Monday, 30 September 2019

Festival to highlight cultural identity of Thai ethnic community

The "xoe" dance is one of the unique cultural
 features of the Thai ethnic group
The second Thai Ethnic Culture Festival 2019 will take place in the northern province of Dien Bien from October 18-20, featuring the cultural identity of Thai ethnic minority people in Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Son La, Yen Bai and Thanh Hoa provinces.

According to Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dien Bien province Le Van Quy, the festival aims to strengthen national solidarity and honour the cultural values of Thai people nationwide.

The festival is hoped to enhance awareness of State agencies and the community on preserving the cultural identities of Thai people and all ethnic groups of Vietnam, said Quy, who is also head of the steering committee for the festival.

This is also a chance for participating provinces to introduce the culture of the Thai community in their locality to people in and outside Vietnam, promoting the development of tourism, especially community-based and cultural tourism.

The opening ceremony of the festival will take place in the night of October 18and be broadcast live on the Vietnam Television, the Voice of Vietnam as well as TV channels of Dien Bien and some other provinces and cities.

Various activities will be held throughout the festival, including Thai costume and art performance, Thai people’s craft product exhibition, tourism promotion and folk games of Thai people.

Pham Viet Dung, Director of the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Dien Bien, said this is the first time the province has hosted the festival.

Dien Bien hopes to give visitors an in-depth insight into the culture of the Thai community in the province, especially the traditional “xoe” dance which has been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, he said.
Source: Nhan dan online

Hotel Sapphire - a unique blend of Sri Lankan

Pioneers in the Hospitality Industry, The EAP Group of Hotels, strategically located in the hub of the city, has been locally recognized for their excellence in offering their valued customers - comfort, personalized and efficient services, state of the art facilities and offers a unique and unforgettable experience to both Business and Leisure Travellers. 

Hotel Sapphire and Concord Grand provide Banqueting Halls designed to host Corporate Events, Wedding Receptions, Conferences, Ceremonies, Private Functions, Cocktail Parties and are also equipped to host smaller gatherings eg. Board Meetings and Seminars. 

The Hotel’s newest venture, “Sapphire Catering” caters to all your requirements with tailor-made menus to suit your budget. Our team of professional, highly motivated and well trained staff will provide you with personalized services with quality and value. 

We take pride in providing Businessmen and Leisure Travellers, with first class accommodation together with a unique blend of Sri Lankan

  • 46 Standard rooms

Excursions/leisure activities
  • Colombo city tour
  • Day tours to Kandy

Infrastructure facilities
  • Multimedia, podium, screen,
  • Mics, projector, PA system,
  • FM Mics, head table, Wi-Fi
  • connectivity, flip charts,
  • magi board & marker pens,
  • drinking water & mints,
  • ample car parking facility.

Conference and Meeting Venues

  • Blue Sapphire 
  • Yellow Sapphire 
  • Ganett 

Contact Information
Name & Designation : Mr. Lakith Dharmaratne
Sales & Marketing Manager
Mobile : +94 (0) 77 8214218
Tel : +94 11 2363306 - 8
Fax : +94 11 2360455
Email :
Web :
No. 371, Galle Road, Wellawatta, Colombo 06. Sri Lanka.


Photo credit: Peter Hosking
Trail runners are invited to join in the fun of the Duval Dam Buster this Sunday 22 September. The event, supported by Destination NSW, is held a few kilometres outside of Armidale in the heart of New England High Country, with four distances open for competition: the 3km Duval Dash, the 8km Duval Base Run, the 15km Duval Dam Buster and the 30km Double Duval Dam Buster.

The running tracks wind through the Mt Duval and Dumaresq Dam regions. Mt Duval is a large forested mountain on the New England Range, which is part of the Great Dividing Range located in the New England region of NSW.

With an elevation of 1,400 metres above sea level, Mt Duval is one of the largest peaks in the area, dominating the Armidale skyline.

If you’re visiting the region, there is plenty to see and do in New England. Armidale is surrounded by four national parks and the region boasts spectacular waterfalls, gorges, cool-climate wines and a fascinating and diverse cultural heritage.

Outdoor adventures include canyoning, mountain biking, birdwatching and trout fishing, while those more inclined to spending time indoors can discover the region’s galleries, museums, fine food and wine.

Register for the Duval Dam Buster and learn more about the region.


DNSW's Irene Morgan (centre) accepts one of the IFEA Awards
New South Wales has once again been recognised as Australia’s home of major events, with Sydney and Coffs Harbour taking out titles for the International Festivals & Events Association’s (IFEA) 2019 World Festival and Event City Awards.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said the awards were given to cities around the world that embrace and understand the importance of festivals and events in driving tremendous economic and social growth.

“This award speaks to strength of the NSW Government’s major events strategy and acclaimed reputation for delivering world-class event experiences. It reinforces that our work throughout regional and metropolitan areas is second to none and we remain committed to ensuring every corner of the State continues to thrive.

“This is the ninth time Sydney has won this accolade as a World Festival and Event City and is the only global destination to have received this award annually since its inception,” Mr Ayres said.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh reiterated the significance of the win for the regional city against some of the world’s most iconic tourism destinations.

“Coffs Harbour continues to go from strength to strength and to be recognised for the fifth year in a row, amongst the likes of Sydney, Dubai and Moscow, demonstrates that our events and festival offering is nothing short of world-class!” Mr Singh said.

In addition to claiming two major IFEA World Festival & Event City Awards Sydney and Coffs Harbour, Destination NSW has also received 10 Pinnacle Awards in multiple categories for its creativity and excellence surrounding Vivid Sydney.

For more information on the IFEA World Festival and Event City Awards, see here.


Museum of Tropical Queensland and James Cook University palaeontologist, Dr Espen Knutsen has helped piece together the answer to a 100-year-old fossil puzzle thanks to modern technology.

The puzzle began in 1914 when a large curved tooth was found by a farmer near Hughenden, seemingly preserved in a rock dating back to the Cretaceous period of dinosaurs – 110 million years ago.

“We wanted to take a closer look at the specimen using state of the art analytical techniques to uncover the truth about the tooth,” Dr Knutsen said.

By researching the Queensland Museum archives, using geochemical analysis and advanced scanning techniques at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne, Dr Knusten as able to determine exactly what type of creature the tooth belonged to.

The fossilised bone and the research undertaken is currently on display as part of Natural Curiosity: Discovering the secrets of Queensland's greatest collections.

The paper has been published in Gondwana Research

Museum of Tropical Queensland
70 -102 Flinders Street, Townsville, Queensland 4810
Get Directions
Open 9:30am to 5pm daily


Sydneysiders and visitors alike can look forward to an eclectic culinary offering as they explore the wide variety of tastes and flavours on show throughout the 2019 Night Noodle Markets.

