The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-07-07T08:36:48Z Australian travel expert encourages operators to pivot and adapt amidst Covid-19 pandemic 2020-07-07T08:36:48Z australian-travel-expert-encourages-operators-to-pivot-and-adapt-amidst-covid-19-pandemic A leading Australian travel industry expert has encouraged operators to pivot and adapt in order to survive, and even thrive, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.Marten Labo Pudun, managing director of Blue Ocean Travel, believes in order to survive, travel operators must commit to following new hygiene and safety protocols including temperature checking and physical social distancing protocol, as well as a focus on promoting domestic travel to Australia’s most iconic destinations“The tourism industry is one of resilience, having faced, and recovered, from many unexpected curve balls in the past, including terrorism, tsunamis, and extreme climate change,” said Mr Labo Pudun.Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, most tourism operators have been dealt with both the drying up of sales as well as the necessity to refund existing bookings due to the cancellation of travel from immigration border restrictions.Blue Ocean Travel has taken care of 500 consumers during this challenging time, including 300 business clients amd 200 Malaysian students who were stuck in Australia during the lock-down.The travel agency looked after booking air tickets, hotel accommodation, airport transfers, amongst other arrangements.Mr Labo Pudun credits his agency's efficient consultation regarding travel insurance policies for speeding up the refund process to clients.“This has been a really effective approach in maintaining client loyalty and safeguarding the business in the long term,” said Mr Labo Pudun.Mr Labo Pudun said there are a number of procedures that all travel industry operators will need to follow in order to restore consumer confidence and safeguard the public from a Covid-19 second wave or other unexpected breakout.“Most flights will remove all magazines and newspapers by introducing new ancillary products to emerging customer demand such as one-off lounge passes and extra fees to keep adjacent seats free,” said Mr Labo Pudun.“Hotels will modify their service procedures by closing buffets, gyms, indoor swimming pools and increasing distance between tables in restaurants.“Most tourist attractions such as theme parks are committed to reducing crowding up to 30 to 50 percent of previous levels by introducing pre-registration schemes.“This will lead to visitors providing health QR code issued by the Government based on previous travel histories and potential exposure to the virus.”Moving forward, Mr Labo Pudun strongly believes that all major Australian travel agencies will need to focus more on promoting domestic travel to our most iconic destinations including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Forest, Gold Coast, Twelve Apostles, Uluru, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania, as the international travel industry will take longer to recover.“As Australia is enriched with a plethora of breathtakingly beautiful travel destinations, the domestic travel industry will recover more quickly than other countries lacking large domestic travel hot spots,” said Mr Labo Pudun. About Marten Labo PudunInherited with Lun Bawang indigenous Dayak tribes of Borneo, Marten Labo Pudun is a zealous proponent for the Australian-Malaysian community. He is the first Lun Bawang Malaysian. Marten migrated to Australia to obtain higher tertiary education and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce & MBA in 1994 from Charles Sturt University. He has been working resiliently in the Australian tourism industry for two decades.During his journey as a managing director of Blue Ocean Travel Pty Ltd, Marten has accomplished remarkable experience in recognising the challenges facing international students and visitors from multicultural and diverse backgrounds during their travels and studies in Australia.Marten has made a remarkable contribution and display of support toward all of Blue Ocean Travel’s thousands of clients, by not only proving to be a loyal service provider but also by showing his solidarity as a philanthropic Australian-Malaysian.- ends -For more information or interview requests, please contact: Joanne RahnDirectorzanthii communicationsPhone: 0402 148 334Email: joanne@zanthii.comFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/zanthiiau Taiwan dubbed “the new Hawaii” as it becomes the hot new surfing destination 2020-07-06T23:20:40Z taiwan-dubbed-the-new-hawaii-as-it-becomes-the-hot-new-surfing-destination Taiwan has become one of the hot new surfing destinations in the world, with some surfing adventurers dubbing it “the new Hawaii”.   The water’s great temperature and the monstrous waves during the monsoon season ensure that for surfers it’s ‘always on’.  According to website magicseaweed.com US soldiers were the first to surf the beach on the north coast of Jin Shan in 1965, and local pioneers have continued their legacy.   The best spots are scattered along the east coast and the ideal surfing season is Winter, between October and March.  The typhoon season is the one that provides the largest waves, from June to September, however if there is a typhoon warning, surfing is not encouraged!   One small and unassuming fishing village in Taitung called Donghe is referred to as a surfing Mecca as it consistently picks up the best swell on the entire East Coast.  It is the most consistent throughout the year which is why, despite the lack of infrastructure, die hard surfers from across the world head here.   Just to the south of Donghe is Jinzun.  It is here that the biggest surfing event in Taiwan, the Taiwan Open of Surfing, takes place every November.  Jinzun itself used to be a small fishing community, but in recent years surfing has changed the vibe of the place.  While still developing, there are now more B&B’s, surf shops and cafes springing up, including an established surfing school.   It’s not just on the east coast where there are great waves to be found.  Jialehui in Kenting National Park is the place to head in the south of Taiwan.  The surf here is generally smaller and as a result is a good place for beginners and intermediates as well as more experienced surfers.  