Press Releases


ResPax announces Scott Pithers as new General Manager 

World class tour management technology ResPax announces the appointment of Scott Pithers as the new General Manager for ResPax. In this role, Mr Pithers will be responsible for the growth of the business across primarily the APAC region and helping customers of all sizes and industries with their business transformation using the leading ResPax tour management software suite.


1 September 2018

Stray Australia is officially launched at the ‘other’ Wedding of the Year!

In August at a private event hosted in downtown Sydney, a select group of agents, industry partners and staff witnessed what has been labelled the ‘other’ wedding of the year. Loka, a well-known Australian adventure travel operator was officially ‘wed’ to Stray, a New Zealand based adventure travel operator, at an unconventional launch of Stray Australia. Loka will officially transition to the Stray Australia brand on the 1stOctober 2018 in time for the start of the new season, with changes rolling out throughout September in preparation.


The quirky approach to the launch was a reflection of the playful ‘off the beaten track’ personality these two brands represent, which have fittinglybeen referred to as a ‘match made in heaven’.

In August 2017, Stray invested into Loka, identifying the potential to expand into the significantly larger Australian youth travel market. The investment, which was welcomed by Loka, created opportunities to scale up its operations by leveraging Stray’s resources and established relationships. With the introduction of Stray Australia to the network, Stray will represent the largest flexible adventure travel network in Asia Pacific, with operations across New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Celia GeddesGeneral Manager of Lokasaid, „The team is really excited to reconnect to the Stray brand, with a long history of involvement. We see huge potential in creating a multi—regional Asia Pacific brand, which remains locally operated by a dedicated „Straylian” team.

Brett Hudson – CEO of Stray  said, „It was a natural fit and a logical decision to bring Loka under the Stray brand. Loka’s experienced management team shares the same ethos to Stray in its approach to creating social, flexible adventure travel experiences. Moving to one brand, with one message will make the conversation easier for our agents and customers alike.”

While plans are underway to launch new products under Stray Australia, Loka’s original hop-on hop-off adventure travel network will continue to be the primary focus under the new brand.

Stray’s Management Team celebrate at the launch of Stray Australia


1 August 2018

Adventure Tourism Awards and Youth Tourism Conference 2018

Adventure Queensland (AQ), the peak backpacking and indendent travel industry body for Queensland is excited to announce the launch of the Adventure Tourism Awards and Youth Tourism Conference that will take place on the Gold Coast on Wednesday 14 November, 2018. The introduction of an industry led awards program and conference is a first for the backpacker and youth travel industry. AQ has identified the need for industry collaboration within the Australian and New Zealand youth tourism sector and inderstands the importance of formally recognising outstanding tourism experiences, people and places with this dynamic industry…

Download here Adventure Tourism Awards and Youth Tourism Conference 2018


1 August 2018

TravelSIM joins forces with Optus to offer travellers a customised mobile service

Optus and TravelSIM Australia have today announced the launch of gotravelsim, a mobile service designed specifically for international travellers and students in Australia. “We recognise the needs of inbound travellers, especially for those working and travelling in remote areas. The partnership with Optus and gotravelsim is a great fit for both brands,” said TravelSIM Australia CEO Jamien Zimmerman. “Providing travellers with confidence that their service is backed by Optus network coverage from capital cities to rural and regional towns.” “Smartphones play an important role in our day-to-day activities and our great value plans are perfect for the modern, data-hungry travellers who are using their smart phones to communicate with loved ones all around the world.” …

Download here TravelSIM joins forces with Optus


26 July 2018

The Website Travel Group has been sold to Imperium Tourism Holdings following a long courtship

Imperium’s ownership of Website Travel Group (WTG) is effective Wednesday, 25th July 2018. Over a period of 15 years, WTG’s founding Director, Matt McCourt, with Directors Mell Coppin & Prue Coppin, have grown what was a small family business with a handful of retail travel shops, to a significant industry presence that today encompasses more than 55 retail stores, 20 websites and 5 technology platforms, Hostels, and adventure tourism businesses. The group technology division services more than 3,400 operators and 650 agents and is known for its innovation and progressive technology. The sale of the Website Travel business. …

Download here WTG sold to Imperium Tourism Holdings


26 July 2018


Australia is on track to have its biggest ever presence at the world’s largest youth and student travel show – World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) – in September. The conference, which is now in its 27th year and will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 18 to 21 September 2018, will see Tourism Australia boost its presence with a dedicated ‘Australia Village’ as a Platinum Sponsor of the event….

Link to full details:


11 July 2018

Ocean Rafting Earns Its Wings With Brand New “Fly And Raft” Package

Visitors to the Whitsundays and locals alike have access to an exciting new package, the “Fly and Raft”, with tours commencing this Monday in perfect timing for the school holidays. Guests will enjoy the best of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in one day with a Whitsunday scenic flight and Ocean Rafting adventure, experiencing the Whitsundays’ ultimate destinations including Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and secret snorkelling locations. Viewing the Whitsundays from above, the package offers a stunning 60 minute scenic flight over the islands and Great Barrier Reef, including famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach, then a fun day out on the tropical waters on Ocean Rafting’s Southern Lights or Northern Exposure tour. …

Download here Fly and Raft Package – Ocean Rafting


10 July 2018

Travello Partners with Livn for Live Tours, Activities & Attractions

Asia-Pacific’s super aggregator of instantly bookable tours, activities and attractions – has expanded its growing distribution network, entering into a productive partnership with the Travello  traveller networking app. Mark Rizzuto, CEO of Livn, says the partnership is working well. „It’s been invigorating to work Travello, we share the same commitment to deliver great experiences and relevant content to travellers,” says Rizzuto. Travello – an amalgam of ‘travel’ and ‘hello’ – has 80,000 global monthly users and enables travellers to meet each other on the road, sharing company, tips and adventures. …

Download here Travello Partners with Livn for Live Tours, Activities & Attractions


20 June 2018

Nullarbor Traveller launch new accommodated product of South West Western Australia

The team at Australian Wildlife Adventures (AWA) are excited to announce the expansion of their Western Australian product with the launch of two new accommodated tours departing from September. With the steady growth of their 6 Day Secrets of Esperance Camping tour over the past three years they believed the time was right to develop an accommodated version of the product that can operate all year round. The 6 Day Best of the South West Adventure features highlights such as Margaret River, Esperance & Cape Le Grand National Park, personalised indigenous culture at Koomal Dreaming, Valley of the Giants, Albany and Wave Rock. …

Download here Nullarbor Traveller Launch Accommodated Western Australia Tours


5 June 2018

Autopia Tours making a difference on World Environment Day

Melbourne based small group tour operator, Autopia Tours (Part of the Get Lost Travel Group – GLT) have announced that from today, they will be discontinuing the use of all single-use plastic items from daily operations and looking to dramatically reduce their plastic pollution overall. From today, Autopia will discontinue distributing single-use ponchos to customers across it’s Victorian and New South Wales touring programs. Likewise, individual plastic-wrapped candies will be discontinued in favour of more environmentally friendly substitutes. As well as removing single-use plastics, Autopia will also be providing their team with reusable coffee cups in order to reduce the number of non-biodegradable disposable take-away cups currently being consumed …

Download here Autopia World Environment Day


31 May 2018

Leading Fraser Island Tour Operators Awarded Trip Advisor Hall of Fame

Two of the Fraser Coast’s most iconic touring products; Fraser Explorer Tours and Cool Dingo Tours have been awarded a coveted place in the ‘Trip Advisor Hall of Fame’. Receiving ‘Certificates of Excellence’ for the past five years, the leading Fraser Island operators have demonstrated their consistent level of service within the tourism industry. With travellers from all over the world flocking to Fraser’s shores, Kingfisher Bay Resort Group’s (KBRG) General Manager of Tours and Marine, Colin Anderson is full of praise for his team of passionate, fun and dedicated tour guides. “Our guides not only manage the tides and sand driving conditions but provide insights and share their expert knowledge of the island’s ecological, cultural and environmental history,” he said. …

Download here Leading Fraser Island Tour Operators Awarded Trip Advisor Hall of Fame


29 May 2018

New Era For East Coast Car Rentals After extensive negotiations with the previous owners, Mark Kingsman and Rohan Marx are the new owners of the East Coast Car Rentals (ECCR) group of companies – forming a formidable team to lead the business into the future. Mark and Rohan are excited about the opportunity to rebuild the ECCR business – and to ultimately become the best car rental company in Australia and New Zealand …

All the info can be found at


14 May 2018

Wake Up! Opens On The Beach In Byron Bay Internationally-renowned hostel brand Wake Up! has opened the doors to its new location on the shores of Belongil Beach in Byron Bay. Formerly known as Byron Beach Resort, the newly refurbished Wake Up! Byron Bay includes all new fully air-conditioned rooms, bathrooms and communal areas, as well as free high-speed WIFI and personal bedside lights, power points and USB ports for every bed. Owned and operated by Millett Group, Wake Up! Byron Bay offers the modern, quality accommodation and service the brand is known for, while maintaining the bohemian beach vibe of Byron Bay. Guests have access to an extensive list of free activities and inclusions, from yoga, personal training and sunrise lighthouse tours to free surf boards, stand-up paddle boards and bikes. The property is also home to The Tree House bar and restaurant – a favourite spot for Byron Bay locals and tourists alike…

Download here Wake Up! Opens On The Beach In Byron Bay


9 May 2018

Official Home and Away Tour now on Saturdays! The Official Home and Away Tour is now running on Saturdays. The pick-up location is the same as weekday tours, however the departure time is now 10am and it finishes in Manly around 3.30pm. This means the tour is longer than the weekday tours and gives people more time on a Saturday to enjoy lunch, a walk, swim or kayak and the fabulous Palm Beach! The best bit is it’s even the same price as weekday tours.

Prices: $105.00 per adult and $52.50 for children.

