Friday, October 9, 2009

Body odour and screaming families still top annoyances on holidays

In terms of bad traveller behaviour, poor hygiene practices and screaming families are still the top pet peeves, while the overwhelming majority think overweight passengers should have to buy two seats.

1,600 travellers were surveyed in Travelocity’s 2009 Rudeness Poll, and 45% pointed to passengers with bad hygiene as the worst problem on board flights, while 80% thought overweight passengers should have to buy two plane seats.

At the holiday destination itself, the biggest gripe with 31% of respondents dreading an encounter, are “arguing families”, while “boisterous kids” came a close second at 28%.

“Whether I’m enjoying dinner with friends or perusing comments made to blog posts online, the topic of rude travellers always seems to get people talking,” Genevieve Shaw Brown, Travelocity senior editor, said. 

“Whatever the offense, emotions and opinions seems to fly freely when this subject is brought up, so we decided to poll our customers to find the worst offenders.”

57% of travellers get annoyed at those who rush to deplane once the flight touches the tarmac, while 29% of travellers don’t appreciate other travellers who carry oversized cabin luggage.

When it comes to parents who are travelling with kids, those who allow their children to run in restaurants and touch food at a buffet are their biggest pet-peeves with 35% and 33% of the votes.

On the flipside of the coin, travellers with children get most annoyed at topless sunbathers, men in Speedos, and kids left unattended by the pool.

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Mondo Tsunami Appeal

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mondo Travel to act as collection point for tsunami aid

Mondo Travel has offered its 14 stores as collection points for tsunami aid.

The company had originally hoped to transport all goods directly to Samoa on Pacific Blue aircraft, but an overwhelming response from New Zealanders meant all of the flights were full.

Determined to help those affected by the tsunami, Mondo has now formed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the Samoa Disaster Relief Council which will distribute goods to communities in need.

Mondo Travel marketing manager Gordon Bayne says Habitat for Humanity will arrange for all bedding, clothing and tinned goods delivered to Mondo stores to be taken to Samoa and distributed amongst the various communities.

“We were so disappointed that we couldn’t send extra aid up to Samoa ourselves, but we’re thrilled to be able to help Habitat for Humanity with the amazing work they’re doing in the islands.”

Mondo will also be collecting money to support Rotary Kerikeri with the fundraising it is doing to send a number of shelter boxes to the islands.

Shelter boxes, worth $1500, are practical, durable containers which include useful provisions such as tents.

They can also be used as food containers and cots.

Mondo stores are located in Auckland’s CBD, Mt Eden, Remuera, Takapuna, Orewa, Whangaparaoa, Chartwell (Hamilton), Cherrywood and Tauranga CBD, Kerikeri, Motueka, New Plymouth, Riccarton (Christchurch) and Whangarei.

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Save 30% at Club Med Sun Resorts

Escape the cold and book now at Club Med sun resorts worldwide and save 30%.

This is a fantastic offer only available for bookings made in October so get in quick!”

And to make it even more attractive this deal is valid for travel until 30 April 2010 and includes the Christmas/New Year period and school holidays.

7 night all inclusive Club Med sun resort packages start at:

Lindeman Island, Australia: $2647 adult / $2034 Child
Bali: $2981 adult / $1995 child
Kani, Maldives: $3756 adult
Bintan Island: $2879 adult / $1958 child
Cherating Beach, Malaysia: $3290 adult / $2259 child
Phuket, Thailand: $2888 adult / $1947 child

For further information phone 0800 258 263 or go to

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Hermès to Open at Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands® announced today that Hermès will open a store at Singapore’s premier integrated entertainment destination, joining the host of luxury brands which will have a presence at its high-end mall.

Hermès will feature merchandise specially selected for Marina Bay Sands customers and will showcase the brand’s famed silk scarves, ties, leather goods, ready-to-wear, jewellery, fashion accessories, perfumes, watches and home collection.

Marina Bay Sands Shoppes® will transform the retail landscape in Singapore with over 800,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in Singapore’s first large-scale luxury shopping mall in the heart of the Central Business District. Shoppers from the region and beyond can look forward to 300 stores in a refreshing mix of international luxury brands and cutting-edge and emerging labels previously unseen in Singapore.

When it opens in the first quarter of next year, Marina Bay Sands will feature large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, a luxury hotel, the breathtaking rooftop Sands SkyPark®, a museum, Las Vegas-style gaming, the Paiza Club for premium players, theatres, entertainment, and Celebrity Chef restaurants and cuisines that allow visitors to eat around the world under one roof.

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Rendezvous Joins Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer

Rendezvous Hotels and Resorts International is proud to announce its newly formed partnership with KrisFlyer, Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer programme, offering KrisFlyer members great rewards with any stay at a Rendezvous or Marque hotel.                                                     

Michael Meade, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Rendezvous said; “We are thrilled to be in partnership with such a well-renowned rewards program that operates across so many destinations. KrisFlyer members will now be able to earn 500 miles per stay at any Rendezvous hotel and 300 miles per stay at any Marque hotel.”

