The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-05-15T03:44:26Z Australia’s Cruise Industry Sails to Record Highs in 2016 2017-05-15T03:44:26Z australia-s-cruise-industry-sails-to-record-highs-in-2016 The Australian cruise market has grown by 21 per cent, with 1,281,159 Australians taking a cruise in 2016. The growth of 222,378 passengers is the biggest increase on record, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s 2016 Australian Ocean Passenger Cruise Industry Source Market Report. CLIA Australasia’s Managing Director, Joel Katz said “In 2016, Australia achieved the equivalent of 5.3 per cent market penetration, that’s one in 19 Australians taking a cruise, making this the highest per capita ratio in the world. “The growing capacity and the wide variety of cruising options being offered are capturing the imagination of Australians, with more Australians discovering that cruising is an easy, relaxing and value for money way to holiday.                                                                                                                               “The most popular cruises are local itineraries in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, accounting for 76.7 per cent of Australian cruise passengers, growing by 30.2 per cent year on year. “With many of these local cruises calling at the 34 regional ports and anchorages around the Australian coastline, local communities benefit from the injection of valuable tourist dollars into the local economies. “Australia’s ocean cruise passenger numbers have increased by an average of 19.4 per cent annually since 2007. In the last five years, these numbers have doubled. “However, future growth of Australia’s cruising sector will be hindered by a lack of berthing options in major capital cities. “To achieve the 11.8 per cent annual Australian passenger growth needed to achieve the goal of 2 million passengers by 2020, there are significant challenges facing us as an industry here in Australia, particularly in Sydney. These must be urgently addressed.” Calling on the NSW Government to engage with the industry to resolve the lack of berthing options east of the Harbour Bridge, Mr Katz said, “these results reconfirm cruising as Australia’s fastest growth tourism sector, worth close to $5 billion annually to the economy, and supporting almost 20,000 jobs. Cruise Lines are already announcing that lack of capacity in Sydney is forcing them to redeploy their ships. The knock-on effect of this will impact thousands of travel agents, hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, and all the Australian suppliers, large and small, who provide the food and beverage and other supplies to the cruise industry.” The annual report shows Australia has performed well ahead of leading established markets including, Germany, UK and Ireland, and USA/Canada. Mr Katz said, “The current growth of the Australian Market, and the fact it surpasses more established markets, is a reflection that Australians are increasingly embracing cruise as a preferred holiday. Resolving the lack of berthing space in Sydney Harbour is an absolute priority to ensure the continued growth of cruise tourism in Australia.” Other key findings of the 2016 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market report include:  ·         Domestic cruising continues to surge fuelling the growth of Australian passenger numbers, with local cruisers growing by 23.4 per cent from 269,916 in 2015 to 332,979 in 2016.  ·         Australia’s favourite cruise destination was South Pacific attracting more than 42 per cent of ocean cruise passengers (542,825)  ·         New Zealand pulled ahead of Europe in 2016 as Australia’s third most popular destination overall, attracting 8.3 per cent of passengers (106,737)  ·         While Alaska saw a 25.5 per cent increase, other long-haul fly-cruise destination experienced a fall in 2016, with Europe falling by 11.8 per cent and Asia by 10.1 per cent  ·         Short break cruises for four days or less grew by 59.7 per cent in 2016, and cruises of 22+ days rose by more than 20 per cent. 8 to 14 day cruises remain most popular in 2016, attracting 642,063 passengers (50.1per cent of the market).  ·         The majority (89.3 per cent) of all Australians cruising in 2016 took a cruise of 14 days or less  ·         Australians spent 12 million days at sea in 2016 with an average ocean cruising length of 9.4 days  ·         Australia was the fifth largest source market in the world in 2016 accounting for 5.2 per cent of global cruise passengers. A copy of the report can be downloaded from www.cruising.org.au Cairns Beats Global Destinations As Number One Choice for Aussie Travel Club Members 2017-02-28T02:42:04Z cairns-beats-renowned-international-hotspots-to-take-out-destination-of-choice-for-travellers-2 Sydney, February 28, 2017 – Queensland is the destination hotspot for members of international travel membership company, WorldVentures, with Cairns rated the top holiday destination for those holidaying through the organisation's popular travel club, DreamTrips. According to the latest results of WorldVentures Australian Membership Survey for 2016, Cairns trumps other Australian and international locations as the global holiday destination of choice for Australian travellers(1) and proves extremely popular among global travel club members.   The survey revealed that the sunshine state is attracting a majority of Australian DreamTrips travellers, with Hamilton Island and the Gold Coast also listed in the top five preferred holiday locations.   These three Australian destinations bumped popular international holiday hubs such as Bali into fourth position for desired DreamTrips by Australian members.   "This indicates the growing appeal of 'staycations' for Australian travellers as they look to explore home soil," said Anthony Fitzgerald, General Manager, Asia Pacific, WorldVentures.   “Cairns hits the spot for our adventurous DreamTrippers, with its white-sand beaches, rainforests and coral reefs, so it is no wonder it continues to be the number one destination for Australian DreamTrips members. As a company, WorldVentures hopes to further strengthen our relationships with Cairns tourist operations into the future to continue fulfilling dreams of those wishing to explore the tropical city of Cairns,” he added.   To cater for growing interest in DreamTrips holidays by Australian members, WorldVentures opened their first Australian office in Homebush, Sydney in late 2016.   “As our membership grows, we continue to see thriving interest in Cairns from both our local and global membership base,” said Mr Fitzgerald. "We have over 500,000 members worldwide and we are on track to deliver some 250 DreamTrips coming in to Australia this year alone. This will represent vacations for thousands of members right here in Australia. After all, there is no place like home!"    