Its location is close to a river mouth creating long-lasting breaks which are ideal for those looking to practice manoeuvres.   Furlong Beach is better known for being a day-tripping destination from Taipei and the home of the famous sand-sculpting festival than for its surfing.  However, it offers a fantastic swell with big, long-lasting waves that are great for the more experienced surfers to practice their moves on.       The black sands of Waiao Beach in Yilan is quite close to Taipei, in fact only an hour and a half by car.  This is a destination that has gained popularity over the past few years and there are events now held on the once quiet beach.  However, if you decide to go in Winter you might find yourself with only a small handful of other resilient souls keen to brave any conditions just to surf.      Presenting BARSIDE: The World's Most Iconic Hotel Cocktails coffee-table book 2020-06-29T07:14:01Z presenting-barside-the-world-s-most-iconic-hotel-cocktails-coffee-table-book Sip, Sip, Hooray! Cheers to these amazing hotel signature cocktails which have become destinations in their own right. Some are seasonal, some are whimsical, all are concocted to inspire.  “Wherever your travel plans take you, we can bet that there’s a delicious, Instagrammable cocktail waiting for you.,” says RETREAT Magazine Editor in Chief, Molly Martin. “We have launched our first hardcover cocktail recipe book in appreciation of hotels that are taking signature cocktails to a new level. With easy-to-follow recipes, now cocktail enthusiasts can enjoy their favourite drinks from their favourite hotels in the luxury of their homes.”  One of the most pleasurable ways to immerse yourself in your travels is to take in your surroundings while sipping on something delicious. In the meantime, make one of these authentic cocktails at home while you finalize your itinerary. These cocktails are sure to help inspire your next vacation. BARSIDE showcases beautiful photographs and features over 150 extraordinary cocktails from Paris to Phuket. Get ready to shake, stir and concoct the world's most iconic hotel cocktails.  BARSIDE is now available on in bookstores, online retailers and retreatshops.com!   https://retreatshops.com/collections/coffee-table-books/products/barside-the-worlds-most-iconic-hotel-cocktails About the Book BARSIDE: The World's Most Iconic Hotel Cocktails   Presented by RETREAT Magazine 314 pages, 200+ colour photographs $65.00 hardcover Presented by Retreat Magazine Edited by Molly Martin, Editor in Chief  Cover Illustration by Kimberly Randall Available in bookstores, luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Helping Qantas and ABC Staff Impacted by Job Losses 2020-06-26T00:21:13Z helping-qantas-and-abc-staff-impacted-by-job-losses Sydney, 26 June 2020: As thousands of Qantas and ABC employees learned they would soon lose their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, one resourceful former Qantas employee has taken direct action by offering all of these workers free access to Project Displaced, a volunteer run online community offering confidential job seeker support and mental health first aid, 7 days a week. Sydney-based Anthony Cohen worked for Qantas for more than 16 years, his partner is an orchestral musician, and both have had their work contracts put on hold or cancelled. The COVID-19 crisis hit them and their extended network very personally, and this inspired Anthony to take direct action. “We set up Project Displaced in March to help our community through this terrible and very sudden crisis,” explains Anthony. “After both my partner and I lost our jobs, I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, so I came up with the idea of Project Displaced.” Since March, Project Displaced has helped hundreds of job seekers from all across Australia and from every industry.  “Although we started this to specifically help employees in the airline, arts, tourism and hospitality industries we were flooded with requests from people who’ve lost their jobs in all sorts of industries. We don’t say no – we want to help as many people as we can”. Project Displaced is run entirely by volunteers and is not connected to any Government support program. There are now more than twenty qualified Career Coaches, Recruiters, HR Managers, Mindset Coaches and qualified Mental Health specialists who all volunteer their time for free to help job seekers in need. All consultations are private and conducted virtually via Zoom, Skype or phone call. Job seekers can choose from a confidential discussion about their current situation, goals, challenges, and skills. There are specialist services to help them write a resume and cover letter, or how to navigate leveraging their networks. And importantly there is also qualified mindset and mental health first aid. “This week’s news about my former colleagues from Qantas brings back all of the emotion I felt when I started this initiative. The heartbreak in the Qantas staff community right now is palpable. But they are an amazing and resilient group of people and I know that those who are impacted by this devastating news offer an amazing set of skills, training and dedication that any new employer will reap rewards from”. Project Displaced’ services are available 7 days a week. They’re open from 7:30am to 10pm every week day, and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday”  The team of volunteers who dedicate their time and expertise to helping job seekers in need are incredible. They give of themselves for no other benefit than seeing the renewed sense of self-confidence and optimism that job seekers walk away feeling after the session. All volunteers are qualified and leaders in their professions, and come from all over Australia. Project Displaced continually receives 5 star reviews from the job seekers that use their services and Anthony is determined to keep the free service going as long as he can. “Right now what we need are good news stories. These are incredibly uncertain times and people are facing unprecedented challenges. Although this costs me money personally to run, it’s absolutely the right thing to do! I’ve been through redundancy twice in my career so far so I know what everyone is feeling - and I wish I had access to the services we’re offering at Project Displaced” said Anthony. Job seekers who have been stood down or are facing losing their jobs can book a free support session instantly. https://projectdisplaced.simplybook.me https://facebook.com/ProjectDisplaced info@projectdisplaced.com Support via GoFundMe:  gf.me/u/x7utt4   ENDS – For further information or to arrange an interview please contact: Retreat Magazine Presents POOLSIDE: The Word's Most Extraordinary Hotel Pools 2020-06-17T06:41:32Z retreat-magazine-presents-poolside-the-word-s-most-extraordinary-hotel-pools RETREAT Magazine has launched its first coffee-table book, POOLSIDE: The World's Most Extraordinary Hotel Pools, a hardcover book showcasing the world’s most spectacular pools and idyllic escapes. From iconic infinity-edge pools to private plunge pools with a view, the 314-page coffee-table book features the world’s supremely extraordinary pools.  “Swimming pools are the heart of every luxury hotel experience,” says RETREAT Magazine Editor in Chief, Molly Martin. “We have launched our first hardcover book in appreciation of hotels that are taking pools to a new level.”POOLSIDE showcases beautiful photographs—more than 200 in total—and features over 150 extraordinary destinations. Where glamour and luxury go hand in hand, from Paris to Phuket and in every shape and size, get ready to dive into the world's most awe-inspiring spots to take a dip.  POOLSIDE is now available on Amazon, book retailers, and retreatshops.com!   About the Book POOLSIDE: The World's Most Extraordinary Hotel Pools Presented by RETREAT Magazine 314 pages, 200+ colour photographs $99.95 hardcover Foreword by Mike Dobson, StudioM1 Cover Photography by Lauren Schulz Edited by Molly Martin, Editor in Chief Retreat Magazine  Available in bookstores, luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. Follow Retreat Magazine @retreatmagazine for more!    2020 Sunshine Coast Whale Watching Season now here 2020-06-16T01:58:05Z 2020-sunshine-coast-whale-watching-season-now-here The Humpback Whales are back and the 2020 Whale Watching Season on the Sunshine Coast has begun, presenting a special opportunity for locals and Queenslanders. Sunreef Mooloolaba’s Dan Hart said this year’s whale watching season started a little later than usual due to COVID-19 but that with restricted numbers on board it offers a special experience. “This year we started a couple of weeks later than usual, but we have our COVID SAFE plan in place which includes additional cleaning and hygiene measures as well as a restriction on the number of people on board,” Dan said. “While normally we would have up to 100 guests onboard each whale watching trip on Whale One, at this stage we are hosting just 20 guests for each trip. “This means there is plenty of extra room to move around the boat and see the whales from all Whale One’s vantage points.” Dan said this year’s season was expected to be better than ever with whale researchers predicting the number of humpback whale migrating up Australia’s east coast to continue to increase. “This year will see an expected 35,000 humpback whales migrate through Sunshine Coast waters, which could attract about 25,000 people to take a closer look and participate in a whale watching or swim with whales experience. “While final numbers of guests for the season will depend on the continuing easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we are always super excited to welcome the whales and to give guests the opportunity to get closer to them. “While all of us humans have been restricting our movements, no one told the whales, so their migration is on track with other years. “We are already seeing good numbers of whales including some calves and expect this to continue throughout the season.” Dan said whale watching tours would be aboard Whale One, which underwent a total refurbishment last year, while Swim with Whales tours would be onboard Sunreef’s fast boats, Wild One, and the brand-new purpose-built Tsunami, which Sunreef took delivery of in March. “Whale Watching season is an economic driver for the tourism sector, during what is traditionally a quieter period,” Dan said. “It’s even more important this year as the region begins its recovery following the COVID-19 shutdown.” “Whale Watching brings in visitors, who spend not just on whale watching but also on accommodation, hospitality and other attractions, which in turn creates employment so we are super proud to be playing our part,” Dan said. “Whale One has taken hundreds of thousands of people whale watching since she was first launched in 2007, and we are proud to have her as part of our fleet and to also have introduced Swimming with Humpback Whales to Australia.” Dan Hart said the whale watching season would run through until 1st November, with the Swim with Whales season to run from 4th July to 18th October. He said as part of Sunreef’s commitment to marine conservation, they will again be working closely with researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast to find out more about the humpback whale species, with two spots on each Whale Watching and Swim with Whales boats reserved for their use. To find out more or book your Whale Watching or Swim with Whales experience, visit www.sunreef.com.au or call 07 5444 5656. Academy Services helping tourism and hospitality sector get back to business with specialised COVID-19 cleaning 2020-06-16T01:54:25Z academy-services-helping-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-get-back-to-business-with-specialised-covid-19-cleaning As restrictions on travel have been lifted in Queensland, one Sunshine Coast business is taking innovative measures to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Among measures taken by Sunreef Mooloolaba, the home of aquatic adventure, is a non-toxic and non-flammable infection-control solution that kills COVID19, along with other dangerous pathogens, in just 30 seconds. The product, Nanocyn, was recently approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as killing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus), making it the fastest all-natural, non-toxic disinfectant of its type. It is delivered by 40-year-old cleaning company Academy Services. Sunreef Mooloolaba owner Dan Hart said tourism was a vital part