This year, the Night Noodle Markets will only run for 8 nights with extended weekend hours and it will be the last time they will run at Hyde Park before moving to a bigger space next year.

They will also be hosting the first ever Night Poodle Markets on Saturday 12 October. This event is not only a great reason for food-lovers to get down to the Noodle Markets with their pooch, friends and family but it will also support a great cause with proceeds going to the NSW RSPCA.

For families with kids, local face paint artists ‘Beautiful Art Illusions’ will be at Hyde Park on Sunday 13 October from 12pm-4pm offering free Night Noodle Markets inspired face painting for the kids. 

Good Food Month has revealed highlights from each of the stallholders, providing a taste of what guests can expect from this year’s event, including plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options. 

Bangkok Street Food - Bringing Bangkok's world-famous street food scene to Sydney with crowd favourites pad Thai, tom yum noodle, pad see ew, basil chicken noodles and delicious mixed entrees. ● Cala Bang - Crispy calamari with flavour hits to choose from like seaweed, hot and spicy, and paprika seasonings, alongside their foot-long potato fries. 
Bao Brothers - Bringing the street-food culture of Gua Baos to a whole new level with the ‘peeking cluck’, ‘shroom shady’, and loaded sweet potato fries. 
Biang Biang Noodles - Chinese noodles with flavour that packs a punch like the Biang Biang with chilli, beef or tomato and egg. 
Chinese Dim Sum King - A mouth-watering offering of dumplings, buns, spring rolls and dim sum skewers. 
Donut Papi - Small-batch Asian-inspired doughnuts that are Nigella Lawson approved, including the infamous Leche Flan Donut and Hotteok, Korean sweet pancakes. 
Foodie Del Mar’s Fusion Flavourbombs - An exciting fusion of Spanish-influenced cuisines with paellas, quesadillas and sticky chicken wings. 
Flyover Indian Fritterie - Sydney's first pakora and chai bar serving up plenty of vegan options like chickpea and fresh vegetable fritters, served with salad or sandwiched into the tasty Chilli Pao Burger with pickled beetroot and chutney. 
Fry’d – These fried ice cream sweet treats are bound to be crowd-favourites with flavours like vanilla bean and salted caramel and matcha green tea and white chocolate. 
Gelato Messina - Gelato Messina will wow the crowds yet again with their new tropical Thai-inspired range including their ‘Eye of the Thai-ger’ - condensed milk pudding , condensed milk crumble, lychee and sala shaved ice, lychee gelato, rainbow jellies; ‘Bangkok Banana’ - Thai milk tea cheesecake sandwiched between tea sponge and dipped in Italian meringue and sprinkled with desiccated coconut; ‘Phuket Bucket’ - deep fried banana fritters, caramelised palm sugar banana gelato, coconut and lime Chantilly, peanut crumble; ‘Coco Phangan’ - Mango sorbet served on coconut sticky rice with salted coconut sauce and toasted coconut flakes. 
Hoy Pinoy - Filipino BBQ street food superstars will serve up grilled pork belly ‘Inihaw na Baboy’, barbecued chicken skewers ‘Inihaw na Manok’ and garlic-fried peanuts ‘Pina-Usukang Adabong Mai’. 
Johnny Bird - Doing what they do best with free-range fried chicken, bunless burgers and popcorn tofu. 
Korbq - The energetic and vibrant Korean BBQ sizzle up with crispy chicken skin and chicken mayo fried and chicken rice. 
Kumokumo - Kumokumo add to the sweet treat line-up with their souffle pancakes, tiramisu, crème brûlée and soft cream in a cone. 
Let’s Do Yum Cha - Enjoy all the Yum Cha favouritesincluding dumplings, steamed buns and spring rolls, handmade daily using local ingredients. 
Chur Burger - The famous Chur Burger is moving to Brisbane but not before a last hurrah at the Sydney Night Noodle Markets. They will be serving a range of Asian inspired burgers including crispy pork belly, Japanese panko crumbed chicken and grilled beef. 
May’s Malaysian Hawker - Incorporating a fusion of dishes with Malaysian cuisine, May’s sizzles with their mee goreng, Singapore noodles, nasi goreng, char kway teow, char bee hoon and fried radish cake. 
Mr Bao - A Vietnamese and Japanese twist to the iconic Taiwanese street food, Mr Bao’s serving their pillow-soft buns with flavours harking from Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan, like the classic Gua Bao trio, gourmet Gua Bau trio, cheeseburger spring rolls and crackling pork belly fries. 
Poklol x Puffle - The ‘Real Puff Daddies’ will be offering their mouth-watering Korean BBQ Tacos, Chi Chi Fries, KFC Puffle and Cheeseburger Puffle. 
Raijin - Delicious Japanese cuisine from Raijin will see guests enjoy chicken karaage noodles, tofu karaage noodles, chicken karaage and gyoza dumplings. 
Satay Brothers - This dynamic duo are serving up their classic satay chicken, karaage chicken satay, teriyaki BBQ beef ribs and delectable Thai Loaded Fries (a must try!). 
Shallot Thai - Offering an abundance of authentic Thai tastes, Shallot Thai will see marketgoers enjoy flavourful classics like pad Thai chicken, pad see ew chicken, crackling pork noodle and vegetable spring rolls. 
@Roll Up - The Roll Up team are bringing their A-game with roti dippers, Peking duck spring rolls, soft shell crab roti rolls, and pork and chive dumplings. 
Teppanyaki Noodles - The Japanese noodle kings will offer up a modern take on traditional dishes with their Yakisoba stir-fry and Teriyaki Chicken Fantastick. 
Okonomiyaking - Literally meaning ‘grilled as you like it’, these favourites will see diners surprised and delighted with their savoury pancakes, best served with a side of Teriyaki cheese steak fries. 
The Bearded Pigs - The finger-licking food truck will be cooking up a storm with juicy pulled pork rolls, and wagyu and mushroom burgers. 
The Muglan - Authentic home-styled Nepalese and Indian food has never tasted so good - Steam MOMO, Nepalese Jhai MOMO, Chili MOMO and Curry Bowl with rice. 
Twistto - Famed for their unique original hand-cut twisted potatoes made with a secret recipe batter and carefully blended flavours, their original Korean Twistto Potato is always a sure-fire winner. 
Flying Noodle - If the sound of ‘Flying Noodle’ doesn't already demand attention, the names of their offerings sure will, like The Big Boss, a dish of chicken tenderloin, diced and marinated with soybean paste, roasted sesame, sautéed mushrooms, and bok choy. 
Waffleland - These Instagram worthy waffles are not to be missed, with the fantastically named Bangkok Night, Dancing Dragon, Lucky Fortune, Black Panda and Cheeky Monkey. 
Wok Master - Temperatures are set to soar with their succulent roasted duck with Hokkien noodle in XO sauce, Singapore noodles with chicken and steamed golden fish balls with dipping sauce. 
Wonderbao – Will bring their homemade fresh steamed buns with flavours like their Korean Chicken Gua Bao, Roast Pork Belly Gua Bao, Fried Tofu Gua Bao, Char Siu Bao, Choi Bao and Nai Wong Bao to delight marketgoers’ appetites. COM