To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Rendezvous will be offering KrisFlyer members 10 percent off the best available room rate and triple KrisFlyer miles when booking any Rendezvous or Marque hotel from the 1st of October 2009 to the 31st of January 2010.

In addition, KrisFlyer members will also receive complimentary late checkout and a complimentary room upgrade, with any two night consecutive stay booking.

Rendezvous Hotels and Resorts International operates 13 hotels in 10 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region. Full service Rendezvous Hotels are located in Auckland, Port Douglas, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Singapore and Shanghai.

The smaller Marque Hotels, in central city locations, can be found in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Perth.

KrisFlyer is the frequent flyer program of Singapore Airlines and has over 90 global partners. KrisFlyer members can redeem their miles for free flights on over 20 world-class airlines, including Star Alliance carriers, to more than 890 destinations in 160 countries. Miles can also be redeemed for upgrades to First or Business Class on Singapore Airlines, and Business Class on Singapore Airlines’ regional carrier, SilkAir. For more information, please visit

Singapore Airlines is the world’s most awarded carrier and flies to 64 destinations, including eight of the 10 destinations where Rendezvous and Marque operate.

For reservations visit or KrisFlyer membership details will need to be quoted both when making a booking and upon check-in.

Terms and Conditions:
Offer is not valid with any other promotions or programs. Late check out and room upgrade is subject to availability. A minimum of two nights’ stay is required to qualify for the offer. Members must pay an eligible rate for the stay. KrisFlyer terms and conditions apply.

Rendezvous Hotels International Pte Ltd is part of the Singapore listed company, The Straits Trading
Company Limited. The Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts International group operates a total of 17 hotels
existing or under construction in the Asia-Pacific region:

Rendezvous Observation City Hotel Perth
Rendezvous Allegra Hotel Adelaide
Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne
Rendezvous Stafford Hotel Sydney
Rendezvous Hotel Brisbane
Rendezvous Reef Resort Port Douglas
Rendezvous Hotel Singapore
Rendezvous Merry Hotel Shanghai
Rendezvous Hotel Auckland
Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch (opening 2010)
Rendezvous Hotel Kuala Lumpur (opening 2010)
Rendezvous Hotel Fujairah (opening 2010)

The Marque Hotel Brisbane
The Marque Hotel Sydney
The Marque Hotel Canberra
The Marque Hotel Perth
The Marque Hotel Guilin (opening 2010)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pretty in Pink Afternoon Tea at The Langham to promote Breast Cancer ACTION Month

During the month of October, a rose hue will descend on the signature afternoon tea at The Langham, as the Pretty in Pink Afternoon Tea is served in support of Breast Cancer ACTION Month.

A donation of $10 from each guest’s Pretty in Pink afternoon tea will be given to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation to support their ongoing work in reducing the number of

New Zealanders who die from breast cancer. Breast Cancer ACTION Month is The Foundation's annual event and appeal with the focus this year being on everyone playing their part in encouraging loved ones to go for regular mammograms.

Guests who choose the Pretty in Pink option will be delighted by The Langham afternoon tea served with raspberry mousse jellies, dainty strawberry tartlets, petit passion fruit éclairs, citrus cup cakes, pink lamingtons and our famous chocolate dipped strawberries. These will also be accompanied by sandwiches and scones served with a range of teas, coffee or a pink iced tea.

Each afternoon tea also comes with The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s official pink ribbon. The Pink Afternoon Tea is $40 per person and is available daily from 12 noon – 4.30pm in The Winery of The Langham, Auckland. Reservations are recommended and can be made by phoning 0800 61 62 61.

About The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation
The Foundation is a not-for-profit non-government funded nationwide organisation focused on reducing mortality from breast cancer by providing information and education, and raising funds to support breast cancer related initiatives such as research and medical grants.

About The Langham Afternoon Tea
The Langham Afternoon Tea was first served in London in 1865 and is now served daily at The Langham Auckland between 12 noon and 4.30pm. The Langham Afternoon Tea is a three tiered platter of sandwiches, scones, cakes and delicacies served with a variety of teas and coffee. The signature afternoon tea at The Langham, Auckland was awarded ‘Best Afternoon Tea in Auckland’ by Metro Magazine in 2008.

The Tradition of Afternoon Tea
The afternoon tea experience can be traced back to the 1840’s and is reputed to have been started by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. As dinner was not served until 8.30pm in the evening she often became hungry so began ordering small meals of bread, cakes, tarts and other niceties to be brought secretly to her boudoir. When it was discovered, rather than being ridiculed her habit caught on and the concept became popular and eventually known as ‘afternoon tea’.