of the Queensland’s economy and as part of that industry, they were doing everything possible to look after the health and safety of their guests. “We have implemented a comprehensive COVID-19 infection-control plan and have included Nanocyn, as part of our response, on our vessels and at the Dive Centre,” Dan said. “Its non-toxicity means a newly cleaned area can be occupied immediately after fogging. “Sunreef has adjusted operations and reduced the number of guests on its tours and is looking forward to relaunching all diving as well as its Whale Watching season on 13th June, a fortnight after the normal start of the normal whale watching season. “Whale One is ready to go for another great season and we can’t wait to greet guests and take them out to the whale highway where more than 35,000 whales are expected to migrate through Sunshine Coast waters during this year’s season.” The Dock Mooloolaba, a dynamic 350m2 restaurant also at Mooloolaba is another business that has incorporated Nanocyn as part of their COVID-19 response. The Dock Mooloolaba general manager Jaime Badia said while they had closed the restaurant, they launched takeaway and Heat & Eat packages to assist customers and were delighted to now be welcoming limited numbers of guests back to dine in. “We are going over and above all the guidelines as part of our COVID-19 response and the Nanocyn fogging is part of that,” Jaime said. Academy Services Chief Executive Officer James Pollock said products such as the TGA-approved Nanocyn give peace of mind that business is safely managing life after lockdown. “Our business is on the frontline of the COVID19 battle using TGA-approved Nanocyn, including some sites where COVID19 was present, or was suspected of being present,” Mr Pollock said. “The world has entered a new age in infection control, where next-level cleanliness is the norm and business must put cleaning and infection control to the forefront of their safety plans, working with trusted and experienced partners for the benefit of their staff and clients.” For more information visit www.academyservices.com.au. ATAC makes it easy for members to sell Australia 2020-06-11T08:00:00Z atac-makes-it-easy-for-members-to-sell-australia ATAC (Australian Travel Agents Co-operative) has responded very quickly to the swing in the market to domestic tourism, by ensuring that their members are well-positioned to reinvigorate their businesses. This is being achieved through the inclusion of easily accessible Australian Tourism Board content on their customised technology platform, ATAC 360. A key benefit provided to members is the selection of over 50 ready-to-use social posts which includes approved images (with mandatory photo credits) from Australian tourism boards, as well as recommended wording. Members can select their preferences in ATAC 360 and upload the posts to their agency’s social media pages in under 5 minutes. ATAC General Manager, Michelle Emerton advised that, “It makes perfect sense to use our technology to make it as easy as possible for members to sell Australia. Besides social media content, the respective image and video libraries, training and links to the tourism boards trade and consumer websites are also available.” This information will give all members nationally the ability to grow different revenue streams, as well as boost productivity with hours of time saved when looking for relevant up-to-date content for domestic marketing campaigns and advice to clients. “In light of the current situation, we are very pleased that we were able to pivot and offer this solution to our members within a very short turnaround time. All content is live and ready for members to use immediately,” added Michelle. In conjunction with this initiative, ATAC are also working closely with their preferred suppliers to make different and exciting domestic holidays available to their members. www.travelagentsco-op.com.au How recruitment will change post COVID-19 2020-06-10T02:45:45Z how-recruitment-will-change-post-covid-19 During 2019 many businesses were trying to work out how to improve their recruitment processes to attract the best candidates.  The marketplace was becoming increasingly competitive as unemployment in many countries was relatively low. There was a focus on improving the information provided to candidates, broadening the advertising through more job sites, as well as shortening the recruitment process to capture those potential candidates quickly. Post COVID-19 has seen the severest and quickest change to the job market for decades.  Many businesses have been directly and indirectly affected by massive losses in customers and the resulting flow-on effects.  Businesses have closed, laid off staff and sent many employees on leave.  Slowly we are seeing companies coming back to life.  But not all will survive.  Many new businesses will come alive, and many companies have or will pivot to adapt to the new world post-COVID-19. The way businesses seek, find, court and interact with potential new employees must also change.   For now, the days of lining up multiple face-to-face meetings with different interest groups, or catching up for coffees to assess cultural fit are in the past.  We won't have the luxury of personal interactions, group interviews, or recruitment processes that may require many stages.  Now more than ever, we have to find innovative and creative ways of capturing more information without the opportunity to meet in person. The more information and the better 'feel' we can get for our potential successful recruit before we narrow down the field, the better.  So right now, post COVID-19, and with the need to be transparent and inclusive coming to the fore around the globe there are new and innovative ways that candidates can provide employers with a clear insight into who they are.  Images, videos and elevator pitches can do this.  Resupix has created an app that helps provide a professional and innovative way to communicate this information in a non-threatening way for both the candidate and the employer.    Using images and captions to create a profile to present skills, interests, goals, and achievements is a powerful way to separate candidates.  It can work in conjunction with a resume for those who still require the traditional modes of information transfer.  