Opening Hours:
Monday & Tuesday 5pm-10pm Wednesday & Thursday 5pm – 11pm Friday 4pm – 11pm Saturday 12pm – 11pm Sunday 12pm – 10pm

To view the full program, visit
Facebook & Instagram @goodfoodmonth #goodfoodmonth

The Kingsbury Luxury Resort Style Hotel in Sri Lanka

Overlooking the turquoise blue brilliance of the Indian Ocean. The Kingsbury enjoys an unrivalled position in the heart of Colombo. It is by far the only city business hotel in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital that offers the best of both worlds - every conceivable amenity and convenience for the business traveller coupled with a unique ambience that transports each visitor to the realms of luxury resort life.

Type of Accomadation  
  • 229 Luxury rooms:
  • 1 Presidential Suite
  • 21 Lavish Ocean Suites
  • 25 Executive rooms
  • 75 Superior rooms
  • 100Deluxe rooms
  • 7 Premium rooms

Signature dining experiences
  • Harbour Court - International Cuisine
  • The Ocean - Seafood
  • Yue Chuan - Chinese Dining
  • Kings - Lobby bar
  • Sky Lounge
  • Pool Bar and Grill

Conference and Meeting Venues
  • Balmoral Ballroom 850 300 100 600
  • Victorian Ballroom 200 80 45 250
  • Winchester Ballroom

Excursions/leisure activities
Shopping arcade, beauty salon with hairdressing, swimming pool, pool bar & snack corner, a fitness centre, tennis courts with floodlights, air-conditioned squash court, travel desk, ‘Mix’ bar with a daily live band or DJ music, yoga lessons on request.

Infrastructure facilities
Wi-Fi in all conference rooms, team of specialists to coordinate the events, association with the best AV suppliers, event managers, photographers, Business Centre, multimedia facilities.

Contact Information
Name : Amanda Fernando
Mobile : +94 (0) 773990090
Tel : +94 11 2421221
Fax : +94 11 2447326
No. 48, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01, Sri Lanka.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

The Relaxed and Refined New Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill

To stay at the Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill is to step into a world of sophistication and luxury.

The recently opened hotel consists of 78 modern guest rooms, including a mix of Deluxe Rooms, Family Rooms Suites and four Special Need rooms spread across four stories with fast lift access.

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent 2 night stay in this new 4 1/2  star hotel. I was impressed by its modern appearance as I stepped through the front door and knew instantly that I would enjoy my stay.

I was warmly welcomed by the 24-hour front desk staff and quickly checked in.  The reception lobby is next to an attractive shared lounge/TV area.

My large corner suite on the top floor had a separate living area, bedroom and bathroom. I was made to feel welcome with a fruit bowl and tart from the Fiddler bakery. I made use of the fast free WiFi in all these areas.

It was good to relax in the living room enjoying drinks from the mini-bar while watching the large LED Smart TV that had access to a plug and play interactive system. Not only was there a kettle for making tea and coffee, but there was also a Nespresso coffee machine.

The king size bed was super comfy in the quite bedroom that had a second large LED Smart TV. There was a large artwork on the wall of a Cobb & Co Coach that reflected the history of the area. 

The well lit bright bathroom had a vanity, shower and freestanding bathtub. I enjoyed soaking in the bathtub full of bubble bath while listening to music.

The hotel is right alongside the Fiddler Hotel entertainment precinct that offers a wide choice of dining areas, bars and function spaces. Its 9 eateries and bars are the perfect spot to feast, graze, sip, and indulge any day or night of the week in its indoor, courtyard and outdoor areas. It has a brilliant relaxed atmosphere with live music provided most nights.

For breakfast, I went next door to the Fiddler. On the first morning, I choose the scrumptious
Ricotta Pancake with fluffy house made pancakes, warm salted caramel sauce, berries, house made granola and vanilla ice cream. 

The Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill has a fitness centre with brand new equipment and an outdoor fenced swimming pool. There is a new outdoor playground for children at the Fiddler.

The Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill is the ideal location to stay when attending conferences, weddings or celebration options at the Fiddler Hotel.

The hotel is conveniently located in the Sydney Hills District, 43 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district and 19 kilometres north-west of the Parramatta central business district. For those driving it is just off Windsor Road with free private parking.

Rather than driving, I went by train to experience the new Metro Line. I found the hotel is in easy walking distance from the new Rouse Hill Metro Station. Next to the Station is the Rouse Hill Town Square Shopping Centre, with a range of large and small shops and a multiplex cinema.

The Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill is ideal for business or leisure stays. It offers guests a full range of services and facilities in relaxed yet refined surroundings. 

Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill
Corner of Windsor & Commercial Roads
Tel: +61288063969
Fax: (+61)296294311

The gorgeous Sinalei Reef Resort and Le Lagoto Resort and Spa

Sinalei Reef Resort
If you would love to escape to one of these hidden gems here’s a quick snap shot of our current offers;

Sinalei Reef Resort
Stay 5, Save 30%
- Complimentary Upgrade
- 2 x 30-min massages
- $50 Resort Credit per room, per stay
Travel: 1st January – 30th April 2020

Le Lagoto Resort and Spa
Save 30%
- 30 x minute massage per person, per stay
-10% discount on spa treatments during stay
-Exclusive dining experience: 1x night's secluded dinner set up on room's private balcony under the stars with a bottle of bubbly per villa, per stay
-Tropical daily breakfast per person
-Use of resort kayaks & paddleboards

World Resorts of Distinction
PHONE: +617 5525 7477 
Join our community of conscious travellers on Instagram at

Chinese commuters get glimpse of perfect holiday in Queensland

More than 13 million Chinese commuters will catch a glimpse of Queensland on their way to work as part of a new subway station takeover campaign between the Palaszczuk Government and Ctrip, Asia’s largest online travel agent.

