Associations providing the Tourism sector of the South Asian Region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. The independent judging panel consisted of high profile senior representatives selected from destinations with vast knowledge and background of the industry to assure an accurate and fair process.

There were over 550 nominees across 50 diverse categories. Winners included Taj Hotels, Leela Hotel, Jumeriah, Andaraan, Cocoon Maldives, and many other prestigious brands. Winners were chosen by global polling and by an independent jury who conducted interviews.

On winning these awards, Rajeev Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel says "We are humbled by the trust and confidence shown by our partners and the travel community, who voted for us from around the world. I want to also extend a big thank you to our amazing team of passionate individuals that have made the Creative brand what it is today!"

Hailed as "The Oscars of the Travel Industry" World Travel Awards seek to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. 2018 marks WTA's 25thyear of celebrating and honouring the companies and brands that are pushing the boundaries of travel excellence.

The South Asian Travel Awards is the first ever regional Travel Awards endorsed by Multi-National Associations providing the Tourism sector of the South Asian Region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. The South Asian Travel Awards aims to encourage and raise service standards within the regions of the Tourism industry. The judging panel will consist of high profile senior representatives selected from destinations with vast knowledge and background of the industry to assure an accurate and fair process.

Creative Travel recognized as
  • India's Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • India's Leading Luxury Travel Agency 2018
  • South Asia's leading Tour Operator 208
  • Indiaâ's Leading Tour Operator (North) 2018
  • Indiaâ's leading Travel Agent (North) 2018 and overall

JungleSutra Wildlife Journeys recognized as
  • Indiaâ's Leading Experiential Holiday Company

Mekong Tourism featured in new tourism research report supported by Google alongside companies Airbnb and Grab

The web homepage of the award-winning and report-featured
 social commerce management platform ‘Mekong Moments’.
Amid showcasing its social inspirational campaign platform, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has been featured as a driving force for tourism growth in the Asia Pacific region in a Google supported report published by the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) and Oxford Economics company Tourism Economics.

Developed by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies, Mekong Moments is executed by a public-private partnership framework titled Destination Mekong, and powered by a cutting-edge social commerce management system ENWOKE.

The 88-page report showcases Mekong Moments as an effective social commerce platform that encourages travellers to share visual content and experiences by way of hash-tagged social media posts. Designed as a collaborative platform, a higher user participation rate will directly result in more content being created for the region.

One key reason why Mekong Moments was featured among companies such as Airbnb and Grab – as cited by the report – was the fact that the platform also helps to build digital capacity in lesser developed parts of the region, which in turn, enables inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, and visitor dispersion to lessen over-tourism. The platform also empowers businesses to create their own social media contests in addition to optimising their own web presence.

“The most powerful way to communicate the essence of a destination is by the experiences people have,” said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “And by creating a mosaic of the experiences people have shared, you create this brand via shared experiences. If we capture these experiences and inspire others to share these experiences, that drives more interest in the region.”

Over nine million new jobs can be created within Asia Pacific destinations over the next five years by fully embracing digital platforms and data-driven innovation in the tourism sector, according to the report.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that organisations obtain a thorough understanding of current technologies and innovations to make smarter and more informed decisions to embrace the disruptive and technological changes occurring within the travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy.
“At PATA, we believe that both the public and private sectors must adopt policies to support a thriving digital ecosystem and work in partnership to enhance access to digital products and services as well as facilitate cross-border data flows,” he said.

The MTCO, by showcasing Mekong Moments, was recently recognized as a PATA Gold Award winner this year, yet another reflection of the organisation’s innovative effort to driving sustainable tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

With travellers increasingly using online platforms before, during and after their trips, the report also highlights several policy recommendations that destinations and policymakers should embrace to support the digital ecosystem and maximise growth opportunities for their stakeholders, including:
- Continue to invest in digital infrastructure to improve competitiveness;
- Encourage widespread use of digital platforms, and promote data-driven innovation;
- Ensure skills shortages are addressed;
- Address digital use and skills in SMEs to ensure competitiveness in international markets; and
- Avoid restrictive policy, such as data localisation policies.