All the info can be found at


7 May 2018

Trash bags on tour – hits the Great Ocean Road Staff of Melbourne-based small group tour operator, Autopia (part of the Get Lost Travel Group – GLT) have launched the ‘Trash Bags on Tour’ initiative to raise awareness and address the growing epidemic of rubbish pollution along our coastline and in our oceans. The first iteration of the initiative departs the 27th of May, a group of 24 staff and both local and international guests will travel along Victoria’s famous Shipwreck and Surf Coasts, exploring the tourism hot spots of the 12 Apostles, Apollo Bay and Memorial Arch. Guests will learn first-hand of the impact pollution has on our coastal region and local marine life with an educational talk on recycling and waste minimisation being given by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, followed by a beach clean-up at tourism hotspots, Memorial Arch and Fairhaven. GLT Group General Manager, Kerry Tate says „We’re incredibly proud of our team for creating this initiative. This is a great example of how as a tour operator, we can showcase the beauty of our own back yard while having a positive effect on the fragile ecosystem”.

Download here Trash Bags On Tour


6 April 2018

Damaging Impact of Online Travel Agencies Giant global online travel agencies are having a corrosive impact on Australia’s accommodation businesses, according to the results of a new industry survey. The Accommodation Association of Australia Annual Survey of accommodation businesses, which drew more than 400 responses, found that: · The single most concerning issue to accommodation businesses was online travel agencies (which include and Expedia); · Only 41 per cent of respondents saw an improvement in the economic performance of their property, 28 per cent reported economic performance stayed the same, while 27 per cent said economic performance had declined; and · For operators whose economic performance has declined, the single biggest factor contributing to this decline was competition from online travel agencies and other operators. The Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro, said: „Our Annual Survey continues to provide an accurate snapshot of the views of operators of accommodation businesses across Australia and therefore, it is extremely helpful in determining the Accommodation Association’s priorities. …

Download here Damaging Impact of Online Travel Agents


6 April 2018

ACCC Should Broaden Its Approach on Pricing Parity It appears that Australia’s competition regulator is applying different standards to different industries, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia.After Flight Centre sought to have each airline agree not to offer air fares on the airlines’ own websites that were less than tho se offered by Flight Centre and the ACCC fought this in the High Court,  this „pricing parity” practice is being allowed to continue across hundreds – if not thousands – of accommodation businesses in cities and towns across Australia. Specifically, the two dominant online travel agency global behemoths – Expedia (which operates the Expedia, Wotif, and Trivago brands) and the Priceline Group (which operates the brand) – which command almost 85 per cent of online accommodation bookings in Australia …

Download here ACCC Should Broaden its Approach on Pricing Parity


16 March 2018

Alliance Abroad Appoints Jennifer Woodbridge to Lead Australian Expansion and Exchange Programs Woodbridge has been appointed as Regional Director, charged with expanding the company’s business for global youth in Australia. Jennifer will leverage her extensive experience in international and inbound tourism and over two decades with Australian youth travel industry to grow employment, work and training opportunities for global youth and young professionals. “We’re honored and excited that Jennifer is joining our AAG family,” says Victoria Lynden, CEO and Founder. „We have established a strong presence and great partnerships in Australia, and Jennifer’s experience within the Australian and global youth travel industries will strengthen our presence and programs, creating even more opportunities for us.”  ….

Download here Alliance Abroad Appoints Jennifer Woodbridge to Lead Australian Expansion and Exchange Programs


6 March 2018

Attracting Millennials and Gen Z with more than just free wifi and avocado toast  While global growth of youth travel seems certain, one factor remains critical for attracting more members of the Millennial and Z generations to a destination – and it’s not avocado toast or free wifi. During 2018 ITB Berlin, WYSE Travel Confederation will present findings from the New Horizons IV survey of more than 57,000 young travellers globally. Conducted once every five years, New Horizons provides an overview of the youth travel market, which WYSE Travel Confederation and UNWTO have estimated to account for 23% of international arrivals annually….

More information


29 January 2017

African Impact: Top volunteer abroad organisation in the world African Impact, the largest provider of volunteer projects in Africa, was named 2017’s Top Rated Volunteer Abroad Organisation for the second year in a row by this January. Their ‘Hands-on Lion Conservation Project’ was also awarded the Top Rated Volunteer Project in the world. As the leading resource for meaningful travel and with over 30,000 real reviews from past participants of over 18,000 programmes around the world, recognise and celebrate the Who’s Who of international travel in their yearly honours….

Download here African Impact-Top volunteer abroad orgisation in the world


11 January 2018

WYSE Travel Confederation welcomes Tourism Australia as sponsor of the 2018 WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Tourism Conference WYSE Travel Confederation is pleased to announce Tourism Australia as the sponsor of the 2018 WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Tourism Conference that will take place Wednesday 9 May at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo Hotel in Sydney. The full-day, national educational conference will showcase a range of speakers, leaders and innovators who will come together and share insights, best practices, and identify opportunities to grow Australia’s inbound youth travel industry. …

Download here WYSE Travel Confederation welcomes Tourism Australia as sponsor of the 2018 WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Tourism Conference


12 December 2017

TAFE Queensland to use Website Travel training Students at TAFE Queensland are set to use new technology, Website Travel, in 2018 for travel, tourism and hospitality studies, which will assist them once transitioned into the competitive workforce. Recently Website Travel was invited to attend the 2017 Hospitality, Events and Tourism Industry Sector Panel. This event is held annually, and provides students with an understanding of what is expected within the marketplace. Website Travel Australia business development manager Sarah Flynn said that it was exciting to be apart of educating the future for travel and tourism. “It was a great  opportunity to have an open discussion with the staff who are training these Australians and introducing them to our industry”, Ms Flynn said. …

Download here TAFE QLD to use Website Travel for training


8 December 2017

Skybus launches new Gold Coast Airport Shuttle SkyBus, operator of Australasia’s premier airport transfer service, has launched its first service in Queensland with its Gold Coast Airport Shuttle following the acquisition of Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle (GCTS) and its services. With the rebranding of GCTS to SkyBus Gold Coast, the award winning operator has introduced its highly popular ‘Kids Travel Free’* policy to benefit interstate and international families travelling to one of Australia’s top holiday destinations to enjoy fun in the sun. “We are delighted to have our Gold Coast service launched in time for the school holidays,” said Adam Begg, SkyBus Co-CEO and Director, at the launch of the new service. “It’s a great time of the year to head to Gold Coast and we’re proud to help families make their trip even more memorable by passing on great savings through our ‘Kids Travel Free’ policy”. …

Download here Skybus launches new Gold Coast Airport Shuttle


22 November 2017

Millett Group has acquired Byron Beach Resort in Byron Bay Situated right on Belongil Beach, the unique and iconic property is spread over 1.5 acres of green, lush land with large outdoor spaces and communal areas. With its beachside location, the resort will offer some great inclusive activities. Whether relaxing in the quiet beach environment or heading into town just a short bike ride away, Byron Beach Resort will provide guests with a genuine Byron Bay experience. Over the past 18 months, Millett Group has brought new life to The Lord Byron hotel on Jonson Street, establishing itself as part of the Byron Bay community. Millett Group will take over Byron Beach Resort in February.


9 November 2017

New website for Website Travel and a smarten up of a legacy logo On the back of many continuous years of investment in technology advancement –  Website Travel have recently shifted their focus and energy to the presence and conception of their brand. With a brand new website and fresh approach, General Manager Selina Kelly says: “We had simply grown outdated. We felt that our logo did not reflect the digital expertise we offered our clients and a simple revamp was needed to showcase us in a more modern day light. We hope the new logo is received well. We love it and think it complements our new website well”.


4 November 2017

Trade event aimed at supporting Australian youth travel heads to Sydney in 2018  WYSE Exchange Australia is scheduled to take place in Sydney from May 8-10, 2018. The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation with the support of the Backpacker Operators Association New South Wales (BOA NSW) are once again bringing international buyers to Sydney.  Following the success of the 2016 event, WYSE Travel Confederation and the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW have re-formed a partnership that will see the delivery of a unique trade event aimed at supporting the Australian youth travel trade to develop vital international trade connections…

Download here Trade event aimed at supporting Australian youth travel heads to Sydney in 2018


30 October 2017

Barefoot Downunder granted competitive 3-year license to the Figure Eight Pools, Royal National Park  Barefoot Downunder has successfully won the tender for a 3-year licence to run their unique Figure Eight Pools day tour in the Royal National Park (world’s 2nd oldest National Park) on Sydney’s doorstep. “It is exciting to have created a new tour in Sydney that showcases the beautiful Royal National Park that is right at our doorstep,” C0-owner, Adam Hammond said. “Over the last year, we have worked really hard in providing a fun and safe experience for travellers to visit this incredible area and are gearing up for a bigger season ahead”. The Figure 8 Pools Coastal Adventure and Hike Tour includes a hike along the Coast Track to the awe-inspiring Figure of Eight Pools, a walk through Burning Palms Beach to see the heritage listed ‘Shack Communities’, Garie’s Beach for a relaxing picnic lunch …

Download here Barefoot Downunder granted competitive 3 year licence


24 October 2017

Meininger partners with WYSE Travel Confederation on global study of youth travel market  The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation announces its partnership with MEININGER for the only recurring global study of youth and student travel, New Horizons. MEININGER is offering a free two-night stay in one of their 17 European hotels to one lucky winners of the survey’s prize draw.