Launched today in Shanghai at East Nanjing Road Station and featuring Ctrip’s celebrity ambassador Eddie Peng (Peng Yuyan) alongside Queensland imagery, the activity supports a new marketing campaign promoting Queensland via Ctrip’s ‘Trip Moments’ platform.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the unique campaign by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) was made possible through the Palaszczuk Government’s Connecting With Asia program.

“This new campaign is yet another innovative way we are ensuring Queensland is front of mind for Chinese travellers,” she said.

“In partnership with Ctrip, over the last month TEQ has hosted key opinion leaders in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Whitsundays to generate content for Ctrip’s ‘Trip Moments’ platform.

“Today’s unveiling of the subway station takeover here in Shanghai will showcase the state to more than 13 million commuters over the course of the campaign.

“As people head to work, they’ll see these images and be able to dream of their perfect next holiday in Queensland.

“Ctrip is Asia’s largest online travel agent and Eddie Peng (Peng Yuyan) is one of China’s most prominent actors with a huge social media following including 31 million Weibo fans and 4.5 million followers on Instagram.

“Working with such recognised and respected companies and people gives us a great opportunity to promote Queensland to the enormous Chinese market.

Ms Jones said in the nine months since they’d signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ctrip, TEQ had worked closely to promote the state.

Their activity included a campaign focussed around the Gold Coast Marathon and the launch of a brand new Queensland Mini Program powered by content from Ctrip on WeChat, China’s most popular online platform featuring a billion active monthly users.

“Queensland will also soon be home to Australia’s first Ctrip store, which is due to open at the Gold Coast Airport later this year,” Ms Jones said.

“Activities like this help us to grow the important Chinese market, which has grown to around 489,000 visitors who have spent $1.6 billion in Queensland over the last year.”

Ctrip Chief Marketing Officer Sun Bo said they were pleased to continue working with TEQ to promote Queensland.

“We are extremely delighted that we are able to continue this productive cooperation from which we are able to promote more travel and people-to-people exchanges.

“It is wonderful to see the advertisement unveiled at the subway station in Shanghai in addition to Ctrip's Trip Moment platform.”



CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is investing S$192 million (A$202.2 million) in a freehold serviced residence in the Central Business District of North Sydney through the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF)[1], its global fund with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). To be named Citadines Walker North Sydney, the serviced residence is part of a 48-storey integrated development which also has office and retail components and will be the tallest tower in North Sydney upon its completion in 2021.

Ascott has today announced this acquisition and the signing of 13 other properties under franchise and management contracts at the grand opening of La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris in France. La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris is also one of the assets invested by ASRGF, and comes under The Crest Collection, which comprises some of Ascott’s most prestigious and unique luxury serviced residences. Other assets invested by ASRGF include Citadines Islington London which will open this November, as well as lyf Funan Singapore which has started operations since early September 2019.

Mr Kevin Goh, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This latest acquisition in Australia is in line with our strategy of growing our fund management portfolio through private equity funds, joint ventures and listed hospitality trusts – all of which provide a core asset base for our asset management business. We believe in achieving scale in the business, and fund management is central to the active capital management strategy of Ascott as a dominant lodging real estate player. Ascott enjoys deep presence in many key gateway cities, across various lodging segments, from serviced residences, hotels, coliving apartments to leasing apartments[2]. This provides a ready pipeline of assets like Citadines Walker North Sydney for capital deployment. We have an established owner-operator track record of creating value through sound asset management strategies as well as delivering robust and attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investors. Together with our capacity to co-invest with like-minded capital partners such as QIA, it gives us the ability to stay invested in quality assets for the long term.”

Mr Goh added: “The recent proposed combination of our two hospitality trusts, Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust, will cement Ascott Residence Trust’s position as the largest hospitality trust in Asia Pacific. With Ascott’s sponsored stake in the trust, we will continue to benefit from the properties’ steady yield and participate in their future growth. Likewise, the enlarged trust will continue to enjoy a pipeline of quality assets from Ascott.”

“At the same time, we can earn fund management fees to complement third-party management contracts and franchises which we are looking to scale up sharply over the next few years. As we continue to pursue proactive capital recycling and investment strategies, we will enlarge and enhance our portfolio of assets to increase our return on equity.”

With this latest acquisition in Australia as well as the signing of 13 management and franchise contracts across China, France, Indonesia, Kenya and Vietnam, Ascott has achieved S$10 billion in asset value[3]. These 14 new properties offer more than 2,200 units. Ascott has secured a total of over 10,600 units to date this year – double the number of units signed organically for the same period last year. Ascott has reached a total of more than 112,000 units in over 700 properties, on track to meet its global target of 160,000 units by 2023.

Mr Goh added: “Ascott will continue to ride on this growth momentum to achieve scale with our international network of well-known hospitality brands. We have more than 66,000 operating units and are targeting to open another 19 properties adding more than 2,800 units this year. We will continue to boost our fee income through growing our assets under management and lodging management business. Our strong management expertise, direct sales distribution channels, loyalty programme[4] and digital transformation efforts will drive operational efficiencies at our properties, to support Ascott’s expansion through investments, management contracts, franchises, leases and strategic alliances.”

Among the 14 newly secured properties are four franchise agreements signed with Aegide Domitys, France’s leading provider of serviced accommodation for independent seniors. Citadines Connect City Centre Roanne is the first property in Europe under Ascott’s Citadines Connect brand of business hotels. Two properties, Hôtel Château Belmont Tours and La Clef Golfe-Juan, will be part of Ascott’s The Crest Collection and the fourth property is Citadines Toulouse. These four properties in France mark Ascott’s foray into three new cities – Golfe-Juan, Tours and Roanne, and will open from 2020 to 2023. Ascott and Aegide Domitys signed franchise agreements for Citadines Confluent Nantes and Citadines Eurometropole Strasbourg in 2017. Citadines Confluent Nantes has recently opened while Citadines Eurometropole Strasbourg will open in 2020. The signing ceremony between Ascott and Aegide Domitys also took place at the grand opening of La Clef Champs-Élysées Paris.

Of the nine new management contracts, Citadines IFC Shenyang and Citadines Huijin Nanxiang Shanghai are secured under Ascott’s strategic alliance with Nasdaq-listed Huazhu Hotels Group (Huazhu) and Huazhu’s subsidiary CJIA Apartments Group. To date, eight properties in China have been signed under this partnership.

Ascott has secured its first Yello-branded hotel in Vietnam with the signing of a management contract for Yello Phu Nhuan Ho Chi Minh City. Yello is one of six brands by TAUZIA Hotels Management (TAUZIA), which Ascott has a majority stake in. In addition, Ascott has sealed two management contracts in Bandung and Belitung in Indonesia under TAUZIA’s FOX and Vertu brands respectively.