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Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will be expanding its Asian network with the launch of services from Almaty to Kuala Lumpur commencing on 31st October 2009. The weekly flight will be operated every Saturday by Boeing 767 aircraft, with a flight time of eight hours.

Kuala Lumpur will become Air Astana’s seventh international destination in Asia and the Gulf, with existing services operating between Almaty and Bangkok (three times a week), Beijing (five times a week), Delhi (three times a week), Dubai (nine times a week), Seoul (two times a week) and Urumqi (two times a week).

Return Fares on the Kuala Lumpur – Almaty route start at 2,600 MYR plus tax for an Economy class seat to 6,100 MYR plus tax for Business class seat. Malaysian nationals travelling to Kazakhstan can obtain a Visit or Business visa by simply presenting a letter of sponsorship from the host organisation or a letter of invitation plus a tour itinerary at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, without the need for referral to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers on the weekly Kuala Lumpur service will be able to return via Bangkok using the through fares of Air Astana and its partner airlines.

“With both trade and tourism steadily growing between Kazakhstan and Malaysia, Air Astana is looking forward to launching the first direct air service between the two countries. Passengers will soon be able to enjoy the time saving convenience of flying direct aboard Air Astana’s modern fleet of western aircraft and experience the airline’s renowned high level of cabin service,” said Peter Foster, President of Air Astana.

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s JS Company “Sovereign Wealth Fund SamrukKazyna” (51%) and BAE Systems (49%). The airline commenced regular flight operations in May 2002 and currently operates a network that serves 22 domestic and 22 international destinations from its hubs in Almaty, Astana and Atyrau. The operational fleet currently comprises of 2 Boeing 767, 4 Boeing 757, 2 Airbus A321, 7 A320, 1 A319 and 5 Fokker 50.

Air Astana is a full member of the International Air Transport Association and is the only airline in Kazakhstan with EASA Part 145 aircraft maintenance certification.

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New team building concept for Christchurch highlights iconic landmarks

Team building experts Exclusive Events New Zealand has rolled out a new team building concept based in Christchurch.

Taking its lead from the latest Dan Brown bestseller ‘Angels and Demons’, the company has launched a team building experience that highlights many of the garden city’s iconic landmarks.

The new Angels and Demons programme starts under the well-known statue of angels in the city’s renowned Cathedral Square, and then takes groups on a journey of mystery and intrigue as they decipher clues designed to make participants feel like Robert Langdon himself.

During the fun challenge, teams discover some of Christchurch’s prominent historic landmarks, taking part in a number of diverse activities along the way.

The Angels and Demons team building challenge ends at a secret location within the imposing Christchurch Arts Centre, with the option of finishing with a celebratory cocktail and canapés or going the whole nine yards to finish with a fully themed dinner.

“We love developing new team building concepts and initial reaction to this has been exceptional,” said Meagan Kelly of Exclusive Events Christchurch.

“We recognised that Christchurch needed some new team building product, so we thought outside the square to develop Angels and Demons, a contemporary initiative with historical and fun elements that sum up the range of activities on offer in the city.”

Angels and Demons was ‘road tested’ in September by a group of keen Christchurch industry representatives who gathered in Cathedral Square not knowing what they were letting themselves in for.

Exclusive Events director Liam Taylor said it was a “huge” success with attendees being treated to their own magic show and post event drinks and nibbles by Continental Catering.

“Launching exciting new product like Angels and Demons to our own industry peers with the amazing reaction received is a true benchmark of success,” he said.

Janelle Brooking of Vbase, Christchurch, described it as an “amazing experience.”

“We thought it was amazing and have been raving about since,” she said. “We loved the whole product, then to be spoilt with such beautiful food and beverages at the end was just the icing on the cake.”

Continental Catering spokesperson Martin Tunley said the company was delighted to work in partnership with Exclusive Events.

“Innovative ideas and great new product, married with Continental's experience and superb new menu concepts, drive the kind of successful results we’ve always had working with Exclusive Events,” he said.

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Survey points to Labour weekend opportunity for value-based offers

We get around, but not as much as we want to – according to the Fly Buys/ Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller, a new quarterly survey released by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) and launched today by the Prime Minister at the Tourism Leaders Symposium in Wellington.

The survey found that over 2.6 million Kiwis spent at least one night away from home for leisure in the past six months, and 80% said they’d spend more nights away if they could (money was their biggest barrier). It also found that 22% of Kiwis were still considering their options for Labour weekend.

Fly Buys CEO Andy Symons said tourism operators should look at Labour Weekend as an opportunity to offer a deal.

“If you’ve still got capacity for Labour Weekend there’s a definite opportunity there – almost a fifth of Kiwis are open to an offer, and 80 percent say money is the biggest brake on their travel. That suggests that targeted value-based offers might be the biggest opportunity this Labour Weekend – maybe including partial use of loyalty points or value-based packages with other operators,” he said.