MEININGER offers modern, centrally located accommodations at a reasonable price, combining the best that hostels and hotels have to offer. The brand is popular with young travellers, group tours, families, and city business travellers. MEININGER was recently named the 2017 Best Youth Travel Accommodation Provider, a consumer-voted award conducted by the Global Youth Travel Awards.. …



5 September 2017

Stray and LOKA to create the largest hop-on hop-off network across Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia Stray Limited (‘Stray’) announces an investment in Loka Pty Ltd (‘Loka’) that will see it become the major shareholder. This will create Asia Pacific’s largest and most expansive Flexible Adventure Travel Network with operations across the East Coast of Australia, New Zealand and five countries in Southeast Asia. Stray and Loka already share a similar operating model and ethos. They are at the forefront of adventure travel designing authentic, cultural and nature‐based experiences across their respective regions. …

Download here Stray and Loka join forces


30 August 2017

Xplore Eyre restructure, rebrand and relaunch! South Australian based tour operator Australian Wildlife Adventures (AWA) are excited to announce the completion of their company brand restructure and launch of a totally new look Xplore Eyre touring product. AWA have been operating four touring brands for the various styles of travel they offer for the past 3 years. But with a goal to simplify the selling and purchasing process for agents and consumers alike, they have deleted two of those brands and now Xplore Eyre caters to the mid to high end markets, with three distinct touring styles on offer. This has been topped off with a fresh new website, brand and tagline – “Journeys to Wild Places” …

Download here Xplore Eyre Restructure Sep 2017


22 August 2017

Great Guest Experiences Begin with Data WYSE Travel Confederation is pleased to announce David Turnbull, COO and Founder of SnapShot GmbH, as a keynote speaker at the 2017 World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC), taking place in Montréal, Canada 26 – 29 September 2017.  David Turnbull views his company as a disruptive force in hospitality, busy changing the mindset of how to acquire new business and retain existing. One of the big goals of his Berlin-based IT startup is for hospitality businesses to stop focussing on reservations and bookings and hone in on customer experiences.  WYSE Travel Confederation recently talked with David and asked him if and how his technology applies to the business of hostels and cultural exchange.  “Hospitality businesses see multifaceted travel experience technology as a binary asset and not from a focus on technology. Most hoteliers and hosteliers will tell you that they know what they want and need technology suppliers to provide that,” he said. …

Download here Great Guest Experiences Begin with Data


9 August 2017

Some simple and effective ways to better communicate with your guests … Whether you’re shopping online for clothing, home-wares or even appliances, these days we expect a great experience well before the parcel even arrives. The same can be said for Hotels. Ever booked a Hotel and not receive a booking confirmation? Even leading up to our stay we double check the booking to make sure there’s a room booked for when we arrive. All this before we’ve even stepped foot inside the Hotel. Admittedly I’ve booked the right Hotel on the wrong dates before…but hey. We’re only human right?. …

Download here Some simple and effective ways to better communicate with your guests


2 August 2017

Tourism Australia and BuzzFeed Seek Applicants for the Road Trip of a Lifetime Tourism Australia and BuzzFeed Australia are on the hunt for the next generation of visual storytellers from around the world to join the first ever BuzzFeed Mateship program, a once-in-lifetime fellowship and travel program that will see the Mates work, travel and capture content across Australia. Eight young travellers and aspiring content creators from the UK, Germany, Italy and France will be flown to Australia for a three-month road trip to discover …

Download here Tourism Australia and BuzzFeed Seek Applicants for the Road Trip of a Lifetime


31 July 2017

Cape Byron YHA has new owners Cape Byron YHA (corner Byron & Middleton Streets, Byron Bay) is under new ownership, having been purchased by YHA to retain it in their network of 85 youth hostels around Australia. First opened as backpacker accommodation in 1993, this purpose-built hostel has 130 beds and includes a swimming pool that is used by onsite dive school operator, Sundive. The hostel has been part of the YHA network, firstly as an ‘Associate’ hostel, since opening over twenty years ago, and for most of that time has been run by the same managers, Todd Batson and Bob Kay …

Download here Cape Byron YHA has new owners


11 July 2017

HI Partners with WYSE Travel Confederation on Global Study of Youth Travel Market …The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is pleased to announce Hostelling International (HI) as a new partner of its global study of youth and student travel, New Horizons. Hostelling International is offering a free three night’s stay for two people at one of their 4000 hostels worldwide to a lucky respondent of the New Horizons survey. “This partnership is one of the ways Hostelling International clearly demonstrates their commitment to understanding the needs and wants of today’s young travellers,” said David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation. “WYSE is pleased that Hostelling International will support this very important study.”. …

Download here HI Partners with WYSE Travel Confederation on Global Study of Youth Travel Market


13 June 2017

Australian tourism sector continues its record breaking run …”The Australian tourism industry continues its record breaking run of international visitor arrivals, confirming its importance as our next super-growth sector,” Ms Osmond said. “While the rise and rise of Chinese visitors sees China poised to overtake New Zealand as our largest single visitor source market by the end of the year, it is the resurgence of the USA visitor market that is shaking up the tourism sector. “The USA recorded a 14.9 per cent rise in international visitors, overshadowing our other traditional visitor market, the UK, which saw a 3.1 per cent increase. …

Download here Australian-tourism-sector-continues-its-record-breaking-run


1 June 2017

NRMA finalises acquisition of ATPM. The acquisition expands the mobility group’s holiday park operations from four to 39 nationally and welcomes the appointment of a new CEO. The acquisition significantly enhances the NRMA’s tourism and travel portfolio, which includes Thrifty Car Rental, Travelodge Hotels and the Kurrajong Hotel in Canberra. ATPM has been a leader in the management and ownership of Holiday Parks around Australia for over 20 years and it currently successfully manages NRMA’s portfolio of holiday parks …

Download here NRMA finalises acquisition of ATPM


31 May 2017

TTF welcomes new Blue Mountains Express . The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, said the NSW Government’s commitment to address overcrowding on the Blue Mountains line will significantly improve the visitor experience of the thousands of tourists who flock to the world-famous destination each weekend. TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, welcomed today’s announcement the NSW Government will deliver 24 new express weekend services between Sydney and the Blue Mountains and double capacity on six current services with new dedicated 8-car express tourist trains. …

Download here TTF welcomes new Blue Mountains express


31 May 2017

Emirates partners with WYSE Travel Confederation on Global Study of Youth Travel Market. The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is pleased to announce Emirates as a new partner of its global study of youth and student travel, New Horizons. Emirates will offer two round-trip tickets to one lucky respondent of the New Horizons survey. “Emirates corporate partnership with WYSE Travel Confederation over the last several years clearly demonstrates their commitment to understanding the needs and wants of today’s young travellers and working directly with the industry players in this sector for decades,” said David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation …

Download here Emirates partners with WYSE Travel Confederation on Global Study of Youth Travel Market


25 May 2017

Plan now for the future of regional tourism … Former Chair of the Australian Regional Tourism Network and accommodation owner David Sheldon slams the Federal Government’s treatment and recognition to the importance of regional tourism as an economic driver. “I wrote in 2015 that the Federal Government talks-the-talk but won’t walk-the-walk when it comes to the development of regional tourism, their ignorance to the reality that tourism is an economic driver for regional Australia has been again highlighted this year, firstly with Prime Ministers ‘whoopy do’ Regional Taskforce which omitted tourism as a priority, followed up by Senator Fiona Nash’s media blast about ‘Regions 2030’,” said Mr Sheldon. …

Download here Plan now for the future of regional tourism


10 May 2017

SeaLink partners with the Foundation for Nationals Parks & Wildlife to build tourism and conservation initiatives … The SeaLink Travel Group nationally, including its Captain Cook Cruises brand, will partner with the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife on a range of initiatives fostering sustainable tourism programs in National Parks around Australia of high tourism value. SeaLink is one of Australia’s largest tourism and transport companies, carrying over 8 million passenger trips annually in five states and the Northern Territory. SeaLink has been actively supporting a range of nature-based tourism initiatives around Australia including wildlife care and research programs particularly in the National Parks of Kangaroo Island in South Australia and in the Magnetic Island National Park in Queensland …

Download here Sealink and FNPW Partnership


9 May 2017

Tourism sacrificed in government cash grab … The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, said the Government has handcuffed Tourism Australia at a time the nation’s visitor economy is on the verge of becoming a jobs and wealth-generating juggernaut. “As the national economy continues to transition from the end of the mining boom to a diversified services-based economy, investing in tourism and transport as the key growth areas of the future should have been a no-brainer,” TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said. “However, instead of recognising the tourism sector as the next super-growth sector, the Government has ripped $35 million out of Tourism Australia over the next four years, and in the process put at immediate risk tourism jobs right across the country – jobs that are dependent on the hundreds of thousands of visitors that come to our shores off the back of Tourism Australia’s destination marketing.  …

Download here Tourism sacrificed in Government cash grab


27 April 2017

YHA holding youth tourism conference in Hobart, 3 May 2017Over 100 leaders in youth tourism will converge in Hobart on 3 May 2017 for the annual YHA Australia Hostel Managers’ Conference, as the number of backpackers visiting Australia – including Tasmania – continues to rise. Overall, 645,000 backpackers visited Australia in 2016, staying for an average of 69 nights, and spending approximately $6,778 each. The number of backpackers visiting Tasmania increased 20% last year to 48,181 (from 40,314 in 2015) – with backpackers making up one in every five international visitors to the State (source: Tourism Australia, International Visitor Survey statistics, December 2016). Around a third of backpackers are working holiday makers, and this sector – which makes up part of the harvest workforce – has been under pressure due to uncertainty around changes to their visa terms. Julian Ledger, CEO of YHA Australia, said: “Backpackers are important for both the tourism and agricultural industries, and Tasmanian farmers, tourism industry representatives and politicians played a crucial role in resolving the ‘backpacker tax’ at the end of 2016, to achieve a fair rate for working holiday makers of 15 percent.” …

Download here YHA Australia Managers’ Conference 2017


18 April 2017

TTF urges Federal Government to ensure that visa changes do not disadvantage tourism … “Tourism is now a super growth industry in Australia, and a critically important contributor to our national economy,” Ms Osmond said. “The industry directly employed 580,200 people in 2015-16, or 4.9 per cent of the national workforce, and continues to grow. By comparison, agriculture employed 321,600 people and mining provided 227,800 direct jobs. “TTF stands ready to work with the Federal Government on the implementation of the new temporary skilled migration program to ensure the best possible outcome for the sector.”. …

Download here TTF urges Federal Government to ensure that visa changes do not disadvantage tourism


7 April 2017

Whitsundays on road to recovery … The Whitsundays is steadily coming back online following the impacts of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie last week. Things are moving quickly in the region, with Whitsunday Regional Council already having done an outstanding job clearing up the foreshore and beach areas, as well as the main street of Airlie Beach, which was their first priority. Ergon Energy is also doing exceptionally well and is reinstating power to the region, area by area. The company is optimistic that the whole region will have power by Tuesday April 11 or thereabouts, which means the region will have full power in time for the Easter weekend, beginning Friday, April 14. …