The Cairns DreamTrips curated holiday package is an attractive offering for travellers. The Cairns DreamTrips includes a full-day cruise to Michaelmas Cay through the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling and ecological presentations conducted by Marine biologists. Accommodation is at the luxurious Hotel Pullman Cairns International, in its noteworthy location in the heart of the Cairns central business district which provides easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and other famous attractions. WorldVentures' success can be attributed to the team's ability to offer desirable itineraries that benefit the industry and its members alike.   Out of the global database of DreamTrips members travelling to Australian destinations, 25% were domestic travellers with the remaining 75% foreigners.   Last year saw 8.1 million international arrivals into Australia, spending $38.8 billion AUD, with each international traveller contributing an estimated $4,790 to the industry(1).   "With both international and domestic travellers flocking to Cairns, it is certainly still one of the most important hubs for Australia’s tourism industry, and WorldVentures through our DreamTrips holidays is pleased to be able to play a role in the tropical city’s continued success," Mr Fitzgerald commented.  About WorldVentures WorldVentures is an award-winning international lifestyle and travel membership company based in Texas, United States. Founded in 2005, WorldVentures sells memberships with perks to a diverse set of lifestyle products such as unique customized vacations known as DreamTrips, value-added dining experiences and deals at exquisite hotels at members’ only prices. With over half a million members globally and still counting, WorldVentures has presence in over 29 markets across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In Asia Pacific, offices are established in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. For more information, visit www.worldventures.com.   About DreamTrips DreamTrips is a travel club community where Members experience customised travel opportunities and valuable deals at selected restaurants, hotels, excursions and entertainment venues in destinations all over the world. The DreamTrips membership appeals to the unique mindset of the traveller who experiences the world through the DreamTrips community, with the idea that “the best way to experience the world is together.” www.dreamtrips.com.   Please find hi-res imagery via the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zwy5wk9bwzozcji/AAD-5vbcY_Zwcf27bzRROHKPa?dl=0  For more information David Wolf Closer Communications +61 (0)411 111 787david@closer.com.au   (1) International Tourism Snapshot September 2016 Tech21 brings parents unlimited fun family time with Evo Play 2017-02-21T02:20:13Z tech21-brings-parents-unlimited-fun-family-time-with-evo-play SYDNEY, 21 February, 2017 – Tech21, the leader in impact protection for mobile devices has launched its new range of cases for the iPad in Australia: Evo Play. “Kids + iPads” isn’t always the safest pairing if your iPad isn’t protected, but it can certainly be one of the most fun for inquisitive minds. Whether it’s watching the latest episode of Peppa Pig or navigating through the back garden jungle discovering new wildlife, iPads can open up a world of exploration, but more often than not, a small chip here or a little crack there means that fun can be cut short. Prolong the play time and keep that shiny new look and feel to your iPad even when little fingers have put it through its paces thanks to tech21’s new iPad case, Evo Play. This comfortable and lightweight case has been designed to offer unbeatable drop protection from up to two metres, and with its iconic design, vibrant colours and handy multi-use handle, this case will remove any glimmer of fear you had in handing over your iPad to your children. This case is constructed almost entirely from tech21’s unique material, FlexShock™ Foam, meaning all sides and surfaces are protected from drops as the material moulds snugly to your iPad. Better still, the case is entirely dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to keep clean, and when it’s on your iPad, its sealed outer shell is abrasion/bite resistant, preventing any bacteria from getting in under the surface. “We’ve designed the all-new Evo Play with kids in mind. We know children love to learn, play and explore, and we recognise iPads are a great way for them to do this. However, they may not love your precious iPad back, so Evo Play is there for you,” comments Jason Roberts, CEO, tech21. “Evo Play is lightweight and comfortable for little hands to hold, yet strong enough to keep your iPad safe from tumbles and drops.” Evo Play is available in pink/purple and blue/green colours from tech21.com, RRP $79.95 for Apple iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3 & mini 4, and RRP $109.95 for Apple iPad Air 2. Much like all of tech21’s products, Evo Play comes with a simple promise: it’s rigorously tested to work harmoniously with your iPad. Like the technology it’s designed to protect, it uses the latest science, ingenious design and unbeatable user-friendliness to make advanced impact protection possible. Tech21 calls it ‘Protection Made Intelligent’. ### For further information, questions, or cases for review, please contact: Jim Barker, tech21/Poem Phone: +61 418 163 770 Email: jim@poemgroup.com.au High-res images: Download here About tech21 Since 2005, tech21 has been developing the most advanced, scientifically proven cases and screen shields for mobile, tablet and laptop devices worldwide. Tech21 combines science, engineering and British design to create products that address three core consumer benefits: style, protection and performance. As the brand evolves to continue meeting the needs of its consumers, tech21 has developed the most advanced impact protection material on the market – FlexShock™. The ultra-thin and lightweight material absorbs and dissipates force and can withstand drops up to 4 metres. In addition tech21 puts all its products through a rigorous testing program, and in an industry first has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop its testing methodology. This ensures that the tests tech21 products have to pass are overseen by independent experts. Tech21 is the number one case brand in the UK. For more information, visit tech21.com. Aussie app DoTalk breaks down language barriers instantly: First FREE messaging app provides real-time and accurate translation of up to 90 languages 2017-02-09T23:25:43Z aussie-app-dotalk-breaks-down-language-barriers-instantly-first-free-messaging-app-provides-real-time-and-accurate-translation-of-up-to-90-languages Aussie app DoTalk breaks down language barriers instantly  First FREE messaging app provides real-time and accurate translation of up to 90 languages  Sydney, Australia – February 10, 2017 – DoTalk, the first free, instant, voice- activated translation chat app has officially launched today. Invented locally in Cairns, Australia, DoTalk breaks down all barriers to communication, with the ability to rapidly translate chats in words and voice, in up to 90 different languages. Created with accessibility in mind, DoTalk is available across all iOS and Android Smartphones and any Internet connected devices.   