The Fly Buys/Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller surveys 1000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over. The New Zealanders interviewed were sourced from Colmar Brunton’s Fly Buys panel. The survey will be repeated each quarter. The survey aims to give tourism operators an insight into New Zealanders’ motivations for travel, what encourages them to travel and prevents them from travelling more.

The survey showed that the internet continues to grow as a planning tool for travellers, with 35% saying they planned their trip online.

Harry Pappafloratos, Chief Executive Officer of Colmar Brunton, said he hoped the insights in the survey would help tourism operators better serve the domestic market

“At Colmar Brunton we define our purpose as helping businesses understand their customer’s needs and desires to be able to deliver outstanding customer experiences. With about 15 million domestic trips for personal or leisure purposes there are lots of opportunities to create unique travel experiences for New Zealanders,” he said.

TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar said the Fly Buys/ Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller survey will be a valuable new source of information for tourism operators.

“TIA and its members are seeking better consumer information and this survey will assist us with up-to-date, topical and relevant information. It is a first for New Zealand and we are delighted that Fly Buys and Colmar Brunton agreed to support TIA in our efforts to grow New Zealand tourism and increase its contribution to the economy.”

Further findings

The Fly Buys/ Colmar Brunton Mood of the New Zealand Traveller Survey found that, of the 2.6 million New Zealanders who travelled in the past six months:

2% were lucky in love and found a romantic partner (46,000 New Zealanders)
6% travelled to get away from someone (129,000 New Zealanders)
5% did something they never expected on their trip (100,000 New Zealanders) – this ranged from sleeping in the street to taking a helicopter flight over a glacier
25% couldn’t escape work while they were away and kept in touch with the office (662,000 New Zealanders)

Favourite international destinations
1. Australia; 2. USA; 3. United Kingdom; 4. Fiji; 5. Thailand.

Favourite New Zealand destinations
1. Wellington; 2. Auckland; 3. Christchurch; 4. Queenstown; 5. Nelson.

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Tourism Award winners inspire excellence

The winners of this year’s Tourism Industry Awards include a Rotorua nature park, an entrepreneurial young leader and man who was involved in the transformation of tourism from a ‘bit player” in the New Zealand economy into one of its most valuable industries.

Managed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand*, the Award winners were announced at a special event in Wellington today. They are:

· DOC Conservation in Action Award: Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, Rotorua
· Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman Award: Tony Staniford, Paraparaumu
· PATA Young Tourism Professional Award: Bryan McChlery,Te Anau

“Our winners are an inspiration and a reflection of the depth and quality of New Zealand’s tourism industry,” says TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar. “In today’s challenging trading environment it is more important than ever that the industry and New Zealand recognise the excellence, innovation and dedication they represent.”

DOC Conservation in Action Award: Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, Rotorua

Regarded as ‘nature’s wonderland’, Rainbow Springs delivers an exceptional tourism experience that promotes conservation and educates visitors about New Zealand’s natural heritage. The Rotorua attraction has the only kiwi conservation centre in the world which gives visitors a close-up and personal look at the work being done to save New Zealand’s national icon from extinction. This includes hatching over 700 kiwi for release back into the wild. The site currently has over 13 native or endemic animal and bird species on site and over 90 native plant species.

Throughout the year, the team at Rainbow Springs participates in pest trapping, weed control and tree planting onsite, and through external volunteer programmes in their local community. It facilitates courses to teach the correct handling of kiwi eggs for DOC staff, and involves schools and local organisations in conservation initiatives such as worm growing (for kiwi food) and tree planting.

Horwath HTL Sir Jack Newman Award: Tony Staniford, Paraparaumu

Tony Staniford provided outstanding commitment to the tourism industry for more than 30 years, including leading the Tourism Industry Association’s predecessors for over two decades, at a time the industry matured into one of New Zealand’s most valuable foreign exchange earners and a major employer.

During his distinguished career, Mr Staniford advanced domestic tourism as a serious component of the industry; championed the need for robust research to underpin the growth and professionalism of the industry; developed training and education programmes; and effectively lobbied Governments of the day on behalf of the industry.

PATA Young Tourism Professional Award: Bryan McChlery,Te Anau

The entrepreneurial Bryan McChlery is a successful young businessman who has developed and manages three quality tourism businesses in Fiordland, with plans to open a fourth later this year. Under his management, Te Anau’s Top 10 Holiday Park has expanded significantly and developed new and related tourism activities. These include the Top 10 Milford Sound Coach and Cruise business (rebranded Go Milford) and a partnership in Driftaway Rental Campervans. He also has plans to open a retail sightseeing shop in Te Anau.

Mr McChlery is innovative, has strong business acumen, and is widely respected by his peers. A future goal is bringing the status of holiday parks up to the level of top hotels and resorts.

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