The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2017-12-18T00:40:32Z Marc Edward Agency appointed to launch YesTelco Australia 2017-12-18T00:40:32Z marc-edward-agency-appointed-to-launch-yestelco-australia Marc Edward Agency (MEA) broadens service offering and launches Communications division with founding client, YesTelco Australia. MEA today announced the strategic shift to integrate a Communications offering into the business model to provide more effective and efficient solutions for clients. “Over the past year clients have increasingly looked to MEA to provide integrated creative solutions. The team have achieved great success in developing strategic campaigns for clients which extend activations to ensure experiences live on and touch a wider segment of consumers. Our Communications division is a natural business expansion from this work done to date.” says Nigel Hickey, Managing Director. The new MEA Comms division launched with founding client, YesTelco Australia. The telecommunications service provider has appointed MEA as PR and Experiential agency of record for its launch to market in early 2018. YesTelco Australia has appointed MEA as PR and Experiential agency of record, following a competitive pitch. YesTelco Australia CEO, Rob Fleifel, felt that culturally both businesses were a good fit, with each approaching their respective industries with a unique approach and service offering. MEA structures for ongoing growth following bumper year! 2017-11-30T22:26:32Z mea-structures-for-ongoing-growth-following-bumper-year Marc Edward Agency (MEA) Founder and CEO, Edward Kaleel, announced today his transition into a non-executive career. Kaleel will take on the role of Non-Executive Chairman, providing Managing Director, Nigel Hickey, with full executive responsibilities of MEA effective 1st December 2017. After starting the business in 1996, Kaleel has made the decision to step back from day to day responsibilities to better balance his focus across MEA, US business interests and future Non-Executive positions. “After 22 years leading MEA it’s time to hand the business running over to Nigel and his leadership team.” said Kaleel. “Recent investments in new technology, services and team members have positioned the business for an accelerated period of growth; a focussed approach from new leadership will only drive this further.” “It’s an honour to formally take over the leadership of MEA” said Hickey. “Over the past 18 months we’ve made a strategic shift to integrate a Communications offering into the business model to complement MEA’s expertise in bringing brands to life through the use of people.” Hickey said the broadened offering has provided more effective and efficient solutions for clients, results which the agency team intend to continue to drive into the future. MEA has retained Kevin Moore in an advisory capacity throughout the transition. Moore is currently Chairman of CROSSMARK AsiaPac, and holds several other Chairman and/or Director roles across communications businesses in Australia and Asia. NATIONAL TRUST CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY TO LAUNCH LOST VALLEY 2017-11-15T02:19:04Z national-trust-currumbin-wildlife-sanctuary-to-launch-lost-valley The exciting addition to National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (NTCWS) allows guests to explore a forgotten world and get up close and personal with some of the world’s most unique and distinctive flora and wildlife. Featuring 5 hectares of lush tropical rainforest, Lost Valley takes guests on a journey through the ancient supercontinent Gondwana where they will interact with exotic species including friendly Ring Tail lemurs, Cotton-top tamarins, Red panda, Capybaras, free-flying birds, exotic reptiles and so much more. NTCWS General Manager Michael Kelly is thrilled to finally open this amazing exhibit to the public. “The stunning rainforest precinct spans over 5 hectares and has been three years in the making and the team have worked so hard to create a living, breathing rainforest that will play home to breathtaking botanicals, exotic animals and free-flying birds. This is the biggest precinct that the Sanctuary has ever opened, in its 70 year history. “The free flying birds within the aviary will be a real spectacle. We will have a large number of bird species including the Eclectus Parrot, Molucan Red Lory, Black Capped Lory, Satin Bowerbird, Emerald Dove, Chiming Wedgebill Golden Pheasants and Mandarin Ducks to name a few, as well as our striking macaws” said Michael. Jonathan Fisher, CEO National trust of Australia (Queensland) says it is all about celebrating our environmental heritage. “This