But let's face it, resumes can be impersonal, robotic, manufactured and exaggerated.  Images and videos are authentic.   The new world of sharing who you are to snare the new job in the post-COVID-19 world is here in RESUPIX.  Try it out free. Download app from Apple IOS - https://apps.apple.com/au/app/resupix/id1505716754 Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.resupix.resupixapp BYO pillow the way to go for post-COVID travel 2020-06-09T05:07:19Z byo-pillow-the-way-to-go-for-post-covid-travel Travel as we know it is about to change dramatically for the foreseeable future. Luggage will also take on a new look with COVID-19 health and safety gear receiving the same focus as tourists’ favourite holiday apparel.   The use of communal pillows will become particularly problematic. These are known to harbour allergens, dead skin, hair and residual saliva. Tests that monitor the length of time that the COVID-19 virus remains active on textiles are ongoing. So, while deep cleaning of rooms may take place, the quickest and easiest-to-control solution will be to BYO pillow.   Diane Tipper from SleepKeeper knows that customers will be keen to take their own pillow for health and safety reasons. “Over the past few years many customers have purchased my pillow bags because they like to travel with their own pillow for comfort or due to health or chiropractic advice. This will definitely change in the future.”    “We can see that international airlines like Thai Airways have announced that they will no longer be handing out blankets and pillows. While international travel may be some time away, many people I know are planning holidays on home soil that will involve overnight accommodation. That’s where travelling with your own pillow will make a real difference to warding off potential infection.”   Get your pillow prepared and be ready to enjoy some long-awaited leisure trips in hygienic safety and comfort. Holiday options will begin again for New South Wales residents from 1 June when regional travel will be allowed across the state. There is also a significant push to ease state border closures and an Australia/New Zealand travel bubble has been the subject of much discussion.   SleepKeeper is an Australian designed product that reduces the size of any pillow by one third. It is lightweight, water-resistant and durable.  Priced at $29 plus free postage within Australia, Sleepkeeper is a low-cost, hygienic investment, providing comfort and peace of mind for travellers.   You can’t take your bed, but you can take your pillow! $1 Million Pledge on World Environment Day 2020 2020-06-04T22:25:00Z 1-million-pledge-on-world-environment-day-2020 Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) is excited to announce the official launch of its philanthropic initiative that will cultivate real change in support of Australian conservation projects. The initiative, called Tasmanian Walking Company Foundation, will focus on innovative programs that restore balance to threatened ecosystems while protecting vulnerable native animals and promoting sustainable use of wilderness areas.  Born from a heritage of charitable roots Tasmanian Walking Company raised $112000 for the Australian Bushfire relief and recovery earlier this year. The Foundation will provide a guarantee of raising $1 million over the next five years. Brett Godfrey, Co-owner said, "On World Environment Day this year we are celebrating our ongoing commitment to nature and inspiring positive change by launching the Tasmanian Walking Company Foundation. Today marks an important milestone in centralising our philanthropic efforts in our pursuit to raise a deeper awareness of environmental stewardship’. Gary Smith, Chairman, Great Walks of Australia said, “Amid the challenges of COVID-19, it is fantastic to see Tasmanian Walking Company showing leadership in the tourism industry at a time where we need to lift spirits and give people something genuine to embrace. The new Foundation has embarked on an exciting strategy and I look forward to seeing the positive contribution it makes to the environmental conservation of our magnificent national assets”. The Foundation will provide a platform for walkers to give back to the wilderness areas they visit and in turn, help conserve the natural and cultural heritage for generations to come. Walkers will be able to add a charitable contribution to their booking and an employee donation matching scheme will be established.  TWC will cover all administration costs with 100% of the money raised donated. In 2021 the Foundation will launch its ‘Heart of Nature’ Charity Walk with the simultaneous departure of four fundraising walks accompanied by a virtual reality social media awareness campaign. The first-of-its-kind four-day event will be offered free of charge to participants who, in exchange, will be required to fundraise a minimum of $5000. The all-inclusive guided walks involved in the campaign will be Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, Three Capes Lodge Walk, Bay of Fires Lodge Walk and Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk.  Fundraising efforts will be spent on boots-on-the-ground projects that advocate for the conservation of public land to sustain healthy forests, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities. Campaigns will focus on revegetation projects and the expansion of protected areas such as the Tarkine where less than 5% is national park areas despite being the world’s second-largest cool temperature rainforest.   Heath Garratt, General Manager said, “Operating walks in such precious locations comes with the responsibility of preserving the natural wilderness and cultural diversity of these wild spaces. Under the Foundation we have a great capacity to extend the reach of fundraising, drive new initiatives and build on existing partnerships such as Wildcare. It’s a big step in our bid to actively support conservation projects and inspire people to advocate for issues they care most about”. Sharon Smith, CEO, Wildcare Tasmania added, “Wildcare and Tas Walking Company have worked alongside each other for many years, particularly in the Bay of Fires region with the very successful larapuna community weekend clean-ups.  Tas Walking Company are always on the front foot to care for Tasmania’s environment and to support not for profit charities.  