DoTalk’s proprietary technology enables users to simultaneously engage in cross-language communications easily and more accurately than any other messaging app available, with six different translation APIs and speech recognition tools combining to provide the most accurate translations possible.   Users have the option to message either via text or a ‘hold & talk’ microphone, and can also conduct group chat with up to 10 people in multiple languages in real time. The interface is intuitive, with inviting contacts and adding language and accent being a simple process.   “Our goal with DoTalk was to create a free, fun and easy-to-use app which provides an open forum for people to easily connect and communicate, regardless of language barriers or location and without delay,” says Aussie founder, Reno Nicastro.   “With applications across everyday life, from business to travel, dating and everything in between, now nothing will be lost in translation. We live in a truly global economy so DoTalk has benefits for absolutely everyone.”   “Whether you are travelling, booking a cab or hotel overseas, want to communicate with international relatives, someone exotic you’ve met online, as the modern-day pen pal, or you just want to learn another language – DoTalk is the tool to connect you to people regardless of where they are or what language they speak.”   The language industry is big business, with the worldwide language services market growing at an annual rate of 5.52% according to The Common Sense Advisory, 2016 Report. The size of the overall global language industry in 2016 was estimated at $40 Billion (USD), with estimates of up to $45 Billion by 2020.    Already trialled extensively in beta testing, DoTalk has registered users from a wide range of countries and languages, with English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French and Indonesian proving the most commonly used in the app.   Nicastro and his team are focused on continuous development within the app, and will utilise user feedback to add more features and functionality over time that will further enable broader industry applications including regional/global conference calls, customer service, education, media and customer engagement.   “As the market continues on a growth trajectory, we believe we have assembled an exceptional team and that we have the best messaging app platform in the market. We are currently working on DoTalk Premium applications that will run with the current DoTalk Realtime Translation Technology Engine, and "DoTalk Team" for Business. DoTalk Premium will break down language barriers by providing real-time communications tools to get the job done.”   “As a nation of travellers and world-beaters in business, it is only appropriate then that this app was conceived in Australia, and believe DoTalk will only further facilitate our ability to take on the world!”, Nicastro added.  Features DoTalk provides a fully integrated chat app service that includes the following features:   Real time translation of 90 different languages through the app or Internet enabled device Instant voice translation for 50+ languages Voice to text dictation Group chat including simultaneous translation in conference Private messaging Send and receive files Search and add friends 256 Bit encryption/MP4 file storage Instant sync across devices  Images and availability Please download images from the following link: DoTalk images. DoTalk can be accessed via web at DoTalk or downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.   For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:   Rebecca Blasina                                                     David Wolf Closer Communications                                          Closer Communicationsrebecca@closer.com.au                                         david@closer.com.au 0420 805 567                                                          0411 111 787  About DoTalk One world. One Language. Chat to anyone, anytime, anywhere, in 90 languages. DoTalk changes communication around the globe by removing the language barrier and allowing you to chat and translate your messages in real-time. DoTalk can also be used as an ordinary chat between friends in the same language. Scenic awards Gold Coast based Our Vacation Centre at ‘Night of Stars’ 2017-02-06T05:47:53Z scenic-awards-gold-coast-based-our-vacation-centre-at-night-of-stars Gold Coast based Our Vacation Centre, owners of premier cruise brand ‘Cruise Megastore’ picked up Top Online Travel agency at Scenic’s annual ‘Night of Stars’ awards on Saturday (21 January). The glamorous event, held at Ivy Ballroom in Sydney, recognises the ongoing hard work and commitment from its top agents in Australia and New Zealand and saw Our Vacation Centre take out one of the thirteen prestigious awards. Kevin Sharp, CEO said: “We are delighted to have won a Scenic award this year. It is great to be recognised by the leading luxury travel company for all our hard work and to share our success with our peers. We all had a fantastic night and look forward to hopefully winning again next year.” Over 240 agents attended the popular event which Channel 9’s Steve Jacobs hosted in the role of MC for the fourth year running. Eight awards were given to the top offices in each state including a new award for the top office in Canberra which previously came under NSW. Plus five national awards – top home based travel agency, top online travel agency (also a new award for 2016), top single location agency, and the top consultants in Australia and New Zealand. Aleisha Fittler, Executive General Manager commented: “A huge congratulations to all our winners, they have all worked so hard over the past year promoting and selling our ever expanding product range – we really do appreciate their loyalty and commitment to Scenic. Our annual ‘Night of Stars’ event is a great way for the Scenic team to say thank you.” For further information or images please contact Suzy Raymer, Executive Manager, Marketing P: 0755143317 or E: suzy.raymer@ourvacationcentre.com Social customer intelligence provider Local Measure helps hotels and tourism brands build loyalty during guest visits 2017-01-23T23:30:00Z social-customer-intelligence-provider-local-measure-helps-hotels-and-tourism-brands-build-loyalty-during-guest-visits-1 Sydney and Los Angeles – January 24, 2017 – Tourism brands continue to wrestle with the challenge of guest loyalty and repeat visits amid third party disruption and increasingly fragmented customer relationships. Sydney-based Local Measure has raised AU$4.5 million in funding to continue to assist hotels and tourism businesses address this challenge, build loyalty and secure positive reviews while guests are still on their property.   The Company’s geo-location social intelligence product arms front-line staff with unique real-time information to help them surprise and delight guests, detect and help resolve guest problems and negative reviews before they impact a property’s reputation or performance, as well as providing data back to the brand to build loyalty among customers across the brand, and at multiple properties, in real-time.   