Download here Whitsundays on road to recovery


6 April 2017

Fourth new horizons study on global youth and student tavel to be launched … The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is pleased to announce plans to launch the fourth global study of youth and student travel, New Horizons, in May 2017. New Horizons is the only recurring global survey of the youth travel segment. The aim of the study is to provide a global overview of the youth and student travel market, which WYSE Travel Confederation and UNWTO have estimated to account for more than 280 million international arrivals in 2016. …

Download here Fourth new horizons study on global youth and student travel to be launched


29 March 2017

Christchurch is alive and open for business … This first Website Travel Training Summit has been very positive for Christchurch hostel owner Phil Leslie. The purpose built new 310 bed „BASE Affiliated” ALL STARS INN is proving a popular stay close to the city centre and a base for the Canterbury region in the South Island of New Zealand. Phil Leslie, previously of Base Christchurch destroyed in the 2010/2011 earthquakes, is stoked to be back in the game with a classily designed hostel. “Christchurch was suffering due to the lack of beds so we are glad to add stock to Christchurch bed numbers” say Phil more commonly known as Philby to the industry.  “Despite the setbacks of the recent Kaikoura earthquake we continue to be the hub of the central South Island and gateway for International flights to the Beautiful South …

Download here Christchurch is alive and open for business


28 March 2017

WYSE Travel Confederation publishes survey findings regarding the impacts of volunteering on communities and projects hosting volunteer travellers … WYSE Travel Confederation announces its latest report on volunteer travel, Project perspectives on the benefits of volunteer travel. Findings outlined in the report suggest that international volunteering contributes towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, brings tourism spend into local economies that might not otherwise benefit from mainstream tourism, and fosters a form of cultural exchange deemed mutually beneficial by all stakeholders …  “When you consider the benefits for the traveller, the volunteer project, and the local host community, volunteer travel is high impact,” said David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation …

Download here WYSE Travel Confederation publishes survey findings regarding the impacts of volunteering


27 March 2017

Priceline Partner Network to Power Travel Bookings for …  Rad Season is excited to announce its partnership with Priceline Partner Network part of Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) the largest travel company in the world, offering accommodation, airline ticketing and rental car services to the best action sports and adventure events across the globe. Rad Season is the world’s first website to combine all action sports and adventure event booking needs under one roof.  With this new partnership, booking a trip to an action sports or adventure event has never been so easy. With a newly finished re-design of their website, Rad Season …

Download here Priceline Partner Network To Power Travel Bookings For Radseason


21 February 2017

Colourful Trips takes flight with Zepher …  Sydney based youth travel operator, Colourful Trips, have purchased the Hunter Valley specialist operator, Zepher Tours. The move by Colourful Trips will see them staking a strong claim to being the preeminent operator taking international and domestic tourists to the renowned Hunter Valley destination. “Zepher Tours is a strong brand that has carved out an impressive presence in the market and one that nicely complements our existing business.” says Brett Eldershaw, founder and director of Colourful Trips. “We’re excited to show off all the range of experiences we can now offer in the Hunter Valley and how this will benefit both the domestic and international tourism markets.”.   …

Download here Colourful Trips takes flight with Zepher


20 February 2017

Online Visitor Visa for Chinese Nationals a win for the Visitor Economy The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has applauded the commencement of online visitor visa applications for Chinese nationals as a positive reform that will help Australia remain competitive in attracting more visitors from this critical growth market. “Chinese visitors are a gold-mine for Australia’s visitor economy – they stay longer and spend more than other nationalities which is fantastic news for our visitor economy,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.   …

Download here Chinese online visitor visa a win for the Visitor Economy


8 February 2017

Wake Up! Sydney Voted Number Three In The World. Wake Up! Sydney has been voted Third Best Extra Large Hostel in the World as well as Most Popular Hostel in Sydney at the prestigious 2017 Hostelworld(dot)com Customer Annual Ratings (HOSCAR) Awards. This is the second consecutive year that Wake Up! Sydney has received the title of Most Popular Hostel in Sydney. It was also named the Fifth Best Extra Large Hostel in the World at last year’s awards. Christian Millett of Wake Up! says: “There have been some incredible large hostels to open up in Europe in recent years, so to be able to compete with them is a real honour. “The market has changed so much since Wake Up! first opened 15 years ago. Each year we have to keep improving our product to keep up with our guests’ growing expectations.”   …

Download here Wake Up! Sydney Voted Number Three In The World


8 February 2017

Millett Group Reopens Iconic Bondi Backpackers. Millett Group has opened a hostel on Australia’s most iconic beach: Bondi. After acquiring Bondi Backpackers late last year, the business has undergone a transformation and rebrand, reopening this week. Located in what is arguably the best position in Australia, Bondi Backpackers sits across four stories on Bondi’s Campbell Parade, with panoramic views of Bondi Beach and the bustling promenade below. The new hostel will offer guests the very best that the coastal lifestyle has to offer, from rooftop yoga to personal training sessions on the beach, all at no cost to guests. Christian Millett of Millett Group says: “We wanted to do more than just upgrade the facilities. We saw an opportunity to bring something unique to Bondi that backpackers haven’t really seen before.  …

Download here Millett Group Reopens Iconic Bondi Backpackers


31 January 2017

New Tax Rules for Working Holidaymakers Implemented. Employers employing Working Holidaymakers also Affected … Employers. Employers are now obliged to register with the ATO as employers of working holidaymakers. They need to do this before making their first wage payment in 2017, imposing an immediate compliance burden on employers. In recognition of the short deadline, the ATO will give an extended deadline to employers of the end of January 2017 to register. Employers will also need to be proactive about checking what visa type their employees have, in order to ensure that the correct tax rate is applied …

Download here H&R Working Holiday Makers


25 January 2017

Cock-a-doodle-do: Chinese year of the Rooster … TTF has estimated that January will see a record-breaking 195,000 Chinese travellers visiting Australia, of which 81,000 will be coming especially for Chinese New Year celebrations. This represents a total of $1.6 billion in Chinese visitor expenditure in January – $671 million of this the direct result of the Chinese New Year surge. The first day of Chinese New Year is Saturday, 28 January, which will be followed by a week-long celebration of the Year of the Rooster by Chinese travellers in destinations worldwide …

Download here TTF Chinese New Year economic boon


19 December 2016

New Boards to Strengthen Regional Tourism (in NSW) … The NSW Government today announced the successful applicants who will oversee the new Destination Networks, created to strengthen tourism in Regional NSW. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said he was delighted toannounce the 39 successful applicants including the six Chairs: …

Download here new-boards-to-strengthen-regional-tourism-in-nsw


14 December 2016

Rezdy and Website Travel announce partnership connecting … Rezdy and Website Travel announce their partnership. Connecting over 2,000 of Rezdy’s tour and activity suppliers with 600+ agents using Website Travel. The partnership will facilitate real-time availability sharing between the two platforms, giving travel agents immediate booking confirmations without picking up the phone. …

Download here rezdy-and-website-travel-announce-partnership-connecting


8 December 2016

Night Crawlers – the new social bar crawl for travellers … Night Crawlers is a Melbourne based bar crawl, run every Friday night, for travellers and Melbournians alike. Created by 20 year old entrepreneur Sam Kates, Night Crawlers is designed to help partiers from across the globe develop lasting friendships, whilst exploring Melbourne’s incredible nightlife. The smaller group sizes are designed …

Download here night-crawlers-the-new-social-bar-crawl-for-travellers


7 December 2016

New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year gets even Bigger … “Two young backpacker-writers behind the free online guide BackpackerGuide.NZ ( are on the road taking New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year. The goal? Showcasing 365 activities in 365 days. The French-English couple, Robin and Laura, started their huge adventure on the 25th of May 2016 when they decided to showcase the wealth of activities in New Zealand in the most epic way possible.” …

Download here new-zealands-biggest-gapyear-gets-even-bigger


30 November 2016

WYSE Travel Confederation to deliver WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Tourism Conference … According to Tourism Research Australia, the youth market (15-29 year olds) contributes 25 per cent of all visitor arrivals to Australia and 44 per cent of visitor spend. With Tourism Australia preparing to revitalise and strengthen Australia’s position in the global market-place, this full-day educational conference will provide a timely educational dimension to help the advancement of the industry. WYSE Travel Confederation Director General David Chapman says, “Following the success of the 2016 WYSE Exchange held in April this year, I am delighted WYSE is delivering another tailored trade event in Australia. This conference is part of our on-going commitment to help support the growth and development of the Australian youth tourism industry, with the 2017 conference providing a valuable platform for our Australian colleagues to share insights and ideas and discuss opportunities that will help support the continued success of the destination.” …

Download here 2017-wyse-exchange-australia-youth-tourism-conference


28 November 2016

Industry claims victory for common sense on 15% backpacker tax … “We were the first to sound the alarm on the devastating impact a 32.5 per cent backpacker tax would have and we are very pleased that, at the end, we have reached a workable compromise that will provide certainty to the industry and keep backpackers coming to Australia,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.  “A 15 per cent backpacker tax is a fair compromise that will allow the Federal Government to meet its budget objectives – confirmed by the KPMG economic analysis commissioned by TTF – and maintain a competitive tax rate for backpackers compared to other markets such as Canada and New Zealand.” …

Download here backpacker-tax-compromise-at-15


22 November 2016

Stray returns to Hahei, bringing 1000’s of travellers to the region … From November, Stray’s hop-on, hop-off travel network returns to the iconic New Zealand holiday hot spot of Hahei in the beautiful Coromandel. Stray has partnered with the local operators of The Hahei Holiday Resort to create a unique two-night experience in a custom built facility exclusive to Stray customers.  Ideally situated on Hahei’s beautiful water front, The Hahei Holiday Resort offers the classic New Zealand campground experience, as well as luxury accommodation, providing the perfect base to access the area’s popular attractions including Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.  Grant Kilby, General Manager of The Hahei Holiday Resort, and his team have developed a stylish purpose built backpacker facility which sets a benchmark for what budget accommodation in New Zealand can look like. The site, which comfortably hosts up to 100 people, includes six new cabins along with a major refurbishment on the original facilities.. …