About The Ascott Limited
The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 180 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.

Ascott has more than 66,000 operating units and close to 46,000 units under development, making a total of more than 112,000 units in over 700 properties.

The company’s serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott, Citadines, Citadines Connect, Somerset, Quest, The Crest Collection, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Fox, Yello and POP!.

Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Ascott’s achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include World Travel Awards 2019 for ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ in Europe and the Middle East; Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2019 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’; DestinAsian Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’; and TTG China Travel Awards 2019 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator in China’. For a full list of awards, please visit


Award-winning international DJ Diplo has performed a set on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to celebrate BridgeClimb's 21st birthday.

This unique opportunity, supported by Destination NSW, was the first time a high-profile international artist has ever performed on top of the globally recognised landmark.

Diplo is one of the most dynamic forces in music today under his own name, as well as a member of the now legendary Major Lazer, LSD with Sia and Labyrinth, and Silk City with Mark Ronson—whose ‘Electricity’ with Dua Lipa topped charts worldwide and won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.

View the footage of Diplo's set on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

What's on in October on the Sunshine Coast

Nambour Gemfest
Don't miss this this years Gemfest October 12. It's a magnificent yearly event where you'll discover the incredible diversity, array and exquisite beauty of gems. 

Fossickers, Miners, Jewellers, and traders gather together to display and sell their wares. You're sure to find a bargain amongst the treasures.

Since 2007 the Nambour Lapidary Club has been host to the famous Gemfest. With changes and improvements every year, you are invited to come along to the Nambour Showgrounds for their biggest and best gemfest yet!

October Events
1-7 School holidays continue
5 Good Doogs - Solbar Maroochydore
5-26 Octoberfest Sunshine Coast
7 Queens Birthday Long Weekend
8 School returns Qld
8-29 Caloundra Film Festival
8 Paddling Film Festival Nambour
10-13 Netfest mass participation event
10 Swan Lake - Imperial Russian Ballet
12 Yogafest
12-27 Floating Land Cultural Event12 Nambour Gemfest
16 Maiden - the story of Tracy Edwards
19 Wild Women Adventure Race
20 SIC MAUI Paddle in Pink
20 The Big Beach Ride
25-27 Opera in the Castle

November 5 Melbourne Cup

Raffles Mooloolaba 
07 5444 0077
65-69 First Avenue, Mooloolaba, Qld 4557

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Fry'd Icecream
The eagerly awaited Night Noodle Markets will once again transform Hyde Park into a bustling Asian street food festival this October. From 11 – 18 October, Sydneysiders can embark on a vibrant flavour journey through Asia with sizzling hawker-style stalls served alongside live music, DJs and the city’s stunning nightscape. 

Food-lovers will feast on signature dishes and innovative new tastes from Bangkok Street Food, Calabang, Bao Brothers, Biang Biang Noodles, Chinese Dim Sum King, Donut Papi, Foodie Del Mar, Fly Over Fritterie, Fry’d, Gelato Messina, Hoy Pinoy, Johnny Bird, Korbq, Kumokumo, Let’s Do Yum Cha, Chur Burger, May’s Malaysian Hawker, Mr Bao, POKLOL, Puffle, Raijin, Satay Brothers, Shallot Thai, Teppanyaki Noodles, Okonomiyaking, The Bearded Pigs, The Muglan, Twistto, Flying Noodle, Waffleland, Wok Master and Wonderbao! 

While the Night Noodle Markets might be on for a reduced duration this year, we have extended the opening hours on the weekend!

Don’t forget – entry is free and to make things quick and easy, the markets are also cash-free (all major cards welcome) so guests can spend less time queuing and more time enjoying the night.
Opening Hours: 
Monday & Tuesday 5pm-10pm Wednesday & Thursday 5pm – 11pm Friday 4pm – 11pm Saturday 12pm – 11pm Sunday 12pm – 10pm

To view the full program, visit 
Facebook & Instagram @goodfoodmonth #goodfoodmonth

Harmony of Body and Mind A 3-day 2-night Spa Program “Deep-breathing Regimen”

HOSHINOYA Tokyo, the city's first luxury ryokan, launched "Deep-breathing Regimen", a 3-day 2-night spa program which the guest can take care of their well-being at a Japanese ryokan in the heart of Tokyo metropolis. This program helps balance the mind and the body, which are often disrupted by a busy life, and develop habits needed to lead a beautiful and healthy life through controlled breathing. Guests can recover the balance of body and mind by focusing on their breaths during exercises, fragrance blending, spa treatments, meals, and onsen bathing.

The aim of the program
Regardless of human intention, the workings of all functions of the body --- such as respiration, body temperature, digestion, and pulse --- are controlled by autonomic nerves. Modern-day people, who are pressed for time all day and stressed by various things, tend to have an unstable mind, and their breathing is quick and shallow. And, because of that, the body and mind become tense, and various adverse effects appear.

Slow and deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which improves blood flow up to the periphery, relaxes muscles, and with it relaxes the body. It is said that only breathing can control these autonomic nerves with certainty. Focusing on breathing that can be controlled by one's own intention, Hoshino Resorts developed this program to help resolve the issues faced by modern-day people, who are pressured by daily busyness, and to provide an effective transition between the everyday and the extraordinary.

1. Adjusting the breathing, balancing the body and the mind ~ Body condition check & training and deep-breathing exercises ~ 
In daily life, deviations and distortions may occur in the body and breathing tends to become shallow. An exclusive Conditioning Coach (*) checks the guest's joint excursion and flexibility, and muscle balance to understand the condition of their body and breathing. In addition, personal training is conducted to adjust the balance of the whole body based on the condition of each guest.

When one becomes aware of how to use the body to breathe and becomes able to breathe deeply, the trunk stabilizes and the balance of the body is adjusted, so the result is a beautiful posture.

*A Conditioning Coach is a trainer belonging to R-body project. A Conditioning Coach will provide program guidance developed on the basis of medical science.

The next morning after the guest gains an understanding of how to breathe with their body, they will stretch according to the rhythm of deep breathing. In a space scented by a refreshing citrus fragrance, the guest will gain awareness of their body up to its every corner while imaging how they change the air inside their body. By gazing at oneself and breathing slowly, the body and mind will be relaxed.

2. Adjusting the senses through fragrances ~ A fragrance blending experience ~
Guests will learn about the characteristics of plants which serve as the ingredients of fragrances and how fragrances relate to life. They will then choose their favorite fragrance from 12 kinds of oils, including essential oils refined from Japanese plants, and create an original oil blend, the
only of its kind in the world.