exhibit is the single largest investment by the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) and our mission is to connect people with nature and Lost Valley truly depicts this. “We have managed to source the most unique and exotic animals and the team have created an incredibly natural, sustainable and biological environment for the animals and plants to thrive. Guests will actually feel like they are in the middle of an actual rainforest,” said Jonathan. Lost Valley pays tribute to the Gold Coast Hinterland’s real and existing Lost World Valley which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage listed area and includes expansive rainforest reserves in both Queensland and New South Wales. Lost Valley will create a valuable visitor experience that connecting them with nature and allowing them to discover unique species in an exciting and immersive environment. Lost Valley opens at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on December 26 Images attached – Green Winged Macaw, Green Iguana, Ring Tail Lemur, Red Panda, Cotton-Top Tamarin Link to Lost Valley teaser trailer - https://vimeo.com/242010223/07af7764a8 Gondwana History The Lost Valley at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a tribute to the true Lost World Valley, a hidden gem in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Lost World Valley is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area and includes expansive rainforest reserves in both Queensland and New South Wales. Queensland National Parks included in the area include Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park, Mt Barney National Park and Main Range National Park. Rainforest vegetation once covered most of the ancient southern super-continent Gondwana and remains the most ancient type of botanical species in Australia. Few places on earth contain so many plants and animals that are almost identical to their ancient ancestors. There is a concentration of primitive plant families, which are directly linked to flowering plants existing over 100 million years ago, as well as some of the oldest elements of the world's ferns and conifers. The mission of National Trust of Australia (Queensland) is to protect, conserve and celebrate the environmental, built and cultural heritage. On the Gold Coast, locals and tourists alike love the world-famous beaches but equally, they celebrate the beautiful natural hinterland that sits behind the coastline. All interview and photo opportunity enquiries - Sonia Deakin, M10 Collective | Ph: 0423 097 494 | email: sonia@m10.com.au Karen Smith, M10 Collective | Ph: 0407 527 366 | email: karen@m10.com.au WeChat's powerful ecosystem enables local merchants to connect with Chinese users 2017-11-02T01:52:18Z wechats-powerful-ecosystem-enables-local-merchants-to-connect-with-chinese-users Sydney 02 November, 2017: WeChat has taken a major step through its first series of WeChat Connect events in Sydney and Melbourne to showcase its all-encompassing mobile ecosystem tailored for Australian merchants serving the Chinese community. As of June 2017, Weixin and WeChat have a combined reach of over 963 million monthly active users in China. This translates to a vast opportunity for businesses catering to the Chinese community and visitors in Australia. At the WeChat Connect event, the WeChat team together with their Australian partners demonstrated the innovative uses of the platform for various businesses to better connect with the booming Chinese market. Operating on a single platform, WeChat allows Chinese users to explore, connect and experience Australia all within one app. The WeChat ecosystem includes a number of functionalities including the WeChat Mini Program, a feature that allows users to experience various services without the need to download or install, WeChat Official Accounts for businesses and a mobile payment platform, WeChat Pay. Connecting Chinese users and businesses with WeChat Pay and Mini Program As the outbound travel segment continues to grow in China, more Chinese travellers purchase internationally and prefer to use mobile payment. WeChat Pay offers huge potential to serve as a payment bridge between travellers and Australian businesses. Chinese travellers are commonly looking for fast and convenient payment while shopping abroad. WeChat Pay, a payment feature integrated into the WeChat platform, allows users to complete payments quickly and easily with their smartphones. The WeChat Wallet features Quick Pay, QR Code Payments, In-App Web-Based Payments and Native In-App Payments. The use of WeChat Pay will solve many issues for Chinese users when they shop in Australia, and local merchants are