I am excited to see what new conservation initiatives they will progress under the new Foundation!” Further information is available on the Foundation’s new website: Visit www.TWCFoundation.com.au.  Click this link for a photo of Guide Sanja on the Overland Track About Tasmanian Walking Company In 1985 Tasmanian Walking Company was offered the special privilege of developing a multi-day walking experience along the Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park. The company (inclusive of Tasmanian Walking Company and Australian Walking Company) now has six multi-day guided walks in wilderness areas across Australia.  TWC operates four of the twelve Great Walks of Australia and is a recognised leader in environmental travel practices winning numerous national tourism awards. TWC is an inductee in the hall of fame at the Qantas National Tourism Awards as Australia’s best eco-tourism operator. Social Q Launch: the Booking System to Disrupt the Disruptor 2020-06-04T03:41:06Z social-q-launch-the-booking-system-to-disrupt-the-disruptor Virtual queuing and shop-by-appointment platform, Social Q, has businesses jumping for joy and shoppers jumping queues, as Australian businesses and consumers adjust to new social distancing guidelines.   Launching on 9 June 2020, Social Q is a shop/dine-by-appointment & queue-management platform for retail and hospitality venues. Drawing on over 30 years of experience in the retail and tech space, Social Q has been developed by Dean Cherny, the Melbourne entrepreneur behind storePlay and Marketing Melodies.   The platform is designed to mitigate crowds queueing outside shops and restaurants and to ease some of the frustrations being felt by shoppers as a result of social distancing measures.    “Time is our most precious commodity and too valuable to be wasted waiting in queues. Social Q allows shoppers to pre-book an appointment online and skip to the front of the queue when they arrive,” says Social Q founder, Dean Cherny.   “Social Q’s virtual queuing system can improve the consumer experience to ensure customers enter a store with a positive mindset and ready to purchase,” says Cherny.   “We’ve seen how retail has evolved with the times, and this is just the next step, a merging of online and brick-and-mortar offerings. Why would you want to wait outside a shoe shop with your kids for 45 minutes, stressed about social distancing, when you could arrive at a pre-booked time and walk straight through the door?” explains Cherny. “The retailer even knows you’re looking for new school shoes before you’ve entered. It’s a reimagined shopping experience that’s about health and safety, but also bringing back joy to what has previously been quite a stressful experience.”   For consumers   Arrive at a store/restaurant/cafe and find it is at capacity? Scan the Social Q QR code in the shop window and join the virtual queue. Social Q will hold your place in the queue and send you a text message when it’s time to enter. Pre-book appointment times online and then jump to the front of the queue when you arrive at the store. No waiting around. Tailor the shopping experience to your needs. Book in for click & collect so staff can have your package waiting at the counter when you arrive, or shop by occasion. ‘Squad Shopping’ is the latest retail trend emerging from Asia. Book out the store during off-peak times for you and your friends   For businesses Take the frustration out of queuing to ensure your customers enter with a positive mindset and ready to purchase Our technology, your website. Social Q offers customised branding for seamless integration into your own website ·       Include specific questions at the time of the booking to make visits as streamlined as possible.  Empower your staff to manage social distancing measures Track foot-traffic and use appointment data to optimise staffing ratios to maximise sales   Dining out in Victoria In addition to the above benefits, diners can check-in using their mobile phone which is required for contact tracing in Victoria and some other states   For more information, visit http://socialq.net   THE COAST IS CLEAR TO WORK, STAY AND PLAY IN EAST GIPPSLAND 2020-06-04T00:55:49Z the-coast-is-clear-to-work-stay-and-play-in-east-gippsland-1 But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and East Gippsland has declared it’s open for business come June 1. Indeed, operators in towns like Bairnsdale, Metung, Paynesville, Lakes Entrance, Nicholson, Bruthen, Orbost and Omeo are calling on visitors to “work, stay and play” as restrictions lift and winter’s charms set in.   Experience the wind in your hair at Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Conran or Red Bluff Beach, or simply savour being far away from the maddening crowd – or, at least, the inside of your home, where you’ve spent almost every waking hour these past 10 weeks – in one of East Gippsland’s 11 national and marine parks.   There’s the tranquil Gippsland Lakes; the invigorating Alpine High Country (one of Victoria’s best kept secrets!); the natural heritage attractions of the vast Snowy River region; the majestic coastal wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park… the list goes on.   East Gippsland is about nurturing among nature; combining stunning scenery with modern-lux accommodation, world-class food and country hospitality.   Hayley Hardy, East Gippsland Marketing Inc., says local operators are ready to “welcome visitors with open arms”, but is urging tourists to practice social distancing while being mindful of the many locals still working through the impact of the bushfires.   “We’re just asking people to be empathetic, sympathetic and respectful to locals – but please visit; it’s the best way to support local businesses and communities,” she says.   Where to stay The flexibility of remote working is one gift of COVID-19. So why not consider a three- or four-day break that takes in work and play? The region has no shortage of superbly positioned hotels that pamper and pander while providing resources to assist travellers with work commitments.   These include: The Riversleigh Hotel in Bairnsdale; Paynesville’s Captains Cove Resort; the Bellevue on the Lakes Resort and Esplanade Resort + Spa in Lakes Entrance; and the Jetty Road Retreat, situated on the Gippsland Lakes. (If you don’t want working but still want remote, East Gippsland’s wide-open spaces are perfect for that, too.)   