Download here stray-returns-to-hahei-bringing-1000s-of-travellers-to-the-region


22 November 2016

Partners lining up to get behind Australia’s new youth campaign … Tourism Australia has already signed agreements worth $1.2m with six state and territory partners as well as more than a dozen travel companies who will offer competitive deals targeting youth travellers in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and the Nordics. John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, believes the quality and quantity of the deals would help stimulate interest and bookings. …

Download here partners-lining-up-to-get-behind-australia


21 November 2016

The ABC of the PMC … The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has today released an infographic highlighting the potential damage to the visitor economy of increasing the Federal Government’s holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Change (PMC) – to $60 from 1 July 2017.  The Federal Government announced its intention to increase the holiday tax as part of its working holiday maker reforms (the backpacker tax). Legislation to increase the holiday tax is expected to come before the Senate for debate this week. “TTF has called on the Federal Parliament to reject the proposed increase to the holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge – and our infographic spells out quite clearly that increasing travel taxes has a negative impact on our visitor economy,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO …

Download here ttf-the-abc-of-the-pmc


10 November 2016

Website shows passion for Great Barrier Reef … Passions of Paradise has launched a new website with strong imagery and videos showing the Cairns company’s passion for the Great Barrier Reef. Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden said featured easier navigation, the latest search engine technology and was compatible with all devices. “The website has an emphasis on the two things Passions places great value on – our environmental focus and the friendliest crew on the Great Barrier Reef,” he said. “Our senior staff have each clocked up more than six years with the company and train our hand-picked employees to ensure we offer the ultimate customer experience. “At the heart of everything Passions does is our respect for the World Heritage area we are fortunate to work in. “Sustainability is a way of life at Passions whether it’s the simple things like sailing back from the Great Barrier Reef to reduce our carbon footprint or planting trees in the Daintree rainforest to offset our remaining emissions. …

Download here website-shows-passion-for-gbr


10 November 2016

YHA disappointed with Senate report on ‘backpacker tax’ … YHA is disappointed that the Senate Economics legislation Committee report (released on 9 November 2016) reviewing the Working Holiday Maker Reform package proposed by the Federal Government is not one report but three, with recommendations divided on party lines. … Julian Ledger, CEO of YHA Australia said: “The legislation needs to be passed urgently and YHA urges the parties to keep talking and reach a sensible compromise. Consistent with its submission, YHA proposes that compromise be 15%. This rate already applies to the Seasonal Worker Programme. YHA believes that this is a better option than the proposal before the House of Representatives to apply a rate of 19% to the earnings of Working Holiday Makers (on visa types 417 and 462) up to $37,000.” …

Download here YHA Disappointed With Senate Report On Backpacker Tax


31 October 2016

Barefoot Downunder Launch Newest Tour To The Insta-Famous Figure Eight Pools In The Royal National Park … Specialist NSW youth tour operator, Barefoot Downunder, have launched a new day tour to the Figure Eight Pools in the NSW heritage-listed Royal National Park, located an hour south of Sydney. Working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) on an initial 12-month trial, Barefoot Downunder have been granted approval to run tours to the popular Figure Eight Pools, offering a safe, fun and unique day tour for the youth travel market. “The Royal National Park has great historical significance being the second oldest National Park in the world, and with its stunning beaches and walking tracks we believe the ‘Nasho’ is one of NSW’s best natural attractions,” Barefoot Downunder Co-Owner Debbie Hammond said …

Download here Barefoot Downunder Launch Newest Tour


21 October 2016

Parliamentary inquiry into short term holiday letting ‘a slap in the face’ … The exponential growth of listings on such websites is fuelling a demand for holiday properties that in many instances are unauthorised, unregulated, violate planning and building regulations, and leave guests vulnerable. The situation is particularly rife in Sydney, where Airbnb has over 17,370 listings currently compared to 10,470 a year ago when the Parliamentary inquiry was launched. That’s an increase of 66% in the time that our Parliamentarians have been debating it! …

Download here Parliamentary Inquiry Into Short-term Holiday Letting A Slap In The Face


18 October 2016

Australia’s first capsule Hotel selects GuestCentrix Hostel.Web “We wanted a modern, best in class hotel software to manage our new cutting edge hotel product. GuestCentrix’s cloud based solution will allow us to train staff quickly so we can provide excellent customer service to our guests that we look forward to welcoming in the New Year.” …  Duncan Waterman, Director of Sales at CMS Hospitality said, … “We know that the best Sydney and Australian & NZ hostels have extremely high occupancy rates almost the full 12 months of the year. The Capsule Hotel as a new product in the market will be in high demand when it opens so they will be able to use GuestCentrix to get the maximum revenue per capsule bed available when they do open …

Download here The Capsule Hotel Selects GuestCentrix


4 October 2016

Industry Veteran Joins Loka Australia In September 2016 Campbell Shepherd former CEO of Base Backpackers joined the ranks of the Executive Leadership team of LOKA – a Flexible Travel Network that operates up and down the Eastern seaboard of Australia. Loka launched in November 2014 with the aim of providing a better travel solution for young adventurous travellers other than ordinary express bus and mainstream tour options. It is currently the market’s only flexible, guided travel network in Australia, getting travellers immersed in local culture and activities through its unique stops off the beaten track. It’s the brainchild of travel pioneer, Neil Geddes (founder of iconic travel brands including Kiwi Experience, Oz Experience, Stray Travel Networks in New Zealand, South East Asia and Spaceships Campervan Rentals). Loka builds on his past experience …

Download here Industry-Veteran-Joins-Loka-Australia


27 September 2016

Better Working Holiday Maker Tax Arrangements From 1 January 2017 the Government will set the tax rate applying to working holiday makers at 19 per cent on earnings up to $37,000, rather than the 32.5 per cent announced in the 2015-216 Budget, with ordinary marginal tax rates applying after that. The Government will also reduce the application charge for working holiday maker visas by $50 to $390. These changes will lower the cost of coming to Australia for working holiday makers and leave them with more money in their pockets to spend while here. We will also seek to boost the arrivals of working holiday makers, which have been in decline since 2012-13 as a consequence of factors including exchange rate variations and changed economic conditions in source countries. We will introduce more flexible arrangements to benefit working holiday makers and industry, allowing an employer with premises in different regions to employ a WHM for 12 months, with the WHM working up to six months in each region …

Download here Working Holiday Maker Arrangements


27 September 2016

New Byron Bay Hostel selects GuestCentrix Hostel.Web Software A desire to control online booking guest acquisition costs and achieve overall property operating efficiencies has led Byron Bay Beach Hostel to select GuestCentrix Hostel.Web property management system. The 250 bed hostel is located in the old Byron Shire Council chambers site, one block from Byron’s famous beach and in the heart of the vibrant town which is a must stop for any Backpacker visiting Australia. “We are looking forward to the great management controls, combined with the ease of use GuestCentrix Hostel.Web offers us.” James Robinson-Gale, General Manager said …

Download here Guest Centrix-selected-by-byron-bay-beach-hostel


7 September 2016

Neighbours not strangers – Stop short-term lets Short-Term Letting operators talk about our homes and lives and rights to affordable, safe, stable housing as commodities that must be shared without limit in a global economy.  Residents call this ‘stealing’. With record numbers of homeless right across our State – the majority of whom are women and children – the explosion in commercial short-term letting of residential properties by the likes of Airbnb and Stayz is devastating for those seeking affordable residential housing and a home life within a community. …

Download here Neighbours not Strangers – Stop Short Term Lets


Received 5 September 2016 / Released 29 August 2016

Travel App Soars on Angel Investment … Travello connects travellers from all countries and languages based on their shared travel destinations, allowing them to meet up and share tours, recommendations and even a bite to eat.  The app aims to fill a niche ‘pre-Facebook’, introducing users who have not even met and may go on to connect through Facebook. It has been downloaded more than 60,000 times by users in the USA, UK, and in more than 180 other countries …

Download here Travello soars with new investment


31 August 2016

Australian holidays hot but Working Holiday Maker result worrying … Mr Shelley [ATEC MD] said export tourism has long been a strong performer but the Government has sent the wrong message to visitors through proposed changes to the tax rate for Working Holiday Makers. „We have definitely become a less attractive destination for young backpackers and, unfortunately, today’s figures reveal a worrying trend with a significant 7% drop in the number of nights backpackers are spending in Australia. “The word is out on the backpacker tax and we are beginning to see the signs of a change in demand from this market who are spending less time on our shores, and therefore less money in our economy. “We urge the Federal Government, in its current review of the Working Holiday Maker visa, to scrap the proposed tax and reinstate Australia’s position as a leading destination for backpackers.” …

Download here ATEC Australian holidays hot but WHM result worrying

also from our friends at TTF interntional visitor survey


29 August 2016

Another strong Australian presence is assured at WYSTC 2016 … Australia will once again have a strong presence at this year’s World Youth, Student and Educational Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Belgrade Serbia, 20-23 September. The self-branded ‘Team Australia’ contingent will be made up of 22 delegates from 18 Seller companies. The majority are from New South Wales (10), with Queensland, Northern Territory and Australia-wide making up the balance. Alanna Stevens, a lead contact of Team Australia said “BOA NSW are excited to work alongside Adventure Queensland to bring the Aussies to WYSTC in Belgrade. The two associations have been working together over the past 12 months to provide opportunities like this to our members and industry colleagues and we are excited to showcase Australian products on the world stage at

Download here WYSE Another strong Australian presence is assured at WYSTC


29 August 2016

Ocean rafting welcomes its sixth vessel … Ocean Rafting’s sixth and newest vessel, ‘Rip Tide’ is due for arrival in the Whitsundays in August, just a year after the arrival of the company’s last new addition, ‘Joyride’.  The finishing touches are currently being added to the custom-built semi rigid inflatable vessel and upon its arrival in the Whitsundays, Ocean Rafting’s fleet will increase to six vessels, each with a capacity of between 25-32 guests. Ocean Rafting offers daily tours to Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and pristine snorkelling sites around the …