The guest will seek out the fragrance they want while sharpening their sense of smell with a balanced body and mind. During blending, they can clear their mind of unnecessary thoughts by focusing on the fragrance.
By taking the oil blend with them, incorporating their favorite fragrance in their daily life, and breathing deeply, they will be able to calm their mind.

3. Relieving tension ~ Spa treatments, onsen, sleep ~
The guest's body and mind will be balanced with two spa treatments tailored to the time of the day. On the first night, a foot treatment relieves fatigue from the soles to the knees and warms up the body. After that, their skin is moisturized with a facial treatment and a collagen mask.

Early in the afternoon on the next day, the guest will relax further with a treatment using herb balls made from kneaded and steamed seasonal Japanese plants. By gently warming the body with herb balls and relieving the tension in their body up to every corner with an oil treatment, the guest will obtain a body and mind with which they will breathe more easily.

Hoshino Resorts has set up a time slot during which the entire onsen on the top floor is reserved, and the guest will be shown a recommended bathing method which will warm them up to the tips of their body. The guest can gaze at the sky over the open-air bath, let their body float in hot water, and warm up from their core while breathing slowly.

The guest rooms are an environment suited to sleep. The rooms have a slight fragrance reminiscent of a quiet forest during the night, and the room temperature, humidity, and brightness are adjusted. By taking deep breaths slowly before going to bed, the guest will be able to go to sleep with a calm body and mind.

4. Tasting seasonal ingredients through their aroma
A special lunch of small dishes, created using ingredients with a focus on over 30 kinds of seasonal vegetables, and bean soup is prepared. The guest will focus their awareness on the taste, aroma, color, and texture of the ingredients with a balanced body and mind. This is a culinary experience which the guest can enjoy with a sharpened five senses by tasting one dish at a time.

The dinner "Nippon Cuisine" is a full course combining seasonal ingredients brought forth from Japan's rich nature and French techniques. With an aroma produced by mixing different ingredients, focusing on marine ingredients, the guest will be able to feel a new flavor of Japanese

An example of a stay schedule
■1st day
15:00 Check-in
16:00 Program explanation, consultation
16:30 Body condition check and training
19:00 Dinner (Room service)
21:00 A spa treatment before sleep

■2nd day
07:00 Wake up
08:00 Deep-breathing stretches
09:20 Breakfast (a seasonal smoothie)
10:00 Fragrance blending experience
12:00 Lunch
14:15 Reserved onsen
15:00 Spa treatment
18:00 Dinner (Nippon cuisine)
22:00 Deep breathing before sleep

■3rd day
09:00 Breakfast
11:00 Post-treatment consultation
12:00 Check-out

”Deep-breathing regimen” at a glance
■Starting date: June 1st, 2019
■Nightly price: 147,000 yen per person (tax and a 10% service fee
excluded) *accommodation excluded
■Capacity: 2 persons per group per day (Minimum 1 person)
■Included: Spa treatments (2 times), body condition check and training (1 time), deep-breathing stretches (1 time), fragrance blending experience (1 time), dinner (2 times), breakfast, smoothie, lunch (1 time each), clothing rental
Reservation: make a reservation from the website 14 days prior to arrival
Applicants: limited to hotel guests only
*The program contents may be partially changed depending on the season.
*The contents of the dishes may be partially changed depending on the state of the supplies.

The Charming Taj Samudra Hotel Sri Lanka

This charming hotel welcomes you in style with soothing water fountains and an opulent lobby befitting Rajasthani royalty. Fresh and tranquil nature blooms in every corner, while rich Indian design details transport you to a bygone era. The hotel is conveniently located in close proximity to Colombo’s business hub. A short stroll to the city centre will take you to museums, restaurants and more.

Type of Accomodation
  • Deluxe
  • Luxury
  • Taj Club
  • Executive Suites
  • Deluxe Suites
  • Luxury Suites
  • Grand Luxury Suites
  • Presidential Suite

Signature dining experiences
  • Latitude - 24 hour coffee shop
  • Golden Dragon - Chinese
  • Navaratne - Indian
  • Steak & Grill House to Crab Factory - Sea food
  • Yumi
  • Pebbles
  • The Lattice

Conference and Meeting Venues
  • Longdon Room 
  • Gregory Room 
  • Samudra
  • Ballroom
  • On Golden Pond 
  • Grand Crystal Ballroom
  • Crystal Ballroom 
  • Regency Room 

Excursions/leisure activities
Shopping arcade, beauty salon with hairdressing, swimming pool, pool bar & snack corner, a fitness centre, tennis courts with floodlights, air-conditioned squash court, travel desk, ‘Mix’ bar with a daily live band or DJ music, yoga lessons on request.

Infrastructure facilities
Wi-Fi in all conference rooms, team of specialists to coordinate the events, association with the best AV suppliers, event managers, photographers, Business Centre, multimedia facilities.

Contact Information 
No.25, Galle Road, Colombo 03. Sri Lanka.
Name : Manoj Pulukkody 
Tel : +94 115446622
Fax : +94 112437208
Email :
Web :

Saturday, 28 September 2019


Thirteen of the State’s best and brightest tourism and hospitality students have been recognised in a special ceremony at NSW Parliament House to mark the 2019 Minister’s Student Achiever Awards.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres congratulated the award recipients and commended them for their commitment to excellence in an industry that is critical to the State’s economy.

“Tourism is one of the State’s biggest economic drivers and today we are rewarding the future generation of stars in the industry to commend them for their efforts and encourage them to continue on this promising path.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring the NSW visitor economy continues to thrive and remains the number one State for tourism and major events across Australia,” Minister Ayres said.

“NSW is home to some of the best tertiary institutions in the industry. The combination of quality facilities and world-class teachers makes for excellent learning environments to foster our future industry leader who are dedicated passionate about playing a leading role in NSW’s tourism powerhouse.”

Since 1990, the NSW Government has acknowledged academically high achieving tourism and hospitality students at an annual Minister’s Student Achiever Awards ceremony. Students from NSW education institutions offering degrees, diplomas and certificate courses in tourism and hospitality studies can be nominated for the Awards. To be eligible, students must have completed one year of their studies and be a resident of NSW.