The full report can be downloaded from the PATA website at:

Early rate ends this week for The Business of Events

Whether you're responsible for your company's revenue growth, you've got KPIs to meet or you're looking for new ways to make your events stand out, The Business of Events has the answer for you.

If you’re involved in the business of events, whether this be cultural, sporting, corporate or major events and are from a venue, hotel, association, bureau or planning agency, this is the ultimate forum. You’ll uncover global trends, go behind the scenes with experts, identify new business opportunities and keep your audiences engaged.

Early rate ends this week, so book today to receive the maximum discount. Further savings also available when 5 or more tickets are booked.

Game on down under – The Invictus Games story

Join us as Patrick tells the story of the Invictus Games, from the early stages of planning, winning the bid, to the planning and delivery of the Games. He will discuss the challenges of the rapid scale up and scale down of the organising committee as well as the longer term impact of the Games. Hear how Richard leads teams to deliver highly complex programmes involving many different nations and multiple stakeholders.
Find out more

Economic growth - A look at the bigger picture

Craig James, Chief Economist, Commsec will look at the Australian economy and provide insights into the industrys economic future along with growth opportunities that remain unlocked. With over 38 years experience in banking, finance and journalism, Craig has a knack for making economics user friendly. He graces our screens daily with multiple TV crosses as well as ad hoc radio and newspaper interviews.
Find out more

From the White House to your House

Drawing on her experience, Laura Schwartz, will share her years of lessons learnt, delving into how cultural sensitivities, cross-border politics and conflicting stakeholder interests impact the design of an event. She'll share her ‘insider tricks’ from leading the Presidential Inauguration, state dinners, press conferences, NATO’s 50th anniversary and more.

How to attract and retain sponsors and partners?

Does your business have trouble attracting and retaining sponsors and partners? Does your role encompass sales focused KPI's? In this practical session, Richard will discuss business development techniques to help you attract and retain sponsors and partners. Learn how to create real value for them and takeaway strategies for effective servicing and retention that ensure your brand is the one they continue to spend their budget with.
Find out more

Interview: How to realise the potential of the Chinese market

One of the big struggles for any company is finding new business and new opportunities for growth. This is especially true for Australian companies who are limited by a small national pool. For many, the key to growth is to look overseas. With a gargantuan population, a growing middle class and an average tourist who is a big spender, it makes sense to look to China.

However, moving into this market can prove difficult. We spoke with Helen Sawczak, National CEO of the Australia China Business Council to better understand how to get a foot in the door.
Read Full Interview Here


Early Rates end this week.
The Business of Events is a new conference that will provide invaluable insight for your business to:
  • Identify opportunities to increase the bottom line across areas within the sector
  • Understand the plans of major events and what this means for business growth
  • Capitalise on government strategies to attract international events
The Business of Events is designed for those with management positions who guide the development of their business – including event organisers and agencies, conference organisers, hotels, venues, airlines, bureaux and tech suppliers.

It’s for anyone with a stake in this vital industry.

Visit our website for more information

The Business of Events

PO Box 147, Ermington, NSW 1700
Ph: +61 2 9556 8880 | E:
The Business of Events is organised and developed by Exhibitions and Trade Fairs Pty Ltd

10 New Award Titles Make Their Debut At The 29th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2018

83 travel and tourism industry players from the Asia-Pacific were crowned for their exceptional achievements at the 29th annual TTG Travel Awards 2018. 

This year’s edition featured a revamp with the addition of 10 new titles in the Airline, Service Residences and Travel Services category to debut awards like Best Inflight Service, Best Serviced Residence Operator (Property Level) and Best Luxury Cruise Operator. Of which, two awards were returning titles – Best Car Rental Company and Best Tour Operator. 