Download here Ocean Rafting welcomes its sixth vessel


25 August 2016

The One-Stop-Shop For All Action/Adventure Travel Needs Has Arrived … Founded in April 2016 on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia, Rad Season is solving the problem faced by thrill-seekers the world over – finding festivals and events dedicated to their adventure of choice, as well as streamlining the organization that comes with attending. Rad Season brings together unique action sports and adventure events from across the globe. The free website allows users to search by location, date, and type of action and adventure sport to not only find events, but the closest accommodation and most convenient travel to and from the event – all in one go. Users can also engage with other like-minded people who are going to the event, review the event, and become part of the raddest communityThe One-Stop-Shop For All Action/Adventure Travel Needs Has Arrived is the world’s first website to combine all action sports and adventure festival booking needs under one roof …

Download here Rad Season The One-Stop-Shop For All Action-Adventure Travel Needs


24 August 2016

Whitsundays ranked 2nd most instagrammable destination in the world … The (Cosmopolitan) article features an instagram image of Whitsunday Island’s Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach – the Whitsundays’ iconic landmark that boasts beautiful clear aqua waters and long stretches of brilliant white sand. Tourism Whitsundays CEO, Craig Turner, said the article was a simple example of the growing international interest in the Whitsundays and the international marketing campaigns we (Tourism Whitsundays), together with our industry partners, have implemented over recent months. …

Download here Whitsundays Ranked 2nd Most Instagrammable Destination


23 August 2016

Survey shows backpacker tax could smash number of working holiday makers by 60% … The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has renewed its call for the Federal Government to abandon its short-sighted 32.5 per cent backpacker tax following a survey undertaken by Monash University and YHA that shows the government is risking a 60 per cent plummet in the number of working holiday makers coming to Australia.  The quantitative study of with 335 international working holiday makers in Cairns, Port Douglas and Melbourne as undertaken by Dr Jeff Jarvis of Monash University between May and June.  The survey also showed that 57 per cent of working holiday makers said they would spend less time travelling in Australia and 69 per cent would spend less on tours.. …

Download here Backpacker tax survey shows WHV numbers could drop 60%


22 August 2016

Time to hit the ‘Great Ocean Road’ … 

New data has revealed that international travellers looking for an alternative Australian adventure are discovering a lesser known yet stunningly beautiful part of the country – The Great Ocean Road.  The weaving 243 kilometre stretch connects the coastal towns of Apollo Bay, Port Campbell, Geelong and Torquay, and according to Hostelworld data, bookings between 2011 and 2015 into these four coastal gems have increased by an impressive 75 per cent …

Download here Time to hit the Great Ocean Road


15 August 2016

Best outcome for the backpacker tax is for the Government to scrap it … “Industry wants to work in a positive and supportive manner with the Federal Government to grow the sector but a 32.5 per cent tax on backpackers on every single dollar they earn while working in Australia is simply absurd.  “Industry groups such as the National Farmers’ Federation and TTF have made it very clear that introducing this damaging tax will have negative impact on the number of people choosing a working holiday in Australia and that will make it even harder for farmers and tourism operators to secure their workforce …

Download here Backpacker tax review


03 August 2016

Entries have opened for the Global Youth Travel Awards … WYSE Travel Confederation has opened entries for the 2016 Global Youth Travel Awards (GYTAs), in partnership with Destination Canada and International Experience Canada.  The awards, which recognise outstanding performers in the youth, student and educational travel industry, … David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation, said: „Despite the unsettled nature of travel as a whole, with terrorism and political unrest halting tourism in some areas, youth travel remains resilient …

Download here WYSE Entries have opened for the Global Youth Travel Awards


18 July 2016

Steve Ciobo combines Trade with Tourism & Investment and heads new Ministry for Prime Minister Turnbull … “Prime Minister Turnbull has won re-election for the Coalition on a positive platform of an economic plan to seize the opportunities on the horizon for Australia for which they should be heartily congratulated,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO. “Congratulations to Steven Ciobo on his appointment as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. He has been a great advocate for the industry and we look forward to continuing working with him. …

Download here Turnbull’s new Tourism Ministry


18 July 2016

ATEC welcomes new Federal Ministry … Mr Shelley said one issue needing immediate Government attention was the backpacker tax which remained in limbo, with calls from within the Coalition for it to be taken off the agenda. “We currently have a six month freeze on the introduction of the backpacker tax but its future hangs over the industry and is directly affecting the decisions of backpackers currently considering an Australian working holiday. “Now is the time to act on this issue and to re-engage these visitors by sending a positive and welcoming message before they make the decision to head to New Zealand or an Asian destination.. …

Download here ATEC welcomes new Federal Ministry


14 July 2016

Join the Australian Stand at WYSTC 2016 – Belgrade, Serbia … BOA NSW and Adventure QLD have joined forces to co-ordinate an Australian stand at WYSTC in Belgrade 20-23 September. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with Buyers from all over the world via pre-scheduled appointments, attend a comprehensive educational programme and enjoy some great networking events including the Global Youth Travel Awards. We have negotiated a great deal with WYSE Travel Confederation to ensure the Australian destination showcase makes an impressive impact this year at WYSTC. …

Download here Australia at WYSTC


14 July 2016

Now is the time to bury Backpacker Tax … “ATEC supports calls by members of the National Party to have this destructive tax proposal taken off the table for good,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today. „The Prime Minister recognised problems with the proposal back in May and put a six month freeze on its introduction. Now we need to see this proposal scrapped in order for Australia’s tourism industry to move forward in a positive way. “While this proposal remains in limbo, Australia we will continue to send a negative message to the international tourism market which is going to lose us valuable visitors.” …

Download here ATEC Now is the time to bury Backpacker Tax


12 July 2016

Tourism and agriculture sow the seeds to support Regional Australia … “We have formally agreed to work collaboratively on projects that benefit economic and social development in rural and regional Australia – creating jobs and better economic outcomes for the regions.  “The MOU will be a boost to regional areas. We have already shown how our two organisations working together on topics of mutual interest can have an impact, such as the much troubled backpacker tax,” he said.  “Agriculture and tourism are growth industries of the Australian economy. By working together, we can harness the enormous opportunities ahead of us in an even more meaningful way,” said NFF CEO Tony Mahar. …

Download here ARTN Tourism and agriculture sow the seeds to support regional Australia


6 July 2016

New Destination Networks to Support Regional Tourism in NSW … The NSW Government will invest $43 million over the next four years in six new Destination Networks – Riverina Murray, Southern NSW, North Coast, Country & Outback, Sydney Surrounds North and Sydney Surrounds South – that will work closely with tourism organisations, industry, Destination NSW and Government to re-energise tourism campaigns to attract more visitors. “NSW is more than just Sydney – it is a State of exciting and diverse experiences that visitors, particularly international visitors, are increasingly craving and we need to be getting the message out on what regional and rural NSW has to offer,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO …

Download here NSW Destination Networks


4 July 2016

Landmark Partnership with Sony Music … Topics covered include employment and salary conditions, job satisfaction, future prospects and experiences with recruitment services with all responses strictly confidential. The results will be published in future editions of the group’s various publications, with in-depth analysis to be the subject of a major cover story in an upcoming edition of travelBulletin. …

Download here Annual Survey of the Australian Travel Industry


28 June 2016

Celebrating Melbourne’s Diversity … The Melbourne Football Club is aiming for the most culturally diverse crowd ever at an AFL game, when it hosts ‘Celebrate Melbourne’s Diversity’ at its round 15 clash against the Adelaide Crows at the MCG on Sunday 3 July. Melbourne is a culturally diverse city – with many people from around the world calling it home, either forever or temporarily. The Melbourne Football Club is therefore aiming to attract an additional 10,000 attendees to the game to represent Melbourne’s diversity. Anyone that holds an international passport can register for a free ticket to the match … Through Youth Tourism Victoria, many of Melbourne’s major backpackers including Greenhouse Backpackers, YHA Central, Space Hotel, Habitat HQ and Urban Central have come together to provide their international guests a truly memorable and immersive Melbourne experience …

Download here Melbourne says Welcome

20 June 2016

Be Part of the Biggest Annual Survey of the Australian Travel Industry … Topics covered include employment and salary conditions, job satisfaction, future prospects and experiences with recruitment services with all responses strictly confidential. The results will be published in future editions of the group’s various publications, with in-depth analysis to be the subject of a major cover story in an upcoming edition of travelBulletin. …

Download here Annual Survey of the Australian Travel Industry


9 June 2016

ARTN looks beyond the Election … ·         A Ministerial sub-committee that reports on investment, skills and training, regional dispersal (transportation; air, roads, rail, ports etc), enabling infrastructure and connectivity hardwired and satellite NBN.   ·         The rollout and implementation of a regional investment program to enable regional Australia to compete in the 2030 environment.
·         Development of a skills and training policy to grow regional and remote employment opportunities – including current working visa programs and the much troubled backpacker tax.   ·         Development of a National Agri-tourism platform to generate employment in regions. …

Download here ARTN – Beyond the Election


7 June 2016

The Underwater Army Tackling the Great Barrier Reef’s Prickliest Pest One Shot at a Time … Armed with only scuba suits and syringes, an army of newly-trained divers is taking on one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef – the Crown of Thorns Starfish (CoTS) – one shot at a time. In the lead up to World Oceans Day, these Cairns-based divers are on a very important mission; to preserve the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem from a predator whose appetite knows no bounds …

Download here The Underwater Army Tackling The GBRs Prickliest Pest


31 May 2016

Virgin Australia’s new strategic alliance to open more direct flights to China … “More than one million Chinese visitors are now traveling to Australia every year and we can grow this lucrative market even more by increasing the number of direct flights between China and Australia.  “Chinese visitors to Australia spent $8.3 billion in the 12 months to December 15 – that represents 25 per cent of the total international visitor expenditure in Australia for the period. …