Local Measure is in place in hotels, theme parks and tourism businesses in more than 380 cities worldwide, and expects to grow to more than 1,000 hotels in the U.S. alone this year. Current clients include AccorHotels, Hardrock, Qantas and Club Med. Local Measure has realised more than 150 per cent year on year growth in revenues from the hotel sector. The Company recently won the prestigious Emerging Innovator Award at the 2016 Phocuswright travel technology conference in Los Angeles. “Customer loyalty is seen as a ‘holy grail’ for hotels and tourism brands, yet to date the industry has generally been unable to capture the data and preferences, in real-time, that customers share during their journey, missing an incredible opportunity to drive loyalty,” said Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO. “Our technology leverages the growth of social media to provide a new and powerful tool for hoteliers and tourism asset managers, who finally have a way to use social intelligence to positively impact guest experiences. Local Measure’s location-based technology is tailor-made for hotels and tourism brands, providing end-to-end product features to promote gathering accurate, real-time intelligence. It is fully automated, easy to integrate, and low cost – helping hotels connect and engage with guests and deliver a fully personalised guest experience at scale.”   “We are pleased to announce the completion of this capital raise and look forward to another year of substantial growth for Local Measure.” Participants in the AU$4.5M round included private investors, funds and private equity firms in the Asia Pacific region. Local Measure has raised AU$15M to date.   The Company’s Board of Advisors includes executives from SAP, Google and Salesforce. Alan Moss, a Local Measure Advisory Board member who is VP Sales & Operations, Google, said, “I’m delighted to be associated with Local Measure, whose social media intelligence platform is already the foundation of a fast growing, sustainable business. With tremendous growth potential in the U.S. and among hotel brands worldwide, the company will scale even more quickly in 2017, and I look forward to continued good news in the weeks ahead.”   Local Measure will be opening a sales and account management office in Dubai in January followed by an office in Los Angeles later this quarter, adding to existing local offices in Sydney, Singapore, London and Miami.   For more on the results the Company has generated for many of the world’s leading hotel brands, visit https://www.localmeasure.com/resources/case-studies/solution/accor-pacific.  About Local Measure Headquartered in Australia with offices in Europe, Asia and the United States, Local Measure is the leading customer intelligence platform in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Local Measure’s clients include many of the world’s largest tourism, leisure, hospitality and shopping centre brands. The company merges local content, social media and mobile technology, to provide customers with live access to operationalise customer data, rich content and analytics at a local level. For more information about Local Measure, visit our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  Media contacts Corrie McLeod/Amy Rathbone Espresso Communicationslocalmeasure@espressocomms.com.au +61 2 8016 2200 ### 5 MUST DO bucket list destinations for your 2017 wanderlust list from Eclipse Travel 2016-12-12T23:21:43Z 5-must-do-bucket-list-destinations-for-your-2017-wanderlust-list-from-eclipse-travel-1 Anyone addicted to travel has a bucket list of places they want to visit throughout their lifetime, and each year the list only grows. Destination specialists Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar from Eclipse Travel have rounded up five awe-inspiring trip ideas that are calling you now. So if they are not already on your radar, it’s time to put them on the list and start packing your bags!  Madagascar Imagine going from lush green rainforests to vast expanses of desert in just 300km, exploring a wild world full of remarkable native fauna and flora, and experiencing diverse cultures. These are all part of the allure of Madagascar, where African culture meets French colonial influence against a backdrop of unique red soil, lemurs and baobabs. Thanks to the increasingly popular connection flights from Bangkok, Mauritius and Johannesburg, Madagascar has never been more accessible.  Franz Josef Land, Russia The Russian archipelago is one of the most remote corners of the Arctic. With new routes combining Franz Josef Land with Svalbard, expedition cruises can now access its 191 ice-covered islands that offer the highest concentration of polar bears in the European arctic.  Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Peru If you think Cusco and the Sacred Valley only offer amazing treks, it’s time to think again. As a UNESCO World Heritage city located about 3,400m above sea level, Cusco sits high in the heart of the Andes, a stones throw from the Sacred Valley. Take an evening stroll when the lamplights illuminate the stunning Plaza de Armas, steal the night away with a romantic Peruvian dinner at a local restaurant in one of the city’s old colonial houses, before spoiling yourself with a fun-packed adventure at the brand new luxurious hotel, explora Valle Sagrado in the Sacred Valley.  South Africa Nowhere does diversity quite like South Africa. Home of the deserted Kalahari, the breathtaking Table Mountain and Cape Point, the Big Five in Kruger National Park’s savannah, the luxurious 5-star Blue Train and exquisite fine wines… South Africa is one of those rare destinations that has something for absolutely everyone. The best part? Our excellent exchange rates make South Africa a top-notch destination without breaking the bank.  Mexico The sites and landscapes are absolutely spectacular; the history and culture are rich and vibrant; the food is fresh and flavourful. What more can you ask for? Jump into the turquoise blue waters of the coastal resort town Los Cabos and rub shoulders with Hollywood’s celebrities, laze away at stunning beaches and treat yourself to a fresh fish dinner in Sayulita, explore Palenque’s atmospheric Mayan ruins in the heart of the jungle, or have an authentic taco party! From hidden gems to popular tourist attractions, Mexico never ceases to amaze.   With so many incredible places to visit in 2017, the only challenge will be deciding where to travel first.  -ENDS-   Eclipse Travel is an Australian and New Zealand owned company that specialises in travel to incredible, unique and sometimes remote destinations. For more information please visit www.eclipsetravel.com.au  For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency Yvonne Kong, Laura Heslop or Amanda Fry P: +61 406 055 470 E: yvonne@holysmokeagency.com; laura@holysmokeagency.com or amanda@holysmokeagency.com WorldVentures drops anchor in Australia 2016-12-09T05:22:16Z worldventures-drops-anchor-in-australia-western-sydney-chosen-as-site-of-first-office-and-training-centre-in-response-to-unprecedented-local-growth-1 Sydney, December 9, 2016– International travel membership company, WorldVentures, will this weekend unveil its new Australian headquarters in Western Sydney, its first local office that will help service a business that has experienced record membership take-up in Australia over the past 12 months. The facility will significantly increase its presence in the market, create local jobs and enable WorldVentures to facilitate more local, tailored DreamTrips holidays for its members, as well as provide space for the company’s growing workforce and professional development requirements.   WorldVentures has been growing at a phenomenal rate around the world, with this office and training centre an important part of its Australian growth plans. Globally, the company now has more than 500,000 members in over 28 countries. It has grown 581 per cent over the last three years alone and generated revenues of more than US$560m in 2015.   In addition to managing its local membership growth, the new Australian office will be responsible for planning and expanding membership benefits, which include the anticipated 250 DreamTrips (curated group holiday experiences) planned all around Australia in 2017 alone for its global membership base, a 400 per cent increase from just two years ago.   Such trips bring in tourists from around the world, contributing to inbound tourism and delivering tourists to key Australian destinations including Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Alice Springs and Margaret River to name a few. WorldVentures already enjoys strong relationships with key premium hotels and other suppliers that will only continue to grow with an expanded local presence.   As part of the expansion WorldVentures plans to hire new employees in customer service, administration, marketing and tourism, with 20 new hires anticipated over the next 12 months. Australian based travel experts will create even more Australian DreamTrips packages including local tours, hotels and unique experiences that will be available to both Australian and International members.   “Australia is one of our fastest growing markets globally and is a strong areas of focus for WorldVentures. Our new local headquarters opening is an important next step as we continue this exciting phase of growth,” said Kyle Lowe, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and International Expansion, WorldVentures, who is in Sydney for the opening.   “We continue to disrupt the International travel industry, empower everyday people to make a positive change to their lives, and offer our members compelling and unique travel experiences with our DreamTrips, and we couldn’t be more delighted that Australian consumers have embraced this concept so warmly,” he added.   “A WorldVentures office in Australia will help us to increase the number of Australian DreamTrips members will be able to enjoy, as well as better provide our local Independent Representatives with the support, mentorship and development that they require to build their businesses,” said Anthony Fitzgerald, General Manager, Asia Pacific, WorldVentures.   “We have been recognised over the last 12 months with three World Travel Awards for excellence in the global travel and tourism industry, and believe our investment in this local infrastructure will enable us to continue to build on an already successful offering,” he added.   The offices are located at Suite 2.03, 102 Bennelong Parkway, Sydney Olympic Park.   *Media are invited to speak with WorldVentures executives Kyle Lowe, Anthony Fitzgerald and Jon McKillip (President, Global Sales, WorldVentures) as part of the official office unveiling on Sunday, December 11, from 12-1.30pm. Alternatives days and times for interviews are also available.  About WorldVentures WorldVentures is an award-winning international lifestyle and travel membership company based in Texas, United States. Founded in 2005, WorldVentures sells memberships with perks to a diverse set of lifestyle products such as unique customized vacations known as DreamTrips, value-added dining experiences and deals at exquisite hotels at members’ only prices. With nearly half a million members globally and still counting, WorldVentures has presence in over 28 markets across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In Asia Pacific, offices are established in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. For more information, visit www.worldventures.com.   About DreamTrips DreamTrips is a travel club community where Members experience customised travel opportunities and valuable deals at selected restaurants, hotels, excursions and entertainment venues in destinations all over the world. The DreamTrips membership appeals to the unique mindset of the traveller who experiences the world through the DreamTrips community, with the idea that “the best way to experience the world is together.” www.dreamtrips.com.  For more information David Wolf Closer Communicationsdavid@closer.com.au 0411 111 787 Short + Sweet: SNACKABLETV youth broadcast network for short-form content launches 2016-12-01T01:16:58Z short-sweet-snackabletv-youth-broadcast-network-for-short-form-content-launches Meet SNACKABLETV, a revolutionary digital youth network housing the best in bite-sized content. It’s an entirely new way for young people all over the world to access high quality short-form entertainment for FREE, without annoying advertisements or subscriptions. VIEW THE SIZZLE REEL Millennials are diverse, curious and engaged - so, SNACKABLETV is too. It does not discriminate against gender, sexuality, race, creed or socio-economic status, only against beige content. SNACKABLETV launches with solid collaborations and partnerships as official Youth & Content Broadcaster for Sydney Festival, co-produced podcasts with the team from Melbourne’s Sans Pants Radio and short films produced by future creative superstars from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Offering something for everyone, SNACKABLETV plays host to content across seven channels; Culture, Film, Gaming, Music, Podcast, Style, and a dedicated hub for today’s news, events, and the best of the net; What’s Hot. Original series’ will feature respected members of the creative community including; street artist Scott Marsh; music journalist Danny Clayton; celebrity fashion stylist Mikey Ayoubi; mindfulness coach Kylie Ryan; comedians Rhys Nicholson and Robbie Armfield; musicians Client Liaison, Sleep Makes Waves and The Jezabels; and so much more incredible talent in front of and behind the lens. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. The network will lead the fight against ‘Digital Litter’, a result of too much access to poorly made content. Everything on SNACKABLETV is short, sharp, and captivating. It’s video that is never boring, always inspiring, with an added dose of learning for the socially aware, completely free of charge to the viewer. SNACKABLETV Co-founders Kate Edwards and Shae Constantine said today: “We are extremely proud to be launching Australia’s first short form broadcast network made especially for young people. “SNACKABLETV is purpose built as much for the consumer as it is for the creator – it’s a conduit between the two worlds. We identified a gap, in that there is so much good content out there and before now it hasn’t had a home or a chance to get to an audience who will appreciate it. “Our doors are wide open to young creatives and creators. We want to distribute the best short-form content the world has seen, and this is only possible with a truly robust digital platform to facilitate the relationship between creator and audience. That platform is SNACKABLETV.” Content is currently available online (mobile, tablet or desktop) via SNACKABLETV.tv The bar has been set high and SNACKABLETV is committed to pushing the boundaries in both the controversy and quality stakes. New content will be released on all channels across the network constantly. Stay tuned for updates on exciting co-productions and distribution partnerships. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. Interview and content requests contact The Lantern Group: Louisa Read +61 412 955 101 louisa@lanterngroup.com.au Fiona Gulin +61 487 992 333 fiona@lanterngroup.com.au CONNECT WITH SNACKABLETV FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM #snackableTV MEDIA MATERIALS DROPBOX Dreaming of a White Christmas? 2016-11-30T22:00:00Z dreaming-of-a-white-christmas With less than a month left until Santa makes his way down the chimney, there is still time to plan the perfect Christmas getaway. Let expert travellers Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar, Directors of Eclipse Travel, help you plan the ultimate festive escape for your family.  For a White Christmas For an authentic White Christmas experience, Matt McMillan suggests travellers look to Norway or Finland, “Like many European countries, most Norwegian towns and cities offer Christmas fairs and markets that will help create the perfect mood for the festival season.”   “Tromsø in Northern Norway is voted as one of the best places on earth to spend Christmas and it’s only 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle,” McMillan says, “What’s better than celebrating Christmas whilst seeing the spectacular Northern Lights with your loved ones? There are a lot of cruise ships known to offer Northern Lights travel during the festive season. You just need to plan ahead.”   McMillan continues to explain, “If you’re taking the little ones with you, a visit to Santa’s office in the Finnish city of Lapland is a moment they will always cherish. Alternatively, head to Helsinki for the ultimate Northern Christmas ambiance – the city is breathtakingly beautiful when draped in white snow and lit by Christmas lights.”  For an Island Escape Christmas The Galapagos Islands are a stunning paradise where you can rub shoulders with a world full of unique wildlife. Blue-footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas, Whale Sharks, Galapagos Sea Lions, Flamingos and the signature Galapagos Giant Tortoise are all part of the experience to these unique islands.   “From black volcanic rocks and vast white sand, to lush green highlands and jewel-blue waters, the Galapagos Islands are filled with natural wonders and wildlife,” says Farquhar, “The wet season generally occurs between December and May where you can expect picture-perfect sunny days and blue skies combined with showers. It’s great for those who are looking to spend a warm Christmas at an off-the-beaten-track destination.”  For a Tribal Christmas Nowhere does diversity quite like South Africa. Home of the deserted Kalahari, the iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Kruger National Park’s wildlife-packed savannah….the list goes on.   South Africa is one of those rare destinations that has something for absolutely everyone. You can spot a great variety of native floral and fauna including the Big Five in the Kruger National Park. Or discover the country in the most luxurious way by exploring the pristine white beaches at Cape Point, visiting Cape Winelands for a romantic wine tasting tour, or hopping onto the world’s most famous mobile 5-star hotel Blue Train to spoil yourself with an around-the-clock personal butler service. The choices are limitless.   “With our excellent exchange rates at the moment, a South African getaway has become very affordable. It’s a great excuse to treat yourself with another bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!” McMillan suggests.  For a Latin Christmas Palm-fringed beaches, delicious spicy cuisine, colonial architecture and vivid blue skies, Mexico is the place to be for an exotic getaway during the silly season.   For a cultural fix, there are plenty of top-class museums and galleries for you to unfold the fascinating history of this beautiful country.   “You can also find vibrant pop culture from the underground dance clubs and street art in Mexico City, as well as interesting handicrafts made by indigenous people,” Farquhar recommends.   “And of course, you can’t skip the stunning beaches with their crystal clear water. If you are into sea creatures, don’t forget to book a diving or snorkeling tour for a chance to get up close and personal with coral walls, canyons, turtles, tangs, eels and even hammerhead sharks!”   Whatever your Christmas dreams are, experience a wanderlust-worthy festive season this summer.  -ENDS-   Eclipse Travel is an Australian and New Zealand owned company that specialises in travel to incredible, unique and sometimes remote destinations. For more information about unique Christmas destinations, visit http://eclipsetravel.com.au  For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency Yvonne Kong or Amanda Fry P: +61 406 055 470 E: yvonne@holysmokeagency.com or amanda@holysmokeagency.com Hire a Skip From Bookaskip For That Pre Winter Cleanup 2016-11-29T02:13:53Z hire-a-skip-from-bookaskip-for-that-pre-winter-cleanup With winter well nigh upon us, now is a good time to finish up that mid-season cleanup and get rid of all that messy autumn garden detritus, and to this end we will need a skip bin. Bookaskip.co.uk is a global specialist in on-line booking of refuse disposal services, and its easy-to-use website and state-of-the-art booking engine provide consumers with value for money by offering the lowest available price for refuse disposal services. Its aim is to provide consumers with a high standard of service and excellent value. Founded in 2001, the company operates websites in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.   For anyone looking for a cheap skip hire, Bookaskip have all the answers with their easy-to-use website doing all the work, saving people valuable time and money. By using the Bookaskip service, there is no need to contact multiple skip hire suppliers individually, or use other nationwide skip hire business sites that have only one skip hire supplier in their area.   Bookaskip make it so simple. People just need to enter their skip hire requirements, and Bookaskip’s state-of-the-art website will search all of the local skip bin hire suppliers from their database to get the very best skip hire prices. They will scan their suppliers’ current stock and prices and instantly present the customer with the best price available for a skip bin meeting their specific skip hire requirements.   