The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-03-02T23:00:00Z Leading location-based social intelligence company hires former Cisco exec 2017-03-02T23:00:00Z leading-location-based-social-intelligence-company-hires-former-cisco-exec Sydney, Australia – 3 March 2017: Local Measure, the leading location-based social intelligence platform, has hired Peter Hughes as VP Strategic Alliances.   Hughes fills a new position in the technology company, one that represents the level of maturity the company has reached as it looks to grow its strategic partnerships.   Local Measure’s CEO and Founder, Jonathan Barouch, commented, “Local Measure’s platform integrations have developed significantly in the last six months, making this the right time for the company to develop and capitalise on its partnership and channel strategy.”   “We’re delighted that Peter is bringing his deep experience in technology sales and channel management to the company. As Local Measure continues to focus on its global routes to market, having the right strategic practitioners in place is essential.”   Local Measure’s platform partners include Facebook, Instagram, Sina Weibo, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Hughes will be tasked with managing all channel partners, developing the reseller relationships and building strategic alliances.   Hughes brings valuable experience from his 16 years at Cisco. His most recent role at Cisco was Global Director of Sales, where he managed a team across APJ, EMEAR and the US to establish new routes and channels to market for Cisco’s cloud software as a service (SaaS) collaboration product Cisco Spark. Previously Hughes led the APJ Collaboration team and prior to that the ANZ Collaboration team.   Hughes said, “The intersection of mobile, social and digital customer experience is now a boardroom discussion and Local Measure is uniquely positioned in its capabilities to help businesses develop customer engagement. I intend to continue to develop the existing alliances that Local Measure has, and to work with Jonathan and the team to create more opportunities at this junction between technology and customer engagement.”   Headquartered in Australia, with offices in Singapore, Dubai, London, Miami and Los Angeles, Local Measure has proprietary technology that allows brands and businesses to deliver exceptional service to their customers, engage with them in real-time to resolve service issues, and acquire the rights to use user-generated content.   - ENDS - About Local Measure 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 and hospitality 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.   Read more about Local Measure’s integration with Cisco Spark and Cisco Meraki. Cairns Beats Global Destinations As Number One Choice for Aussie Travel Club Members 2017-02-28T01:42:04Z 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 2017-02-21T01:20:13Z 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 2017-02-09T22:25:43Z 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. Social customer intelligence provider Local Measure helps hotels and tourism brands build loyalty during guest visits 2017-01-23T22:30:00Z 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 ### WorldVentures drops anchor in Australia 2016-12-09T04:22:16Z 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 2016-12-01T00:16:58Z 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? 2016-11-30T21:00:00Z 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 Boomers go Skiing this Summer 2016-11-22T03:13:31Z 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   Benwerrin Estates unveils Prestigious Mountain-Top Property 2016-11-21T21:30:00Z benwerrin-estates-unveils-prestigious-mountain-top-property Benwerrin Estates, specialist in luxury property management, is proud to unveil their new mountain-top property, Mountain Magic at Pacific Palms. Boasting 180° panoramic views of Wallis Lake and surrounding Pacific Ocean coastal beaches, Mountain Magic stands alone as the most unique property in the Myall Lakes area.    Situated on top of the mountain at Smiths Lake, this 1970’s iconic homestead is surrounded by 350 acres of lush rainforest with breathtaking views from every room in the house over Wallis Lake and Forster. It is a feast for the eyes and the soul, offering a complete disconnect from modern life in a natural wonderland setting.   “The property has recently undergone a major refurbishment to guarantee a satisfying and comfortable stay for every guest,” says Andrew Southwell, Director of Benwerrin Estates. “It’s everything you love about a 1970’s architectural gem with all the modern touches that life now affords, in a completely private and unique location. The entire property was designed to maximise what is an iconic and breathtaking view of the entire region.”   The refurbishment has seen an addition of new beds, furniture, art, Wi-Fi Internet, Foxtel, two large ultra HD Sony TVs, Sonos sound system throughout, automated lighting and an outdoor swim spa, positioning Mountain Magic as the most luxurious holiday home in the coastal town of Pacific Palms.   