Download here Virgin Australia strategic alliance


27 May 2016

Congratulations to Down Under Cruise & Dive and MEC Yachts … Congratulations to Down Under Cruise & Dive and MEC Yachts on winning the 2016 Australian Commercial Manufacturing Award for the build of ‘Evolution’, a stunning 34m Dive Cruise Catamaran now operating out of Cairns. Down Under Cruise & Dive, one of Australia’s leading reef tour operators officially launched the new vessel in January 2016 and has been overwhelmed with reviews and feedback from their passengers and support from within the tourism industry. “Evolution” offers supreme comfort, style & features, with top of the line finishes and integrated diving amenities …

Download here Down Under Cruise & Dive Media Release


25 May 2016

Sir Cedrics Hostels, NZ. Powered by GuestCentrix … Sir Cedrics Accommodation has selected the fully cloud based GuestCentrix Hostel.Web for their six hostels and lodges located across New Zealand’s South Island. Being located in some of the world’s most stunning locations, each hostel is a destination in itself, where guest satisfaction is paramount and critical. The accommodation company has chosen GuestCentrix Hostel.Web to streamline operations at each property, ensuring hostel staff are able to spend more time managing their guests, instead of managing their computers. …

Download here Sir Cedrics Hostels Powered by GuestCentrix


24 May 2016

Northern Territory Budget backs tourism & transport sectors with strong investment … “In the face of declining revenues TTF congratulates the NT Government on still allocating an additional $8 million for destination marketing, $5 million for tourism infrastructure and $20 million for the development of two new visitor experiences. … “It’s good to see the NT Government setting aside $1 million to specifically target working holiday makers and backpackers particularly with the Federal Government’s proposed backpacker tax starting to impact on working holiday visa applications, and TTF encourages the Federal Government to take a leaf out of the NT’s book. …

Download here TTF NT Budget response


20 May 2016

Sydney to host Australian Tourism Exchange in 2017 … Sydney will be the host destination for the country’s largest annual tourism trade show – the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2017, attracting more than 2,300 delegates from more than 30 countries. Sydney will be the host destination for the country’s largest annual tourism trade show – the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2017, attracting more than 2,300 delegates from more than 30 countries. …



10 May 2016

Taxi, takes the reins of the Stray’s South East Asia adventure travel network … After a successful period of leadership, Stray Asia’s General Manager, Melissa Hutcheson, has handed over the leadership reins to Brett Hudson, the current General Manager of Stray New Zealand. From 1 April 2016, Hudson, better known in the tourism industry as ‘Taxi’, has stepped into the role as CEO of Stray, overseeing both the New Zealand and Southeast Asia arms of the business. His new title as ‘Boss of Making Stray More Awesome’ is fitting for the position …

Download here Stray Asia – Taxi takes the reins


8 May 2016

Coalition Goes Into Meltdown on Backpacker Tax … The folly of the Government’s backpacker tax is becoming clear as a growing number of Coalition MPs advocate for a backflip on the damaging policy, which would see working holiday makers pay 32.5% tax from the first dollar. During Thursday’s Senate estimates hearings, Coalition Senator Bill Heffernan joined his colleagues Warren Entsch, Andrew Board and Senator Anne Ruston in publicly opposing the backpacker tax, declaring it ‘disastrous’ …

Download here Coalition Goes Into Meltdown on Backpacker Tax


6 May 2016

Seasonal worker programme report glosses over tourism sector … “The tourism industry is currently facing a 38,000 worker shortage that is projected to more than triple by 2020 to 123,000 workers. The Seasonal Worker Programme is also perfectly suited to a large part of the tourism and hospitality industry which is seasonal in nature. As tourism is a key economic driver across Australia, especially in our regional communities, it is very disappointing to see that the Committee did not take the chance to help alleviate these shortages through its Inquiry.” …

Download here TTF seasonal worker programme report


3 May 2016

Top deck launches new travel app … The app includes handy features such as a budget tracker across multiple currencies, downloadable maps and city guides, plus all the latest itinerary, weather and timezone information. Budding Topdeckers can also live chat with fellow passengers before the trip and share their pictures on social media within the app. An additional feature to the app is Topdeck MOVE in keeping ahead of other travel brands, Topdeck have introduced MOVE as a fitness feature, which hosts a series of “Bucket List Runs” (available both online and
offline) providing Topdeckers with safe, scenic routes. …

Download here Top Deck launches new travel app


2 May 2016

Faster Money, Less Risk Livn Disrupts Wholesale Payments Process … It will become the first major wholesaler to pay suppliers after a tour has been booked rather than up to 30 days after the date of travel, the current industry standard – a process that can often take months. “It means that our suppliers will get paid much faster, dramatically improving their cash flow,” said Livn CEO Sean Cummins …

Download here Faster Money, Livn Disrupts Wholesaler Payment Practices


29 April 2016

ABS says tourism growing faster than the total economy Federal Government shouldn’t strangle the industry with higher fees & new taxes … the tourism sector’s direct contribution to the Australian economy in the last financial year was an impressive $47.5 billion or 3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, tourism GDP increased by 5.3 per cent over the period – three times the growth of the total Australian economy. TTF CEO Margy Osmond said: “If the Federal Government is looking for a miracle industry to help lead Australia through the transition from mining to a broad service-based economy, they’ve found it! …

Download here TTF ABS Tourism Satellite Accounts


28 April 2016

Backpacker & Adventure Tourism Industry & YHA Conference … “Leaders in the youth tourism field will converge in Cairns on 4 May 2016 for the inaugural Backpacker & Adventure Tourism Industry Forum taking place at Pacific Hotel (43 Esplanade). The forum is hosted by YHA, and will bring over 160 delegates from the backpacking industry together to consider trends and issues in the sector….

Download here Backpacker & Adventure Tourism Industry & YHA Conference


28 April 2016

Industry calls for Federal Government to curtail backpacker tax in budget … “The backpacker tax is a bad policy – plain and simple. We are already seeing a marked decline in backpackers coming to Australia following repeated hikes in the cost of the visa – now $440. Slapping a 32.5 per cent tax on backpackers on every single dollar they earn will only encourage them to go elsewhere,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO. “Let’s make one thing very clear. Industry expects to see movement on the backpacker tax in next week’s budget and that has to be a radical rethink …

Download here TTF NFF backpacker tax


21 April 2016

New Tours & Activities Launching at Bunyip Tours … Multi award winning Victorian based tour operator Bunyip Tours is proud to announce it will introduce TWO innovative new tours to the market commencing regular departures in May 2016, an amazing interactive „Touch of Gold” tour to Sovereign Hill and Daylesford as well as a day trip to check out the unique native wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary and Australia’s favourite steam train Puffing Billy, with an easy option to connect to Phillip Island to experience the world famous penguins. …

Download here Bunyip Tours Media Release April 2016


13 April 2016

Discovery Group Melbourne Chooses GuestCentrix Hostel Software for their future growth … The property is replacing a software solution which was designed for small hotels, with GuestCentrix Hostel.Web, a cloud based property management system. Designed around the specific needs of a hostel and backpacker operation where the business sells beds, dorms and hotel rooms to its guests, GuestCentrix Hostel.Web offers a fantastic solution to hostels of any size and scale …

Download here Guest Centrix now at Discovery Melbourne


12 April 2016

EcoGuides share Reef knowledge … Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden said the company had boosted the number of crew accredited with Ecotourism Australia to five as part of the company’s commitment to educate passengers about the Great Barrier Reef. “Marine biologist Jasmina “Jaz” Uusitalo, first mate Craig Decourcy and dive instructors Alex Kane and Joe Balls have recently been awarded EcoGuide status,” he said.
„They join Passions of Paradise Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Russell Hosp who gained accreditation a few years ago. “Each of these EcoGuides can host snorkelling groups wanting to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef …

Download here Passions Eco Guides


6 April 2016

WYSE Exchange Australia:
International buyers arrive in Sydney to trade with Australia’s top youth and backpacker travel operators … Representatives from STA Travel, StudentUniverse, Kilroy, GoXplore, Topdeck, TourRadar, BUNAC and many more flew into Sydney last night to join WYSE Exchange Australia – the premier international youth and backpacker travel trade event … Following the WYSE Exchange Australia Youth Travel Conference on Friday, the highly anticipated annual BOA Ball will be held at Sydney’s iconic Taronga Zoo, exclusively hosted and delivered by BOA NSW …

Download here WYSE Exchange Australia Opens


4 April 2016

Travellers Autobarn now in New Zealand … As of 1st of September Travellers Autobarn will be offering its soon to launch Travellers Autobarn designed and built, game changing, Toyota Hiace, HiTOP  budget rental campervan out of Auckland & Christchurch. A favourite with the backpackers & budget conscious travellers from all over the world. Travellers Autobarn will be delivering the same friendly service and backpacker benefits, such as unlimited kilomteres, rentals to 18-21 year olds at no extra cost, and no cash bonds and just great value spacious campervans. Everything that made us famous in Australia, NOW IN NEW ZEALAND.