Most skip bins that are placed on Council land will more often than not require a skip bin hire permit. If the Skip Hire Supplier is able to arrange this permit it will be additional to the skip hire price quoted and details will be provided by the Skip Hire Supplier.  Some local Councils require the customer to arrange the skip hire permit and the Bookaskip website will let the customer know when they click "Best Price" if they will need to arrange the skip hire permit.   To find out more about Bookaskip please visit the website at http://www.bookaskip.co.uk .   Boomers go Skiing this Summer 2016-11-22T04:13:31Z boomers-go-ski-ing-this-summer Australians are living longer and plan to retire later in life, prompting a rise in S.K.I (Spend the Kids Inheritance) holidays that deliver on new life experiences, value for money and connection with others.   WorldVentures, which markets the travel membership club 'DreamTrips', has experienced a growth in membership in recent years, with more than 500,000 members across 29 countries taking up the club lifestyle to experience life fulfilment through travel.   SKIing is an acronym that has emerged to describe the trend of older travellers 'Spending the Kids Inheritance'. Baby boomers are voting with their feet and passports by deciding it’s time to enjoy the money that they worked so hard to save over a lifetime of toil.   Anthony Fitzgerald from WorldVentures, says that baby boomers are turning to travel clubs to live life and travel.   “We are seeing more and more retirees travelling, not only to see the world but also to enjoy the social experience that comes along with travel clubs.”   "It is clear that many baby boomers have adopted the SKI outlook on life and are taking action to complete their bucket lists in retirement. DreamTrips offer S.K.I travellers the chance to enjoy a social experience but also have the perfect balance of alone time."   53 per cent of WorldVentures' Australian members travel with their spouse and over 70 per cent, feel that DreamTrips offer a distinctive vacation that enriched their lifestyle, allows them to gain knowledge and create beautiful memories.   "The options are endless and by joining a travel club SKI travellers are more likely to take the holidays they've worked to enjoy."   "The DreamTrips for SKI travellers to tick off their bucket list definitely include a trip to Myanmar’s Treasures, sailing the Caribbean, walking with lions in Zimbabwe, staying in an Ice Hotel, or relaxing and healing in the Dead Sea," Mr Fitzgerald suggests.   An Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey last year revealed that Australians intend to retire later than ever, with 23 per cent of the persons aged 45 years and over intending to retire at the age of 70 years or over compared with only eight per cent in 2004-05.   The OECD Better Life Index also reports that life expectancy at birth in Australia stands at 82 years, only 12 years after the majorities intended retirement.   Judy Anderson, of the Mornington Peninsula (Mt Martha), says that travel has become a priority in her life and that travel companies are increasingly catering for matured aged travellers.   "I didn't travel much in my younger days as people do now, so I'm trying to catch up on all the places I want to visit and I want to live life to the fullest."   "Travelling with a group is important to me. And travelling outside of school holidays means that I can get better deals and also travel with others with similar life goals."   For the children of baby boomers, especially the Gen X and Y children who are struggling to establish a foothold in the property market or pay the kids’ school fees, the life of a SKIer is causing some consternation.   But for many like Dylan, whose mother was living alone for five years, the benefits of their parents choosing to SKI to lead happy and fulfilling lives can also be recognised.   "My mother just wanted more company than what our busy working schedules allowed. Travelling was a passion of hers, if she had the opportunity to join a travel club and meet new people she would have been over the moon,” Dylan explains.   ENDS  About WorldVentures WorldVentures is an award-winning international travel membership company based in Texas, United States. The company sells memberships with perks to a diverse set of lifestyle products such as unique customised vacations known as DreamTrips, value-added dining experiences and deals at exquisite hotels at members’ only prices. With over half a million members globally and still counting, WorldVentures has presence in 29 markets across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.worldventures.comMedia Contacts David Wolf Director Closer Communicationsdavid@closer.com.au 0411 111 787   OR   Rachael Blasina Account Coordinator Closer Communicationsrachael@closer.com.au 0428 073 703   G Adventures Launches Its Largest Ever Brand Campaign 2016-11-03T06:07:56Z g-adventures-launches-its-largest-ever-brand-campaign Melbourne, 3 November, 2016 —G Adventures has launched its biggest ever campaign globally, offering Australian and New Zealand travellers the chance to win an adventure travel prize valued at over $45,000. Following the success of last year’s award winning ‘Make Your Next Step Count’ campaign, G Adventures is excited to launch its new ‘Change the World’ campaign which challenges travellers to ‘change the world, by having the time of their lives’ on a G Adventures trip. Led by a fun and nostalgic movie-style advertising campaign the ‘Change the World’ campaign is backed by a strategic ad-buying campaign from OMD and public relations support by Mulberry Marketing Communications. Advertising will be featured in Fitness First Health Clubs, on Pandora, through Junkee Media and in cinemas across Australia & New Zealand. The tongue-in-cheek movie style video, which was shot over eight-days in Peru with G Adventures’ largest on-location production team ever, was produced by its in-house creative team and can be viewed online here. The competition itself is running throughout November and offers the chance to win an eight-day Inca Discovery Tour along with flights for three lucky winners and three of their friends. Adrian Piotto, Managing Director G Adventures Australia and New Zealand, said the adventure travel company wants to encourage travellers to have the time of their lives and experience a World of Good with G Adventures on any of its tours. “Last year we challenged travellers to take their next step and head overseas with G Adventures. The campaign was incredibly successful and three lucky winners won trips to Mexico, Peru and Haiti. This year we are showing the nation how travelling with us is so much more than a holiday, our tours help support the local people and communities they will meet on their journey,” he explained. “We’ve had a lot of fun putting this campaign together and we hope that it will inspire people to have some fun, get out