Boasting four bedrooms with 1200TC linen, a fully appointed kitchen and laundry, large living area, media nook, separate dining for up to 10 people and undercover parking for four vehicles, relax and unwind amongst the mountain tops of this extremely private home.   All four bedrooms have king size beds with two bedrooms being able to be split into two singles for a twin share option. The house also has a queen sofa bed in the media nook.   About 3.5 hours north of Sydney CBD, Myall Lakes National Park is home to one of the state’s largest coastal lake systems comprising of incredible waterways such as Wallis and Smiths Lakes. Get away from it all and indulge in canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, whale watching or just take a walk and be at one with nature. With over 40 kms of beaches at your doorstep including great swimming and surfing spots, there is something for everyone.   To celebrate the new availability of Mountain Magic, Benwerrin Estates is offering an exclusive introductory rate with a massive saving of up to $1,000* per stay for guests to experience this unique mountain-top property.  Mountain Magic at Pacific Palms Introductory Package 5-night luxurious staycation $9,000* per stay Save up to $1,000* per stay   Leave all the hustle and bustle in the city and escape to this mountain-top paradise in the picturesque Pacific Palms. Brace yourself for some epic beach hopping, get your phone ready for numerous Instagram-perfect moments amidst the lush surrounds of Myall Lakes National Park, or simply relax at the private swim spa before having a barbecue with your loved ones, all whilst enjoying the breathtaking sunset from the top of the mountain.   Take advantage of this one-time only launch rate offer and book your ultimate coastal getaway now from only $9,000* per stay. Price includes 5 nights of accommodation at Mountain Magic at Pacific Palms, undercover parking for four vehicles, and full use of all the property’s facilities including kitchen, laundry and the outdoor swim spa.   Offer available from now to 16 Dec 2016 for all bookings confirmed with 25% deposit unless sold out prior. Valid for stay until June 2017. *Terms and conditions apply.   Visit http://benwerrinestates.com.au    For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency Amanda Fry or Yvonne Kong M: +61 418 262 282 E: amanda@holysmokeagency.com or yvonne@holysmokeagency.com G Adventures Launches Its Largest Ever Brand Campaign 2016-11-03T05:07:56Z 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. Explore the Antarctic from the southern tip of New Zealand 2016-10-12T20:00:00Z 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 Lucky Travel Agent wins 11-day Peru famil on Eclipse Travel’s Agent Engagement Evening 2016-10-06T23:53:06Z lucky-travel-agent-wins-11-day-peru-famil-on-eclipse-travel-s-agent-engagement-evening Destination specialist Eclipse Travel partnered with PROMPERU, the Peruvian tourism board, and the brand new luxurious hotel, explora Valle Sagrado, for an intimate evening event on Wednesday 5 October at the Imperial Hotel in Paddington.   Celebrating the exceptional Peru itineraries Eclipse Travel offers, the evening commenced with a short presentation by PROMPERU, followed by a special session with a representative from explora Valle Sagrado. Throughout the evening, travel agents were treated to the classic Peruvian cocktail Pisco Sour and an array of delicious canapés.   The evening continued with an overview from Eclipse Travel’s Stephen Lanfranco on Eclipse Travel’s product offering and an introduction to their team of experts including Directors Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar. Guests also had the opportunity to win an 11-day famil to Peru, a luxurious 4-night stay for two in explora Valle Sagrado, a $500 Eclipse Travel voucher, and a deluxe PROMPERU giftbag with a bottle of Pisco from lucky prize draws.   The big winner of the night was Aaron Eilers from Cruise Express, who will join eight other travel agents from Australia and New Zealand for an 11-day famil trip to Peru from 31 October to 10 November 2016. Highlights of the famil will include Lima, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu as well as two nights accommodation at the new explora property.   Directors Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar said the event was a great success. “We are very excited to showcase Peru as a rising destination with PROMPERU and explora Valle Sagrado, and it is a wonderful opportunity for our fellow travel agents to learn about our unique itineraries and brand values.”    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 PARKROYAL brings back local favourite pop-up bar to Parramatta Lanes 2016-10-06T23:03:53Z parkroyal-brings-back-local-favourite-pop-up-bar-to-parramatta-lanes The much-loved pop-up bar by PARKROYAL Parramatta’s Bar 30 is set to return to the historic Willow Grove during the festival from Tuesday 11 October to Friday 14 October 2016.   