Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast has set a new Australian record for group buying by generating more than $3 million in revenue and selling in excess of 17,000 room nights in a seven day campaign in partnership with Australian company Cudo. Sea World sold more than 3400 five-night family holiday packages, more than its previous two campaigns combined. Sea World Resort general manager Bikash Randhawa said the result cemented the resort’s status as Australia’s number one tourist destination for families and is formal recognition of the appeal of the resort. “This result is great for the Gold Coast. It means close to 14,000 people who weren’t coming to the Gold Coast are now planning to spend their vacation dollars here and that has a tremendous flow-on benefit to local businesses,” he said. Cudo CEO, Mike Sneesby, said with more than 3400 holiday packages sold the campaign was the largest grossing group buying campaign ever in Australia and one of the most successful of its kind in the world per capita.
Australia’s tourism industry will be the beneficiary of online processing for Chinese visas, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia. Speaking following the Federal Government’s announcement at the recent Australian Tourism Directions Conference in Canberra, the association’s chief executive officer, Richard Munro, welcomed the news that from next year Australia will introduce online tourist visa applications for Chinese visitors. “It’s anticipated that making tourist visa applications available online for Chinese visitors will facilitate easier access for tourists, which would be a marked improvement on having to fill out a 40-plus page application in English,” Mr Munro said.
Tourism Portfolio recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Founder Donna Kessler spent more than 20 years with some of the world’s most prestigious hotel brands when in 2002 she saw an opportunity to use her experience to launch a boutique representation company serving high-quality venues, properties and destinations. Since then Tourism Portfolio has represented a wide range of resorts, venues and destination marketing companies across Australasia, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. “The business has grown organically through reputation and referral and we now have the honour of working with some of the travel industry’s most powerful and successful brands,” Ms Kessler said. She said the business tourism sector has changed dramatically over the past decade. “In 2002 companies had big budgets for multiple, knock-your-socks-off events each year to long-haul destinations. With the global financial crisis came a shift towards fewer events, smaller budgets and short-haul locations. Budgets have returned, however, clients are now more savvy and demanding. They want experiences that are simply not available to the everyday tourist, and they expect each trip to surpass the previous journey. That has put pressure on destination marketing companies to continually create new and innovative solutions,” she says.
During a jam packed AGM and roadshow at the Pan Pacific Perth in WA in early November, Meetings & Events Australia elected its new Board of Directors. Elected representatives are: Simon Baggs AFMEA, chair of the board, Lateral Event Management; Anne Jamieson, vice chair, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre; Phil Holmes AMM, treasurer, MCI Australia; Dianna Crebbin AMM, board director, DC Conferences; and Susan Ryman-Kiernan AFMEA, board director, Wise Connections. New board chair Simon Baggs paid tribute to retiring chair Rhona Walker saying that “she is one of the industry’s most colourful and popular figures who has led MEA through extraordinary change over the last four years.”
CEO of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), Karen Bolinger, recently announced the appointment of Jasmine Lim as director of international incentives. Ms Lim has been with the MCVB for six years, starting as regional sales manager, South East Asia before being promoted to regional sales director, South Asia in 2009. She replaces Edwina San following Ms San’s promotion to general manager commercial partnerships in July.
Former group director of Reed Exhibitions, Omer Soker, has launched a new corporate speaking and consultancy business called The Ethics of Success. Soker will speak on the relationship between corporate ethics, peak performance and organisational health.
To learn more visit www.ethicsofsuccess.com.au
Leading cruise operator Complete Cruise Solution says enquiries about meetings on its ships have doubled following the launch of its Events at Sea program earlier this year. Complete Cruise Solution business development manager, Rebecca Mutanen, said the new program had attracted strong interest, with organisers keen to learn more about the many cruise ships available under the operator’s umbrella. Complete Cruise Solution is the trade arm of Australia’s largest cruise company Carnival Australia, which represents P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, and P&O Cruises World Cruising as well as Carnival Spirit’s Australasian deployment.
Qualia, Hamilton Island’s world-class luxury resort on the Great Barrier Reef, has been named the Best in the World and Best Resort in the Oceania region in the 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. One of only four properties to ever receive a flawless score in the survey’s 25-year history, qualia has also become the first Australian property to ever top the prestigious survey. Scoring a complete 100 in all categories including rooms, service, food, location, design and activities, qualia has been described by Condé Nast Traveler as ‘sheer perfection’ and ‘flawless’.
Event and live experience agency, DG global, is thrilled to announce a big win recently at the 2012 Singapore Experience Awards. The company took out the prestigious `Meeting Of The Year’ Award for the agency’s work with the InterContinental Hotels Group [IHG] across its inaugural AMEA [Asia, Middle East & Africa] Leaders’ Meeting. The Singapore Experience Awards are Singapore tourism’s highest accolade acknowledging the most outstanding experiences and the people behind their delivery. DG regional director for Singapore, Judi Godbold, and DG executive producer, Jon Smith, accepted the award on behalf of the extended team. “We are beyond proud of our ever expanding global presence and we are thrilled to have received recognition of our hard work in Singapore last week,” Ms Godbold said. DG global started in one office in Perth. Ten years on it has offices in Melbourne, Singapore and Perth, and has three key divisions across live experience, film, and design.
Australian hotel and resort operator, Mantra, is set to make life easy for conference organisers with a dedicated website for conference enquiries. Meeting planners should visit www.mantraconferences.com and make an enquiry for the chance to win tickets to the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne, or book a conference by December 20, 2012, and enter the draw to have Mantra Hotels Ambassador, Pat Rafter, speak at your conference!* The dedicated conference website – under the banner “Mantra Makes It Easy” – features the top nine conferencing properties from Mantra’s pool of 23 hotels and resorts across Australia. *Conditions apply.