able to leverage the large user base to gain loyalty and become even more competitive. Additionally, businesses are able to tap WeChat Mini Programs to engage users and build their brand and influence with the Chinese community. Mini Programs can be discovered in many ways, such as scanning offline Mini Program code, recommending by friends, clicking through Official Accounts or Discover tab, etc. Through Mini Programs, brands and merchants can offer loyalty programs, virtual gift cards and more. A new way to experience Australian cities WeChat also unveiled the WeChat City Experience Sydney Mini Program, a new way tourists can connect with a city through the app. The tool, previewed in partnership with Tourism Australia and Destination New South Wales, will offer Chinese tourists a different way to experience the popular destination through a self-guided interface that navigates key places of interest, all without leaving their everyday go-to app. “We know that Chinese tastes in tourism are maturing and their interests are increasingly focused on individual, experiential travel. It is great that as an industry, we can tap into the potential of the largest social mobile app in China to deliver more destination information on demand to high-value Chinese fully independent travellers,” said Tourism Australia’s Andy Jiang, Country Manager, China. This year the government announced that 2017 is the year of China Tourism, in an effort to drive continued growth in what is Australia’s most valuable tourism market. Last year, 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Australia and by 2020 the sector has the potential to be worth more than $13 billion. “The WeChat Connect event offered a fascinating insight into China’s biggest social media platform. Chinese tourists, visitors, students, migrants, investors are pivotal in Melbourne’s growth story and it is crucial to educate local users and businesses on how to engage with this market. We look forward to future collaborations that will enhance Melbourne’s reputation as a Smart City and the most livable city in the world,” commented Councillor Philip Le Liu, City of Melbourne. In the mood for food: Dining tops Aussie travellers’ wish lists 2017-10-11T07:20:55Z in-the-mood-for-food-dining-tops-aussie-travellers-wish-lists October 2017, Sydney Australia: agoda, the world’s largest accommodation booking platform, has revealed in its latest Travel & Tech study that ‘food and dining’ (64 per cent) and ‘nature or scenery’ (63 per cent) are the most popular activities among millennial Aussie travellers.   Turning the Aussie traveller stereotype on its head, only 20 per cent identified ‘bars and nightlife’ as a preferred travel activity.   Spoiled with some of the best beaches and landscapes in the world, Aussies love to chase the heat wherever they go, with ‘sun, island, beach’ (61 per cent) rounding out the top three preferred travel experiences. Close behind were ‘tourist attractions’ (60 per cent) and ‘local culture and lifestyle’ (55 per cent).   The least popular holiday activity for Aussies was ‘wellness and health treatment’, with only 14 per cent of respondents identifying it as a reason for travel.   Andrew Edwards, Global Director for Brand and Communications at agoda, comments: “Australia is a nation of foodies and its major cities are thriving melting pots of food and culture. Our research indicates that Aussies are using this passion for food to experience more and more of the country.”   About the research   The quantitative online survey was commissioned by agoda, with responses from 1,149 Australian respondents aged 18-64. Data was collated between 27 February and 17 April 2017.    About agoda   agoda (Nasdaq:PCLN) is one of the world’s fastest-growing online travel booking platforms. agoda is committed to delivering the best holidays, at the best prices. With a network of over one million accommodation properties, including apartments, villas, homes, and hotels backed by over 15 million real traveller reviews, Agoda helps other travellers find and explore new experiences in new destinations. Established in 2005, the start-up quickly expanded in Asia and was acquired in 2007 by the Priceline Group – the world’s largest seller of rooms online. agoda is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in major cities across over 30 countries. Reymond Communications client wins 2017-09-26T23:44:12Z reymond-communications-client-wins Reymond Communications is delighted to welcome Bar Carolina, Yagiz, Bacash, A Girl called Jayne and Piccolina Gelateria to its hospitality portfolio, alongside luxurious French oven and cooking range manufacturer La Cornue. The team is also now working with Hip V.Hype, an entrepreneurial firm using design thinking and sustainability to create a better living. Australian beef producer, Jack's Creek win World's Best Fillet Steak Award at World Steak Challenge! 