and travel, but also think twice about the positive impact they can potentially have on the world around them.” For more information and to enter visit www.gadventures.com.au/world-of-good before November 30. - ends - About G Adventures G Adventures is an adventure travel pioneer offering the widest selection of affordable small group tours, safaris and expeditions to more than 100 countries on all continents. It was the first adventure travel company to offer 100% guaranteed departures in 2013. Powered by an international team of passionate travellers, the award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to put travellers on a first-name basis with the planet’s people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife. The intimate, authentic and sustainable approach to small-group travel introduces travellers to the highlights of a destination while offering the freedom to explore it on their own. Whatever age, interest, ability or budget, G Adventures has a genuine life-changing experience. For more information please visit www.gadventures.com. Eclipse Travel continues to grow with key staff appointments 2016-10-19T06:35:10Z eclipse-travel-continues-to-grow-with-key-staff-appointments Wednesday 19th October 2016   Eclipse Travel, specialists in key adventure destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Africa and Latin America, have announced today their appointment of Karen O’Dwyer as Adventure Travel Consultant and the promotion of Stephen Lanfranco to Business Development Manager.   Karen, a travel industry veteran with over 20 years of experience under her belt, was most recently Adventure Travel Consultant of Back Track Adventures. Prior to that, her career has taken her to London, Los Angeles, the Scottish Highlands, Cape Town, and Brussels.   A seasoned traveller, Karen has been to all seven continents and over 60 countries worldwide and is keen to share her passion and experience with her clients. In her role as Adventure Travel Consultant, Karen will be helping her clients bring their dream holidays to life.   “We are thrilled to have Karen on board,” says Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar, Directors of Eclipse Travel, “Combining Karen’s incredible skills and extensive knowledge of each continent with our passionate sales team, we are set to bring our bespoke itineraries to the next level to suit each and every traveller.”   Stephen Lanfranco has accumulated over 15 years of experience from a variety of internationally renowned travel companies, including his previous tenures as a Global Product Manager for Flight Centre and Product Manager of Adventure World. Stephen was appointed as the Sales Team Leader of Eclipse Travel last October and now moves into to the role of Business Development of the expanding company.   The directors speak highly of Stephen, “Stephen has proven to be an important asset to the company. He has the perfect blend of passion, creativity and experience that will continue to drive Eclipse Travel to grow.”   Eclipse Travel is an Australian and New Zealand owned company that specialises in travel to incredible, unique and sometimes remote destinations. For more information please visit www.eclipsetravel.com.au    For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency Yvonne Kong, Laura Heslop or Amanda Fry P: +61 2 8354 0931 E: yvonne@holysmokeagency.com; laura@holysmokeagency.com or amanda@holysmokeagency.com Explore the Antarctic from the southern tip of New Zealand 2016-10-12T21:00:00Z explore-the-antarctic-from-the-southern-tip-of-new-zealand Calling all wanderlusts… Take advantage of this biennial expedition cruise from New Zealand, and follow the footsteps of the early explorers with polar destination specialist Eclipse Travel. It’s time to take to the waters of the world’s final frozen frontier from just around the corner!   Departing from Port of Bluff, experience the unique beauty of New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic floral and fauna in Campbell Island. Venture into the infamous Ross and Amundsen Seas where you can rub shoulders with Adelie penguins, killer whales, Crabeater seals, Ross seals, and numerous amazing seabirds and wildlife. Get your camera ready as you are going to helicopter onto the floating Ross Ice Shelf, and set foot on the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island before crossing the Antarctic Circle.   Eclipse Travel is an Australia and New Zealand owned destination specialist with a Christchurch branch. The company specialises in key adventure destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Africa and Latin America. Together with over 15 years combined travel agency experience under their belts, Directors and Co-Founders Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar understand how to tailor an awesome off-the-beaten-path South Pole adventure for Australia and New Zealand travellers.   “Polar adventures are on the rise in the past few years, and we are very excited to present our customers with this semi circumnavigation of Antarctica that only occurs every second year,” said McMillan and Farquhar, “From New Zealand to Argentina, travellers can truly follow the footsteps of the early explorers and discover every single façade of the South Pole.”   For a limited time only, Eclipse Travel is offering a massive saving of up to AU$13,865/NZ$15,165* per person on this exclusive Antarctic adventure. The next trip will not be held until 2019.  Ultimate Antarctica Discovery (includes helicopters): Ortelius 32-day extensive Antarctica cruise with NZ departure, only occurs every second year From only AU$26,950/NZ$28,250* per person quad share or AU$30,390/NZ$31,750* per person twin share, with all meals included Save up to AU$13,865/NZ$15,165* per person   Meet your fellow Antarctic expeditioners at New Zealand’s southernmost city of Invercargill and board your cruise in Port of Bluff before encountering postcard-like scenery in Campbell Island, the Ross Sea and Amundsen Sea regions, Fish Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula. The cruise will disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina.   Conquer Antarctica from just around the corner from only AU$26,950/NZ$28,250* per person quad share. Price includes voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary, 31 nights of accommodation aboard Ortelius with all meals included, all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac, lectures by noted naturalists, leadership by experienced staff, free use of rubber boots, all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges, and comprehensive pre-departure material.   Offer available from now to 31 Oct 2016 unless sold out prior. Valid for travel on 15 Feb 2017. *Terms and conditions apply.   AU – Phone: 1300 575 752 or visit http://eclipsetravel.com.au/antarctica NZ – Phone: 0800 144 874 or visit http://eclipsetravel.co.nz/antarctica  For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency  Yvonne Kong, Laura Heslop or Amanda Fry P: +61 2 8354 0931 E: yvonne@holysmokeagency.com; laura@holysmokeagency.com or amanda@holysmokeagency.com