What to do Venture Out Australia (Lakes Entrance) – Reignite your sense of adventure with a paddle-boarding, kayaking or bike tour.  Lakes Entrance Explorer – While sea safari tours remain out, socially-distanced foursomes can explore the Lakes by water taxi. Ideal for photographers, anglers and wildlife lovers.  Raymond Island – Nature lovers can witness koalas in their natural habitat on this island paradise. Ride the Rail Trail – An easy 20-kilometre return ride from Bairnsdale to Nicholson – and don’t forget to grab a homemade pie at the Nicholson General Store.   Metung boardwalk walk – Spot the endangered baby Burrunan dolphin on this easy five-kilometre return walk.      Fish – East Gippsland is full of great spots cast a line. Try your luck at Snowy River Estuary, Mallacoota Inlet, Lake Tyers and more!     Where to eat and drink Nicholson Winery - Victoria’s oldest winery east of Melbourne boasts a wide range of traditional European-style wines representing the intense flavours unique to East Gippsland.   David Lucke’s Fresh Food Market – Before you head back to the big smoke, stock up on the region’s local eggs, honey, seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables.    The Long Paddock, Lindenow - Melbourne-trained country chefs deliver an amazing range of delicious cakes, pies, tarts and great coffee. Northern Ground, Bairnsdale – A nod to Flinders Lane, this modern and stylish café-by-day and restaurant-by-night champions fresh, seasonal produce from across Gippsland. The Grand Terminus, Bairnsdale – Beautiful Victorian-era pub delivering quality pub grub since 1889.   Sardine Eatery + Bar, Paynesville – This beloved “hatted” restaurant delivers seafood at its finest. Eat in or take-away. The Marlo Hotel – Dine in at this scenic, scrumptious country pub at the mouth of the Snowy River. Albert + Co., Lakes Entrance – An all-day café that showcases the region’s produce, offers great coffee and a cocktail bar that opens on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday evenings.   For more information about how to work, stay and play in East Gippsland, visit: www.visitgippsland.com.au/loveeastgippsland   SLICK, BIG SMOKE IDEAS, DELIVERED WITH A PRACTICAL AND STRAIGHT-TAKING COUNTRY OUTLOOK 2020-06-04T00:51:59Z slick-big-smoke-ideas-delivered-with-a-practical-and-straight-taking-country-outlook Having launched Greta Donaldson Publicity in 2002, Greta has worked with many of Australia’s leading consumer, entertainment, lifestyle, hospitality and retail brands, from Red Bull Australia to the Australian Radio Network (MIX 101.1 and Gold FM), as well as big name international brands, including Lavazza and L’Oreal. Greta now spends much of her time between Bendigo and Melbourne, servicing clients in both regional Victoria, including the Loddon Shire Council, confectionery delight Bendigo Brittle and Bendigo’s new entertainment precinct MacKenzie Quarters, and the city, including South Melbourne Market, one of Melbourne’s best, independent, co-ed schools The Knox School in Wantirna South and not-for-profit pancreatic cancer organisation, The Pancare Foundation, among others. Commuting regularly between the two cities over the past five years, means Greta now knows the Calder Freeway as well as she knows the national media landscape, with a well-honed road map for pitching stories the media love and grabbing the headlines her clients are seeking. Greta’s strengths lie in her extensive and personable media relationships, her innate ability to know what makes a good news story and her nimble, strategic and empathetic approach to understanding the communication needs of  her clients, whether they be small, family-run businesses, large multinationals, or regional organisations. News producer of Network Ten’s The Project, Christie Kerr, sums up Greta’s greatest assets. “Now based in Bendigo, Greta brings the best of the city and the country to the table… slick, big smoke ideas delivered with a practical and straight-talking country outlook,” she says.  “She’s well connected in media circles, both in Victoria and nationally, and her work ethic and attention to detail is second to none.” Sam Cavanagh, creative director of On Demand Audio at Southern Cross Austereo, agrees. “Having worked in media for 20 years, I’ve probably been pitched by every publicist in town. I can confidently say that Greta is one of the best.  She is personal, professional, and always able to help her clients stay top of mind with a clever idea.” Greta says moving back to Bendigo, which was only meant to be temporary, “has taught me you can do PR from anywhere and do it well.”  “I was only meant to stay in Bendigo for a few months but I fell back in love with the place,” she says. It’s less hectic and frenetic and greener and I love the freedom I have to move between Melbourne and Bendigo and regional Victoria.” Born in Cohuna and raised in Bendigo, Greta says being based in one of Victoria’s most vibrant regional cities, less than two hours from Melbourne, means she gets the opportunity to work on both big-name national brands, as well as regional businesses. “I love having the opportunity to work with a diverse range of clients and bring their stories to the attention of their local communities as well as the national media. Despite being in the PR business for two decades, it’s still a great thrill when you secure widespread media attention for a client, no matter how big or small, who has a good story to share.” The Future of Meetings & Events - Accelerating your comeback after COVID 2020-06-03T05:26:54Z the-future-of-meetings-amp-events-accelerating-your-comeback-after-covid As the hospitality industry prepares for the post-COVID comeback, iVvy is staging a live webinar with leading industry panelists offering venue operators strategies, tactics and forecasts for recovery. To be held 10am GMT+1 and 7pm AEST Thursday 11 June, the event is free for industry professionals. Hospitality consultant Heather Hart, Twickenham Experience Ltd Managing Director Nils Braude, Mathew Jayne of Unique Venues of Manchester and Jonathan Lui, Director of Revenue Strategy and Marketing Operations of glh Hotels join iVvy’s Rachael Grimsey in an exclusive digital event to chart the ‘new normal’ as venues across the UK and Europe re-open. “Gain first-hand advice from hospitality leaders on best practices to accelerate your venue’s recovery,” says Grimsey, iVvy’s Senior Vice President - Global Sales & Partnerships.  