Download here Travellers Autobarn now in New Zealand


4 April 2016

The Millett Group Acquires Byron Bay’s Lord Byron Resort … Sydney based hospitality operators The Millett Group have purchased the Lord Byron Resort in Byron Bay. The Lord Byron Resort is a three star hotel located on Jonson Street in central Byron Bay. The hotel sits on 3,800 square metres of land and features conference facilities, tennis court, swimming pool and spa …

Download here Millett Group Acquires Lord Byron Resort 4 April 2016


31 March 2016

Backpacker Roadshow kicks off in Melbourne … “We know the East Coast is experiencing strong growth in international visitors and backpackers and the Northern Territory wants a slice of the action. The new roadshow is just one of several new initiatives and marketing campaigns planned for 2016 to help boost backpacker numbers to the Northern Territory. “It’s all  part of the Country Liberals Government’s plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020,” Mr Giles said. As well as the marketing campaigns and new initiatives, Chief Minister Adam Giles has been lobbying hard on the issue of the Federal Government’s impending ‘backpacker tax. “The ‘backpacker tax’ would hurt the Northern Territory’s tourism industry and should be dumped altogether not just reviewed …

Download here Backpacker Roadshow kicks off in Melbourne


21 March 2016

United WHY welcomes the announcement that the Minister for Tourism and International Education Richard Colbeck will lead the review of the controversial ‘backpacker tax’. … In surveys conducted by KOWHY, almost half (79 out of 159) of all respondents said they are working cash jobs. In another survey conducted by T-WHY, 178 out of 449 (40%) replied that their average hourly wages were below $15 and were paid cash-in-hand. We believe that working holiday makers should pay their taxes, and the best way to do so is to ensure their employment conditions are up to legal standards. Many backpackers are working in the low-income bracket …

Download here United WHY Media Release


21 March 2016

Industry consultation on backpacker tax … Industry applauds Minister Colbeck on securing this commitment from the Federal Government to undertake this consultation process following concerns raised by the sector about the negative impact of the backpacker tax. Representatives of the industry continue to express strong concerns that applying a 32.5 per cent tax to working holiday makers from the first dollar they earn will cause a further reduction in the number of international visitors applying for these working visas …

Download here TTF Industry consultation backpacker tax


16 March 2016

From Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck. Ensuring Australia remains a top destination for backpackers … Working Holiday Makers are vital for two of our key super growth sectors for the next decade – agriculture and tourism. Concerns have been raised about the impact of the 2015 budget measure on tax arrangements for Working Holiday Makers, particularly our global competitiveness as a backpacker destination. We have therefore decided that the proposed tax arrangements require further discussions to ensure Australia does not lose market share in backpacker visitation. …

Download here Ensuring Australia remains a top destination for backpackers


16 March 2016

Backpacker tax review a first step towards scrapping bad policy … “Our best advice to the Federal Government is still that it should just scrap the backpacker tax – it makes no sense to slap a 32 per cent tax on backpackers when they have an entire world of destinations, from which to choose. „The backpacker tax is poised to smash the workforce for tourist operators who rely on working holiday makers in seasonally-sensitive and remote regions, where a local workforce simply isn’t available, ” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO …

Download here TTF backpacker tax reviewed16032016


11 March 2016

Backpacker & Adventure Tourism Industry Forum … The half-day event is hosted by YHA and will discuss important issues facing the backpacker sector. The Backpacker & Adventure Tourism Industry Forum will be opened by the Federal Minister for Tourism & International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, including a Question & Answer session. Other key speakers include: Dr Jeff Jarvis (Monash University), on the latest research into working holiday makers, Richard Beere, Fastrak Asian Solutions, on adapting for, and capturing more, Asian visitors, Gus Balbontin, Former Director of Lonely Planet, tech whizz and guru on digital disruption, Alex de Waal, CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland …

Download here Backpacker Industry Forum Cairns 2016


11 March 2016

Rising Aussie Dollar – there has never been a more exciting time to cut the cost of travelling to Australia … “From 1 July, the Federal Government is planning to tax working holiday makers a 32.5 per cent backpacker tax on every single dollar they earn – no more tax-free threshold anymore. For a backpacker earning $400 a week that’s $130 out of their pocket in the backpacker tax. This tax should be scrapped immediately before it smashes the youth visitor market … The holiday tax, the backpacker tax and high visa costs need the urgent action of an innovative Government to ensure that Australia remains an attractive destination in the face of a rising Aussie dollar.”said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

Download here TTF rising Aussie dollar media release


10 March 2016

Federal Budget: Turbocharged visitor economy can keep Australia on the path to prosperity … Turbocharging Australia’s visitor economy by boosting the nation’s marketing budget, reducing the cost of visas, reducing the Passenger Movement Charge, scrapping the backpacker tax and investing in innovative passenger facilitation and visitor infrastructure are the key Federal Budget recommendations of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) … “Investing in Tourism Australia, reducing the cost of visas, scrapping the backpacker tax and improving the visitor experience is the right direction we need to see the government map out in its key financial statement.” Said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

Download here TTF Federal Budget submission media release


7 March 2016

Nullarbor Traveller and the Intrepid Group enter into a strategic venture … The venture will commence from April 1 2016 under the brands of Adventure Tours Australia and Intrepid Travel. As David (Thommo) Thomson explains „We have been working with ‘Hassie’ for many years. So with a strong alignment in values and style of touring .. For those that know Craig (Hassie) Haslam … “I am really excited about partnering with the world’s largest adventure travel company because the regions I call “my backyard” will gain more domestic and International exposure, which is fantastic not only for our local communities but also for tourism generally” …

Download here Intrepid Group Nullarbor Traveller


7 March 2016

RedBalloon to Launch Real-Bookings with Livn GDS … The partnership means RedBalloon’s customers will soon have real-time access to more than 12,500 instantly bookable tours and activities – everything from swimming with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef to trekking the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.  Sean Cummins, CEO of Livn Group, said the RedBalloon partnership dramatically expands the company’s retail distribution network, which already includes Flight Centre, Student Flights and Greyhound Australia …

Download here Livn Group Partners With RedBalloon


23 February 2016

Government must consult on backpacker tax … in Senate estimates the Government admitted it had undertaken no economic modelling to determine the impact on demand for working holiday visas the change would have before announcing it as part of the 2015 Budget. There also needs to be careful consideration of any new plan to ensure that the effect of a new regime does not simply result in working holiday makers being pushed into the cash economy, where no tax will be paid at all …

Download here Australian Labor MR 23022016


23 February 2016

Tourism sector backs calls for consultation on backpacker tax … The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has backed calls for the Federal Government to immediately consult the tourism and agricultural industries on the impact of the proposed backpacker tax.  From 1 July, the Federal Government intends to abolish the tax-free threshold for working holiday visa holders and tax them 32.5 cents in the dollar from the first dollar they earn …

Download here TTF backpacker tax


16 February 2016

WETM-IAC 2016, Atlanta USA, 19-21 March: The focussed trade event for … The focussed trade event for work experience, cultural exchange, internship, volunteer and au pair industries. Full programme launched + special offer on hotel accommodation until Friday 19 February . WETM-IAC is the international annual business conference hosted by WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad and the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) …

Download here WETM-IAC MR0216


9 February 2016

NT Tourism a shining beacon for economy in face of mining downturn … The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) is calling for an additional $5 million funding boost to Tourism NT on top of last year’s budget and the development of new visitor experiences to grow the Territory’s visitor economy ahead of the expected downturn in the mining industr …

Download here TTF NT Budget submission


3 February 2016

Wake Up! Sydney Voted Top Five In The World … Wake Up! won the title of Most Popular Hostel (Sydney) and was named Fifth in the World in the Extra-Large Hostel category. Christian Millett of Wake Up! said: “There are various industry awards handed out each year. But the HOSCARS are the most prestigious and toughest to crack …

Download here Wake Up! Sydney Voted Top Five In The World


2 February 2016

Petition Launched Against Proposed Backpackers Tax … The #backpackertax campaign will comprise an online petition and social media aimed at harnessing community support for a softening of changes to the way working holiday makers (backpackers) are taxed. As Parliament resumes today the deadline is looming on the tax, announced in the 2015 Budget, which deems that from 1 July 2016 all working holiday makers are to be taxed as non-residents at a rate of 32.5 per cent on all income …

Download here NFF Petition Launched Against Proposed Backpackers Tax


2 February 2016

Tourism Industry Backs Call For Scrapping Of $540m Backpacker Tax … „Governments for many years have seen overseas backpackers as an easy mark for hiking visa fees and now we are seeing the result of this greedy cash grab with a significant decline in backpackers visiting Australia such as the number of Irish backpackers halving in the last three years,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO. „In simple terms a working holiday maker earning $21 per hour and paying 1/3 in tax on the first dollar they earn has only $14 left for accommodation, food and transport with no capacity to save to further their travels in Australia and no incentive to work …

Download here TTF Media Release Backpacker Tax


27 January 2016

2016  – The year of light rail big build … Major construction will ramp up on Sydney’s CBD and South East Light Rail project, with three new CBD construction zones to begin in the next three months, and greater activity in the two construction zones already underway in the city centre following the completion of vital utility investigations …

Download here The Year of Light Railway Big Build


26 January 2016

Australia launches new international tourism campaign: Where the ocean tickles your taste buds and your toes … The campaign will sit alongside and complement existing Tourism Australia marketing activities, including its current promotion of food and wine and Indigenous experiences, providing an additional proof point to demonstrate why There’s Nothing like Australia … 

Download here TA Where the Ocean tickles 26 Jan


14 January 2016

EMU Australia is delighted to announce the opening of their first world wide stand-alone retail store … Positioned near The Rocks and Circular Quay at 220 George Street, the store is situated at one of the main thoroughfares for commuters and tourists to and from the CBD. EMU Australia is a premium Australian footwear brand that believes in beautifully simple and comfortable products that improve the journey … 

Download here

EMU Australia Sydney Store Opening











12 January 2016

Livn Holidays to host 100 Student Flights Travel Agents in Cairns 

Student Flights Australia General Manager Sean Martin comments: „We are super excited to be showcasing the Cairns region to our 100 team leaders and head office staff who will travel from around Australia to attend. The Cairns region is vitally important to the youth travel market which is a high growth sector for us”. Last year the team leader conference was held in Bali with this being the first time it has been held in Cairns 

Download here Livn Holidys to host 100 Student Flights Travel Agents in Cairns


11 January 2016

Raising money for the Great Ocean Road’s furry fire victims … Wildlife Tours Australia, a local tour operator bringing hundreds of visitors to the region every week, has launched a „onesie” campaign to raise funds and awareness for animal welfare charity, Wildlife Victoria. Wildlife Victoria is a charity organisation committed to reducing the suffering of wildlife by providing an emergency response service for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife across Victoria 

Download here Wildlife Tours Wildlife Victoria Jan16


4 January 2016

NSW’s 2016 Events Calendar … New South Wales’ 2016 calendar of events is absolutely bursting with some of the biggest and best events in the country and around the world. It’s a great time to start planning 2016 getaways, long weekends and day trips with that special event in mind …

Download here NSW’s 2016 Events Calendar


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