2017-07-05T00:41:20Z australian-beef-producer-jack-s-creek-win-world-s-best-fillet-steak-award-at-world-steak-challenge Jack’s Creek win World’s Best Fillet Steak Award at World Steak Challenge 2017! Family-run Australian beef producer, Jack’s Creek has won the World's Best Fillet Steak producer accolade at the World Steak Challenge in London last night; the third time in a row that the producer has been the recipient of a top award at the competition. The competition was bigger and tougher than ever with 17 countries and over 100 entries from the world’s top beef producers. The Jack's Creek winning steak came from a Wagyu F2+ 450-day grain fed Fillet. Jack’s Creek also won a Gold medal for its Wagyu F2+ 450-day grain fed Striploin and a Silver Medal for its Wagyu F2+ 450-day grain fed Rib Eye. Patrick Warmoll, managing director of Jack's Creek commented, “I am delighted with the outcome this year. We spent a considerable amount of time selecting our entries alongside our German distributor, Albers Food, who this year came to our farm in Tamworth, Australia to assist in the selection process for our Wagyu entries. With added categories, their input was very valuable!” “A third consecutive set of Gold and Silver medals, as well as the World’s Best Fillet Steak award confirms that we are producing a consistent, high quality product and I am very proud of the business we have created. As I always say, this is as much a win for Australia as it is for us.” Chair of judges Marco Peerdeman said, “We focused on how the steaks taste, taking into account their tenderness. Those that got it right jumped out at you. The steaks were definitely high this year! It’s interesting for us with the different categories as different cuts have different qualities so we had to take that into account.” Rod Addy, editor of GlobalMeatNews, said: “The sheer range and quality of entries this year is a testament to the hard work put in by producers across the globe. This year’s Challenge has attracted a record number of entries, reflecting the pride producers take in their products and the eagerness to win an accolade, which will propel their business and their brand.” Jack’s Creek’s award-winning beef can be found in many of Australia’s top restaurants including, ARIA, BLACK Bar & Grill, Catalina, LuMi Bar and Dining and many more. ARIA restaurant Head Chef Ben Turner commented that, “Jack’s Creek beef is always a consistent and tasty product” and BLACK Bar & Grill Executive Chef, Dany Karam said, “When I heard the prized sirloin from Jack’s Creek was named the World’s Best Steak, I knew I had to have it. We smoke it over our signature cherry wood ash before cooking it on the iron bark grill and serving it medium to bring out the tender flavour and succulent texture. Our customers absolutely love it.” www.jackscreek.com.au For more information on Jack’s Creek, interviews with Patrick Warmoll and images, please contact Annabel Carroll at Polkadot PR 02 9281 4190 / annabel@polkadotpr.com.au About Jack’s Creek Jack’s Creek is still regarded as a relative newcomer in the world of specialist beef after launching in 2000. However, in 1947 the Warmoll Family began farming in Breeza and the company’s links to fine food dates back to 1852, when the Warmoll Family emigrated from Ireland before opening butcher’s shops in the Victorian and NSW gold fields. The company is family run by co-founders and brothers, Philip and David Warmoll and sons Patrick Warmoll, MD and Robert Warmoll. Jack’s Creek is at the forefront of Australian premium beef production – processing and marketing grain fed Wagyu and Black Angus, which it ships to more than 20 destinations around the world including Japan, Saudi Arabia, China and the Germany. Australia’s Cruise Industry Sails to Record Highs in 2016 2017-05-15T02:44:26Z 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 Ski Cheap partner with Car Hire booking for cheap car hire in Australia 2017-04-25T09:10:45Z ski-cheap-partner-with-car-hire-booking-for-cheap-car-hire-in-australia Ski Cheap is happy to announce Car Hire bookings partnership. This will definitely make it easier for our customers to reach the ski fields with less encumbrance. National availability through the car hire market and also covering Sydney  airports car hire and Melbourne Airport Car Hire . National capital availability for  Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. Find the cheapest lastminute car hire prices. Car Hire Bookings www.carhirebookings.com.au 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 ### Shitbox Rally 2017 forms strategic partnership with Bingle 2016-12-18T21:00:00Z shitbox-rally-2017-forms-strategic-partnership-with-bingle-1 Monday 19th December 2016: Box Rallies is excited to announce Bingle as a major sponsor of Shitbox Rally 2017. The leading car insurer will also be supporting the rally with free third party property damage insurance.   