The 2019 Award recipients are:
  • Cassandra Farquharson, Western Sydney University, Bachelor of Tourism Management
  • Emily Walsh, International College of Management Sydney (ICMS), Bachelor of Hospitality Management
  • Gabreille Bombara, TAFE NSW Northern Beaches Campus, Commercial Cookery Certificate III
  • Kumi Taylor, Southern Cross University, Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Laura Watt, University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Business (Marketing and Tourism)
  • Patrick Bolland, Barrington Training Services, Diploma of Hospitality Management
  • Sarah Rodriguez, University of Technology Sydney, Bachelor of Management (Tourism)
  • Sophie Hoschke, William Blue at Torrens University, Bachelor of Business (Hospitality Management)
  • Sophie Scriven, TAFE Digital Strathfield, Certificate III in Tourism
  • Steven Green, TAFE NSW, Grafton, Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • Tara Martin, TAFE NSW Region South, Wagga Wagga, Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • Victoria Smyth, Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School at Torrens University Australia, Bachelor of Business (International Hotel & Resort Management)
  • Kaiah Barry, The Hotel School, Sydney, Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres with the winners of the 2019 Student Achiever Awards.

* Destination NSW

A Multitude of Successful Meeting & Conference Experiences in Sri Lanka

This meeting planner includes an outline of the services offered by our member hotels, conference venues, destination management companies, event planners and a host of other information that will assist you in planning and organizing your next corporate event.

The compact size and the geography of the country allow you to host your event at multiple venues.

This means that your guests can enjoy and experience our sunny beaches, the cool mountains or our exotic wildlife, all during one conference.

Travelling will be half a day and most of it by road, allowing you to relax and take in the sights of the country’s beautiful landscapes. Alternatively you can fly to most parts of the country in 60 minutes or less via domestic flights. 

Choose to be Pampered 
No matter where you decide to host your event, no matter what your choice of theme, when you select Sri Lanka you choose to be pampered. From the accommodation to the food, to the service and entertainment, you are guaranteed experiences that will stimulate the five senses.

Conference and meeting venues which are cool, comfortable and at times open to the elements will allow you to experience the warm balmy sea breeze, the cool wispy mountain air, or the invigorating winds blowing over the lakes and waterways cooling and refreshing the body and soul.

So indulge your senses, expand your paradigms, experience the exotic, it’s all-inclusive when you bring your next corporate event to Sri Lanka - The Wonder of Asia.

Travel in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a well-connected network of transportation which covers road, rail and air. Being a small island, road travel is often a viable and cost effective option to any destination.

All hotels offer a fleet of comfortable and air-conditioned chauffeur-driven cars and coaches. You could also hire a chauffeur-driven car or self-driven car from a number of car rental companies for a time period ranging from one day to one month.

The railway system too is being developed to offer a luxury service, although destination options are relatively fewer.

An added benefit of road and rail travel is the ability to view the spectacular scenery the country has to offer.

The fastest option across the island is the Domestic Flights offered by several partner companies in Sri Lanka. These flights offers a convenient connection to and from various locations in Sri Lanka.

The Air Taxis land in the ocean near coastal resorts and utilise nature lakes, lagoons and man made reservoirs near major sites and destination as aquatic runways.

Leisure and Adventure
A successful meeting or conference is only part of the experience you can have here in Sri Lanka, the Wonder of Aisa. The country offers you the opportunity to spend a day on its golden sandy beaches, to trek up a steep misty mountain in the heart of its tea country, to enjoy an exciting wild life safari, to discover the rich history and might of the ancient Sinhala kingdoms or to engage on a variety of exhilarating adventure sports.

You can also take the opportunity to splurge on some dazzling gems and jewellery, colourful handloom products and even international fashion brands at bargain prices while out shopping at Colombo’s favourite malls. 

At sundown the city comes alive with chic cocktail lounges, tapas bars, lively pubs and sports bars as well as restaurants serving traditional and international fare. A number of vibrant night clubs cater to a range of party goers. 

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau
4th Floor, Hotel School Building,
No 78, Galle Road,
Colombo 03, Sri Lanka.
Tel:+94114 865050, +94 112 440002
Fax:+94112 472985
Visit us:

Friday, 27 September 2019

The Best Events Happening Near You This Spring

We're down to our final few tickets to our up and coming events over the next few weeks! Details are below!

The Blind Barber - 30 tickets remaining!
Come join us in some incredible tunnels under the city for a night of decadence and debauchery at this pop up prohibition party. From burlesque to bootlegging this event promises to bring back the glory days of the roaring 1920's in the heart of Sydney.

Shutter Island Experience - 7 tickets remaining!
Come with us as we take you into the world of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. Solve the mystery of the missing Rachel Solando and help uncover the secrets that lie within.

We also recommend the following events by Viral Ventures

Floating Cinema
Watch a classic Halloween or Christmas movie floating on the harbour under the stars! Take in the sights of the Opera House, The Harbour Bridge and more as the boat docks up for a cinema experience like no other! Catch an awesome array of movies this season! Special reduced prices now available.

The Wizard's Cauldron - Final Dates Remaining.
The most talked about pop up bar in the middle of Surry Hills. Brew your own potions, solve riddles and challenges all under the guise of watchful potions master! An over 18 and under 18 option now available!
Adults only -
Families -

We hope to see you at one of these great events above!

Team Beyond

New Flinders Ranges Tour provides ultimate outback discovery experience!

Flinders Ranges Odysseys has launched a new ultimate three-day Flinders Ranges Outback Tour beginning 3 April 2020. This amazing tour offers exclusive accommodation and incredible food and wine, all while discovering the spectacular and rugged scenery of Wilpena Pound and the magnificent Flinders Ranges.

Over three-days, guests will explore the 540 million-year-old Flinders Ranges in luxury air-conditioned Mercedes Benz vehicles, in small, intimate groups of up to eight people, accompanied by a personal local tour guide.

Accommodation is at the award-winning Rawnsley Park Station in luxurious Eco Villas or one-bedroom Holiday Units. Overlooking the southern side of Wilpena Pound and surrounded by seclusion and breath-taking views, Rawnsley Park Station provides the perfect base for exploring South Australia's beautiful Flinders Ranges.

Departing from Adelaide, day one visits the old copper mining town of Burra for morning tea and Orroroo for lunch before arriving at Rawnsley Park Station. On the way, stop at Kanyaka Station Homestead Ruins and see what’s left of this once massive sheep and cattle station of about 950 square kilometres.

That afternoon admire the beauty of the Flinders Ranges on a Sunset on the Chace tour. With Wilpena Pound as the backdrop, see a picturesque sunset overlooking the stunning Chace Range, while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine and gourmet canapes.

Finish the day off with a delicious two-course dinner in Rawnsley Park Station’s Woolshed Restaurant - an authentic Australian converted woolshed serving delicious Modern Australian cuisine.

Day two begins with an opportunity to take an early morning scenic flight with Chinta Air (additional charges apply), to gain a true appreciation of the scale and grandeur of Wilpena Pound.

