Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best today and tomorrow.

1. Brits lash out at Air China over ‘racist’ inflight tips for London

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Brits have jumped on social media to lash out at Air China after a journalist spotted comments in the airline’s in-flight magazine, which have been branded as both “insulting” and “racist”.

A London city guide published in the airline’s Wings of China magazine warned readers that although the city “is generally safe”, they should avoid areas populated by ethnic minorities.

Specifically, suburbs occupied by people of Indian, Pakistani and African heritage.

Read on

2. Canada eTA leniency period is drawing to a close

Australians and Kiwis have been reminded that if they’re heading to Canada from 30 September 2016, they will not be able to board their flight without an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

The new entry requirement was introduced in March this year and requires foreign nationals flying or transiting through Canada to apply online before travelling to Canada.

In most cases, eTA approval only takes minutes, however, in some cases it can take days so travellers are urged to apply as soon as they start planning their trip.

Check out the video for more information or click here to apply.

3. ‘Please do not switch on your new Samsung phone, it could result in an inflight fire’

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If you spot a fellow plane passenger switching on or about to charge their new Samsung Galaxy Note7 mid-flight then you might want to politely ask them to stop what they’re doing ASAP.

Apparently, it could burst into flames.

Qantas and Jetstar have asked guests to not use the latest Samsung Personal Electronic Device (PED) model on its aircraft due to safety concerns.

Read on

4. Woot, Woot! This Travel Agent won a car from AccorHotels

AccorHotels car winner Corporate Traveller

A new car, it’s something you hope and pray you’ll win one day (that and an all-expenses paid 365-day holiday), but you never do.

Except Celeste Burk. No, Celeste Burk from Corporate Traveller is one of the few people in this world that can say she won a brand new car.

But it’s not just any car guys, it’s a brand new Peugeot 208.

Read on

5. These are the Contiki Legends & this is how they captured the 2016 party

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They pulled up in their own private AAT Kings bus, learned about new Contiki trips and destinations, took advantage of free drinks and enjoyed delicious food.

Not to mention they posed on a red carpet, made a few gifs in the gif-booth and enjoyed a private show from electronic dance group, Art vs Science.

These are the Contiki Legends, they received the exclusive invite to this year’s Contiki event and this is how they celebrated (and captured) this year’s party:

Read on

6. WIN 3 nights accommodation with roomsXML

Source: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Source: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

The Big Apple, NYC, everybody loves it, and everybody wants to go there! roomsXML ensures something for everyone with 430 hotels in New York City.

To celebrate the addition of three new NYC hotel suppliers, roomsXML is launching a competition exclusive to Australian & New Zealand Agents, for stays in some of the best NYC properties.

Book more than 15 collective nights of New York accommodation (between 5 September and up until 31 October 2016 for stays completing before 15 January 2017) at these participating properties to enter the draw to WIN a complimentary three night stay (with private transfer included) in The Big Apple *.

Read on

7. Cathay Pacific sends new aircraft – A350 & B777 – to Melbourne

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Melbourne will become the first Australian city to receive Cathay Pacific’s newest aircraft, the A350-900, when the airline sends the plane to the destination early next year.

The airline announced this week it will utilise the Airbus on one of its three daily flights into Melbourne from 1 February 2017, giving Melburnians the chance to be the first in Australia to try out the carrier’s fuel-efficient aircraft.

One month later, on 1 March 2017, Cathay Pacific will also introduce the popular Boeing 777-300ER onto its second daily flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong.

Read on

8. Tigerair adds services over Summer

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Tigerair has added 16 extra flights between Melbourne and Cairns to its local network, providing an additional 2,880 seats between the two destinations during the peak travel period of 17 December to 11 January. 

The extra summer services are on sale now and according to Tigerair Australia Head of Communications, Vanessa Regan, they will meet demand for travel to Australia’s popular year-round family and leisure destination, Cairns.

“We’ve grown our services year on year by over 50,000 visitor seats delivering over 400,000 visitor seats annually through Cairns Airport and this momentum is set to continue in the coming year,” she said.

9. CLIA treats Agents to Digital Packs ahead of Cruise Month

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Travel Agents are being encouraged to utilise a special digital Plan A Cruise Month pack featuring a range of tools to assist consultants in increasing their cruise sales during the inaugural Cruise Month starting on 1 October.

Inside, the pack has a range of email and social media templates as well as cruise images, logos and customisable media releases, which can be used to promote their role in the upcoming sales period.

Releasing details of the pack, CLIA Australasia Commercial Director Brett Jardine revealed that the inaugural cruise month promotion would feature four cruising categories over four weeks including luxury and expedition cruising; river cruising; cruising from Australia and New Zealand and international cruising.

Mr Jardine said CLIA was encouraging agents to plan their marketing around these themes and deals during the month to help promote the wide range of cruises available and maximise sales. Active agents will also be rewarded with the chance to win some great prizes throughout October including cruises and thousands of dollars in marketing funds.

Click here for more information.

10. GTI represents Texas Tourism

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Las Vegas, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and now Texas. GTI Tourism has expanded its collection of tourism boards with its recent appointment as the Australian and New Zealand representation for Texas Tourism.

The agency won the account after what was described as a competitive pitch and is now responsible for raising the profile of the destination among the travel industry and consumers, and ultimately to further grow visitor arrivals to Texas.

Founder and managing director of GTI Tourism, Sarah Anderson said Texas ticks the boxes for Australian and New Zealander travellers wanting a diverse travel destination beyond the typical tourist hot spots.

Last year, Australians spent an average of 8.3 nights in the southern state, injecting some US$121 million into the local economy.

11. Agents sport saris in India

Travel Agent Scenic

Scenic invited a lucky group of six of their Diamond Elite Travel Agents to explore India during a recent eight-day famil covering Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Samode and Gurgaon.

Starting their trip in Old Delhi they explored the city before visiting the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, Humayan’s tomb. They travelling onward to the India Gate, visited the Tomb of I’timad-ud- Daulah known as the Baby Taj and the famous Taj Mahal.

Other highlights of the trip included a trip to the deserted red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri built by Emperor Akbar, high tea inside the residence of the Royal Family Jaipur and a Bollywood-style stage show.

Click here for more pictures.

What are your thoughts on today’s travel news?