Starting in Adelaide on Saturday 27 May 2017, 450 participants will take to the Australian outback in cars worth less than $1,000 all to raise much-needed funds for the critical cancer research initiatives of Cancer Council Australia. Shitbox Rally now in its eighth year was founded by James Freeman in 2010. Each year, the rally challenges teams to explore some of the most remote regions in Australia. In 2017, the rally will embark on an arduous 3,800km seven-day road adventure from Adelaide to Cairns via the Oodnadatta Track and Plenty Highway. “The rally teams already cover numerous costs and devote so much of their own time in preparing for the rally and fundraising,” says Alison Connolly, Bingle’s Executive Manager, “Bingle believes in making everything ‘as simple as it sounds’ so as part of our sponsorship we’re proud to be making things simpler by providing free Third Party Property Damage Insurance to the rally teams.” Box Rallies Founder James Freeman welcomes Bingle’s support to the rally. “For years I have thought that an insurance company would be an ideal sponsor for the rally, so I am thrilled Bingle have come on board for 2017.  They have the right attitude for what we do at Shitbox and they are very supportive to our philosophy around humor and challenges. Their tongue in cheek name works so well with ours and the support they are giving to the rally teams is greatly appreciated,” says Mr Freeman. To further support Shitbox Rally, Bingle is also entering its own rally team to get the full experience for themselves. Shitbox Rally has raised over $8.164 million to date since its inception in 2010. For further information or to support the cause with a donation, visit http://www.facebook.com/shitboxrally or www.shitboxrally.com.au.-ENDS-  ABOUT BOX RALLIESShitbox Rally is not a race but rather a challenge to achieve the unthinkable: to drive cars worth $1,000 or less across Australia via some of its most arduous roads - all to raise money for cancer research. Shitbox Rally was founded in 2009 by James Freeman after both of his parents died from cancer within 12 months of each other as a way of raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer – a disease that now affects so many people. Over the last seven years, Shitbox Rally has raised over $8.164 million for cancer research, making the rally the largest independent fundraiser for the Cancer Council nationally.     The rally is a reward for all the fundraising the dedicated participants do to put into research for prevention and ultimately to help find a cure for cancer, and it’s a chance to meet like-minded people and see our vast and beautiful country in a totally unique way. To qualify to be in Shitbox Rally, supporters must have raised a minimum of $4,000. 2017 marks the eighth Shitbox Rally. Previous rally routes include 2016 Mackay to Hobart across Bass Strait, 2015 Canberra to Townsville via the Birdsville Track, 2014 Perth to Darwin via the Gibb River Road, 2013 Adelaide to Fremantle via Uluru, 2012 Melbourne to Cairns via Innamincka, 2011 Brisbane to Darwin via the Savannah Way and 2010 Sydney to Alice Springs via the Oodnadatta Track. For more details please visit www.shitboxrally.com.au. Overwhelmed by the tremendous success in its first international destination in New Zealand, Shitbox Rally NZ is returning in February 2017. To register for 2017 Shitbox Rally New Zealand, or to find out more information, visit www.shitboxrally.co.nz. An additional $2.01 million has also been raised for Cancer Council Australia over the past three years of Mystery Box Rally, a similar concept also created by James Freeman. Known as Shitbox Rally’s mad baby brother, Mystery Box is, as the name suggests, a mysterious adventure in mystery cars with a shorter distance and less days travelling. Unlike Shitbox Rally, each location is a mystery, adding to the excitement and adventure of the drive. For more information please visit www.mystery-box.com.au.  MEDIA CONTACT Holysmoke! Agency Amanda Fry P: 0418 262 282 E amanda@holysmokeagency.com.au;  For media Inquiries, please contact: Rob White External Relations Manager Insurance Suncorp 0411 881 887 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