From technology and automation to revenue management and profitability amid reduced capacity, The Future of Meetings & Events promises actionable insights to get ahead of the curve. “The appetite for meetings and events has altered,” says Lauren Hall, CEO and Founder of iVvy. “Organisers and attendees will undoubtedly be cautious about attending events again. Health and safety is a prime concern, and the onus is squarely on venues to ensure best practice in hygiene, social distancing, catering and communications to bolster consumer confidence in booking and attending future events. “In addition to social distancing, we’ll also see more automation as the meetings industry searches for cost savings to compensate for potential profit impacts, with reduced capacities and increased delivery costs,” Hall says. “For many venues, the operational requirements of upholding government regulations coupled with their reduced workforce resulting from significant budget cuts may make hosting events seem impossible. We’ve partnered industry leaders to offer guidance for venue operators on post-COVID compliance, maximising revenue even with diminished demand, and identifying where the opportunity lies ahead.” The FREE webinar will cover key issues for operators including: Key strategies for success as venues prepare to re-open in the coming weeks Tactics to maximise efficiency and revenue, even with a diminished workforce Technology and automation to achieve more with less Opportunities for venues - big and small The ‘new normal’ - forecasts for the future of meetings and events This exclusive event is tailored for venue operators and strictly limited to 100 attendees. Register at https://bit.ly/2ZZkqjn ENDS FOR INTERVIEW REQUESTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT COURTNEY ROBINSON, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER ON 0423 936 943 ABOUT IVVY iVvy’s sales & catering solution is revolutionising the meetings and events industry by powering real-time transactions between event organisers, hotels, restaurants and suppliers. Through the iVvy technology, venues are able to yield their meetings and events offering by showcasing live inventory data for function space, group accommodation and F&B, ultimately maximising revenue. With more than 12,000 users in 13 countries, iVvy’s mission is to bring together a highly fragmented industry by generating real-time connectivity.  OUR PANELISTS Heather Hart builds on her 35 years of experience across the hospitality segment to bridge the divide between rooms revenue and other hotel sales and marketing functions, helping companies improve the yield from their Meetings & Event space through higher conversion and better space utilisation. Heather previously operated a successful revenue management consultancy, RevExcel for 8 years, and has held senior management positions at hotel chains/groups across the U.K. Europe and USA.   As the founder and creator of Smart Space, a cloud-based tool that provides comprehensive demand profiles, performance measurement and selling strategy models,  Heather was responsible for helping hotels and conference venues see the power behind a dynamic pricing strategy for meetings and events. The application of these, in Smart Space, helps enhance strategic decisions and increases revenue growth.  Smart Space was acquired in 2017 by IDeaS, and having continued to work for the company for the following 2 years Heather is once again providing specialist support to Hotels and Event Venues on all aspects of improving commercial performance.   Nils Braude, is the Managing Director of Twickenham Experience, the conferencing and hospitality business set within Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby and one of the most iconic and historic stadiums on the planet. Nils joined Twickenham in 2019, after running some of the biggest and most successful stadiums in the country and retail operations within some of the UK ‘s key airports. Sport has always been his passion though, and his career has seen him work across stadia, including Reading Football Club, Liberty Stadium, Leicester City Football Club, Cardiff CIty Stadium, The Rose Bowl Cricket Club, and the Millenium Stadium. As well as a passionate advocate for the UK hospitality industry, Nils is also an innovative leader and a highly strategic operations manager, leading Twickenham to increase its hospitality business both on match day and non-match day and launching the stadium’s impressive East Stand in 2018. Mathew Jayne, Founder and Managing Director for Unique Venues of Manchester, a web based marketing company and consultancy, dedicated to promoting alternative, unusual and unique venues in Manchester. With over twenty-five years working in the hospitality sector, Mathew has a wealth of knowledge and experience in sales, marketing, operations and finance within the sector. Throughout his career, he’s been involved in the management of hotels, conference centres, property and serviced offices, university commercial facilities and unique venues. In 2015, Mathew set up Unique Venues of Manchester with a clear vision to offer venues a digital platform, an inclusive community and networking events to help connect with event agents, planners and organisers from across the UK. Mathew has since expanded the brand to Leeds and Liverpool, as well as further roll-out planned for later this year. Jonathan Lui, Director of Revenue Strategy & Marketing Operations, glh Hotels. Prior to joining glh Hotels, Jonathan worked with Accor Hotels for over 10 years overseeing Sales & Distribution in Greater China, then Pricing & Revenue Management across the UK  and Ireland, and most recently leading the integration of Fairmont & Swissotel hotel in Singapore into Accor following the acquisition of FRHI. With a background starting in hotel operations, then moving through into commercial strategy, Jonathon has an holistic approach to revenue strategy, championing customer centricity across the entire customer journey.