20 recipients across various categories took home the Hermes trophy, a signature hallmark of the awards, for the first time tonight. These new winners include Avis Budget Group (Best Car Rental Company), Conrad Manila (Best City Hotel – Manila), Dream Cruises (Best Cruise Operator), Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) (Best Convention & Exhibition Bureau), Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore (Best Serviced Residence Operator (Property Level)) and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (Best Theme Attraction Operator). Previously dominated by industry veterans, the Best Business Hotel and Best Online Travel Agency titles were by claimed Sofitel Singapore City Centre and Ctrip respectively. 

Another 20 organisations are testimony to the travel industry’s ongoing pursuit of raising benchmarks by making their comeback into this year’s awards. W Taipei and Rajah Travel Corporation reclaimed their respective Best City Hotel – Taipei and Best Travel Agency - The Philippines titles after being beaten last year. The 2018 awards also welcomed past recipients Cox & Kings Ltd (Best Travel Agency – India), Emirates (Best Airline Connectivity), EXO Travel (Most Sustainable Travel Company), One Farrer Hotel (Best Independent Hotel) and Pan Pacific Hotels Group (Best Regional Hotel Chain). 

Veteran organisations such as Resorts World Sentosa (Best Integrated Resort), Harbour Plaza Hotels & Resorts(Best Local Hotel Chain), Phoenix Tours International, Inc. (Best Travel Agency - Chinese Taipei) and Mandarin Orchard Singapore (Best City Hotel – Singapore) continue to lead in their field with consecutive wins of their titles, demonstrating that it’s not impossible to consistently remain best in class. 

As the only non-voting category of the awards, Outstanding Achievement Award recipients are selected by TTG’s editorial team for their impressive contributions to the industry. This year’s winners include Robin Yap, Chairman Emeritus of The Travel Corporation, Thailand, Klook, Switzerland Tourism and EXO Travel as Travel Personality of the Year, Destination of the Year, Travel Entrepreneur of the Year, Best Travel Marketing Effort and Most Sustainable Travel Company respectively.

The TTG Travel Hall of Fame, a prestige bestowed only upon exceptional organisations who have achieved the feat of staying the best in their class for 10 consecutive years, saw two new inductees at this year’s awards. Royal Plaza on Scotts (Best Independent Hotel) and Royal Caribbean International (Best Cruise Operator) joins the ranks of 15 other honoraries who have been inducted from 2002 to 2016. 

The 29 th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2018 Ceremony and Gala Dinner was held in Centara Grand at CentralWorld, the official venue sponsor for the event. This annual event coincides with Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) and Corporate Travel World (CTW) Asia-Pacific – Asia-Pacific’s Only Doublebill Event in MICE and Corporate Travel. 

Voting for the 2019 awards will commence in mid-April 2019. More information on the TTG Travel Awards can be found at:

Monday, 24 September 2018

Quang Ninh culture week in honours culture of ethnic groups

Performance at the first culture and sports week for ethnic
groups heldin Quang Ninh in 2017 (Photo:
The second culture and sports week for ethnic groups, a platform for connecting different ethnic communities in the region, will take place from October 4-7 Tien Yen district, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh.

More than 500 artists and athletes from districts and cities inside and outside the province will participate in the week, according to the organising board.

The week will feature a wide range of events such as a folk and music festival, modern dance and sports dance performances, sports competitions of ethnic groups, local cuisine, an OCOP trade fair, a traditional boat race, and activities on the Tien Yen walking street.

The event aims to honour cultural identities of ethnic people in the province, while promoting potential on folk culture and sports as well as traditional sports of ethnic communities, thus creating a chain of activities in the National Tourism Year 2018 in Quang Ninh province.

The week is also expected to promote the image, people, landscapes and the unique cultural characteristics of different ethnic groups in Quang Ninh to both Vietnamese and foreigners, thereby attracting more tourists.

The first culture and sports week held last year attracted tens of thousands of visitors.

Tien Yen is often referred to as the second Hoi An because of its numerous French- and Chinese-style architectural structures built in the early 20th century. The district also maintains old houses built in traditional Vietnamese style, including Linh Quan house, which was constructed 150 years ago.
Source: VNA