Conveniently located on Phillip Street, Willow Grove is just a 4-minute walk from Parramatta CBD. Relax over a glass of wine under a rainbow of umbrellas and lights whilst soaking in the beauty of the sunset on the spacious lawns of the building.   The Bar 30 pop-up initiative is a classic staple of the annual Parramatta Lanes. This year, the team will spoil visitors with exquisite Australian wines, brews from locals Riverside Brewing Co and refreshing Batlow Ciders.   “This is the fourth year PARKROYAL takes part in Parramatta Lanes, and we are very excited to bring back what the locals love,” PARKROYAL Parramatta General Manager Michael Johnson says, “The al fresco pop-up bar offering not only fits in nicely with the festival’s unique laneway set up, but it also gives the local community a taste of our new Bar 30 & Bistro’s recent extension.”   “For those who want to experience further the vibrant eat-street, they are welcome to head to Bar 30 & Bistro to get some lunch on our deck during the week and enjoy a selection of our signature mains from a variety of fresh local producers.”   Presented by City of Parramatta as part of Good Food Month, Parramatta Lanes is a unique mix of Sydney’s leading chefs and local favourites combined with art, music and culture.  -ENDS-  PARKROYAL Parramatta 30 Phillip Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150 Tel: 02 9689 3333  ABOUT PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a collection of 16 comfortable leisure and business hotels, resorts and serviced suites (including those under development) located in gateway cities across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Each PARKROYAL reflects the spirit and individuality of its location through creative touches, authentic tastes and local connections. Whether you are travelling for business, leisure, or even with the family, each PARKROYAL hotel and resort is designed so you can work in connected comfort, or relax in soothing surrounds. PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. For more information, visit parkroyalhotels.com   Follow us on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parkroyalparramatta/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/PARKROYALAus Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/parkroyalhotelsaustralia/    For media enquiries, contact: Holysmoke! Agency Laura Heslop, Yvonne Kong or Amanda Fry P: +61 2 8354 0931 E: laura@holysmokeagency.com; yvonne@holysmokeagency.com; or amanda@holysmokeagency.com Local Measure launches new product reporting suite for hotel and tourism industry 2016-09-27T22:30:00Z local-measure-launches-new-product-reporting-suite-for-hotel-and-tourism-industry Skift Global Forum – New York, NY – 28 September 2016: Local Measure, the leading location-based social platform for the hotel and tourism industry, today launched its new product reporting suite at Skift Global Forum 2016.   “With guests sharing on social media like never before, Local Measure is an essential business tool for hotels looking to understand their guests, including what they like, what they’re passionate about and where your service lets them down,” said Sara Axelrod, Chief Operating Officer, Local Measure.   Local Measure’s new reporting suite has been designed with local hotels, regional teams and global chains in mind, and automatically configures a report based on the insights required by the user. A hotel GM will get a report just for their hotel, while a regional VP of Operations might see their whole region, and the global team might segment reports by brands, continents or whole regions.   In addition, the reporting suite provides an overview of social media platforms, types of content posted by guests and how guests are posting on social media. It also benchmarks the local performance of each venue, including response rates and times, along with presenting a summary of key customers and conversations.   Local Measure recently conducted a 16 month study that examined 56,000 customers who posted on social media at 75 hotel properties. The company found that hotels who engage directly with their guests see a higher return rate among those guests than those guests who aren’t engaged digitally. In fact, they’re 40 per cent more likely to return to the hotel.   “Location-based personalisation is a huge opportunity for hotels to improve guest experience and drive modern day loyalty. With a tool like Local Measure, hotels have the ability to surprise guests, or respond when things go awry,” said Axelrod.   Headquartered in Australia and with offices in the US, Singapore and the UK, Local Measure has proprietary technology that allows brands and businesses to geo-locate public user-generated content and feedback to deliver exceptional service to their customers, engage with them in real-time to resolve service issues and acquire the rights to use user-generated content. - ENDS -  About Local Measure  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 and hospitality 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 Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.   MEDIA CONTACTS Corrie McLeod/Amy Rathbone Espresso Communications for Local Measure +61 2 8016 2200localmeasure@espressocomms.com.au