Then spend the morning touring the southern Flinders Ranges seeing the local sights, the picturesque Bunyeroo and Brachina gorges and partake in one of the many peaceful walks.

Enjoy a scenic drive to the Prairie Hotel, Australia’s #1 Outback Hotel recognised as an “unmissable outback experience”. Indulge in one of their signature Antipasto Platters, before taking the Moralana Scenic drive back to Rawnsley Park.

That evening join a tour of the old woolshed before being treated to a mouth-watering three-course Lamb Tasting food experience. Try local lamb from the property, showcased, and prepared in three different courses, served with matching Clare Valley wines. Finish off dinner with South Australian ports and local cheeses.

On the final day enjoy morning tea and the phenomenal views at Mt Remarkable, before continuing to the charmingly secluded Clare Valley, to meander through the countryside of one of Australia’s oldest wine growing regions dating back 150 years.

Here enjoy wine tastings and a delicious three-course lunch before returning to Adelaide.

The three-day Flinders Ranges Outback Tour starts from A$2242.00 per person, twin share and includes all accommodation, meals, morning pick-up and evening set-down at selected Adelaide CBD hotels, personalised touring, expert commentary from a local driver/guide, all entrance fees, special permits and all activities. The Chinta Air scenic flight is an additional cost.

The tour will operate twice a week, departing every Monday and Friday with extra departures from December 2020 until February 2021.

For further information and bookings visit , T: +61 8 8553 0386, E:


Members of NSW Parliament show their support 
for the GWS Giants ahead of the AFL Grand Final!
Sydney CBD and Western Sydney are shining bright with an orange glow this week in support of the Greater Western Sydney Giants’ bid for their first AFL Premiership trophy.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the WestConnex, Parramatta Town Hall and Sydney Olympic Park will be lit in the Giants' signature orange ahead of tomorrow night’s Toyota AFL Grand Final, bringing the spirit of GWS to the city and beyond.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the wash of orange across Sydney and Parramatta will bring energy, determination and success to the team.

“It’s fantastic to see the Harbour City get behind the Giants by wearing its heart – and the GWS colours – on its sleeve, and we hope this extra boost will get the team over the line on Saturday,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it was a hallmark moment for the newest club in the league and the community that has backed them.

“It’s incredible that the mighty Greater Western Sydney Giants have secured their debut grand final berth in just eight years in the league. But the foundation and history of this club runs deep throughout the community of Western Sydney, from junior players and officials, to volunteers and die-hard supporters,” Mr Ayres said.

Sydney Olympic Park will become the Giants’ official live site as the battle against Richmond unfolds. From 12-6pm on Saturday the family-friendly, no alcohol live site in Cathy Freeman Park will include inflatable activities for kids, picnic space, beanbags, a live broadcast and nearby food offerings. Surrounding pubs and licensed cafes will also support the Giants.

Hair styling Masterclass with KEVIN.MURPHY

Join us for an afternoon of canapes and drinks in this exclusive masterclass with a KEVIN.MURPHY stylist!

Learn the latest trends, proper hair care and how to style your hair for any occasion. You're sure to leave feeling glamorous and inspired.

Every attendee will receive a KEVIN.MURPHY GIFT PACK valued at $69, which includes:
- Hydrate-Me Travel Experience Kit
- Angel.Masque
- Angel Mini.Murphys


Saturday, 16 November
2pm to 4pm
$75 per person
Marble & Grain
25 Mort St, Braddon
Phone: 02 6246 9555 

Vinh Phuc to develop Vinh Son into snake farming-tourism site

Nguyen Tien Dung, Chairman of the Vinh Son People's
Committee, introduces the local snake caged farming system
The northern province of Vinh Phuc is working to sustainably build Vinh Son commune into a destination of concentrated snake farming and related tourism-services.

Nguyen Tien Dung, Chairman of the Vinh Son People's Committee, introduces the local snake caged farming system (Photo:

The northern province of Vinh Phuc is working to sustainably build Vinh Son commune into a destination of concentrated snake farming and related tourism-services.

Located 50km from the capital city of Hanoi, the area has 800 households, or 60 percent of its total, running snake farms, with key products being snake meat and eggs.

In recent years, the number of small-scale businesses has fallen to give way to large-scale firms and larger investment in technological application for increased productivity.

Originally, locals raised snakes in their fields via natural reproduction. Over the past decade, they have followed modern practices of caged farming that makes it easier for them to control and adjust nutrition for the animals and offers better quality products.

However, shortcomings have been seen in product diversity, processing methods and promotion activities, which harm the sector’s economic value.

As such, local authorities have approved a development project for the commune by 2020, which will turn it into a snake business-tourism village. The village is set to consist of farming-processing and tourism-service areas.

Currently, tourists to Vinh Son can take tours to snake farms and shopping areas./.
Source: VNA

Spend the Long Weekend at Raffles Mooloolaba

The Spring weather is superb, time to dip those toes into the sea and sand. The Queens Birthday long weekend is coming up, so there's no more excuses not to treat yourself to some time away.

School holidays continue until October 8 and Australia Zoo have fun for the kids right through to October 13. They will love the adorable tiger cub Nelson, cute giraffe baby Noodle, baby rhino Kingston, and cuddly koala joey Powell.

The inspirational true story Maiden is playing at BCC Cinema Maroochydore October 16. It's the tale of Tracy Edwards, 24 year old cook on charter boats who skippered the first ever all female crew to enter the Round the World Race in 1989.

Enjoy a meal in the bistro, and a relaxed drink on the deck at the Wharf Tavern Mooloolaba. Playing at the Helm October 18 are You Am I & Jebediah. Don't miss out on your chance to hear these legendary bands while they are touring together.

Opera in the Castle is back October 25-27. The acoustics and setting make for a magical evening as you become mesmerised by world class performances, with arias such as Nessun Dorma duets from Lakme and The Pearl Fishers, with ensemble pieces from Nabucco, Rigoletto.

Concerts include delectable canapés served at interval and discounts are available for groups of eight or more and for seniors.

Concerts include delectable canapés served at interval and discounts are available for groups of eight or more and for seniors.

The thrill of picking a winner at this years Melbourne Cup returns November 5. Frock up, find the perfect fascinator and gather your friends for champagne at the lawn party and live entertainment at nearby Sunshine Coast Turf Club.

We'll save you money on your next beach break, remember to book direct and book quickly for the long weekend before you miss out!

Check Availability

Raffles Mooloolaba 
07444 0077
65-69 First Avenue, Mooloolaba, Qld 4557