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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Lonely Planet calls on travel industry to do more for solo travellers



1 in 3 Australian travellers say they have felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone;

Lonely Planet urges industry to cater better for growing trend


World leading travel authority Lonely Planet has called on the travel industry to do more to cater for solo travellers. This follows new research revealing that the growing number of solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with family or friends, including an average of nearly 20% on travel insurance and over 50% on accommodation.

Lonely Planet surveyed members of their dedicated global community of travellers, with more than 1 in 3 Australian respondents claiming to have felt disadvantaged when choosing to travel alone, despite 85% of those asked having taken or planning to take a solo trip in the future. Examples given in the survey by solo travellers of poor service from the industry included lack of choice in organised excursions and poor service in restaurants and bars.

Solo travel is no longer just a rite of passage for young travellers, but despite these changing trends and demographics, travellers' reports would suggest that many their needs are not met by travel and hospitality companies.

One in two Australian travellers said that they have had to pay a single person supplement when travelling alone, and 90% of those surveyed said they would look more positively on a company that did not charge this. Restaurants were also particularly criticised by respondents to the survey, with typical comments involving poor service from staff, being seated in the worst places and even being refused bookings.

Despite these challenges, solo travel is on the rise. To help those planning on going it alone, Lonely Planet has compiled the top tips and advice from their experts in The Solo Travel Handbook, published this month, from the practical (meeting people and staying safe) to the inspirational (health, fitness and sustainable travelling). The travel company is also calling on the industry to look more positively on those travelling solo, rather than just as single occupants of rooms and dinner tables.

Lonely Planet Spokesperson Chris Zeiher says: "Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding ways of experiencing any destination, and most travellers will find themselves alone on the road at some point in their travelling lives.  Sadly, a significant number of travellers cite a lack of choice or increased cost as a barrier to this type of travel.

The profile of the solo traveller has changed substantially over the last few years and is now spread across age groups, diverse backgrounds and, interestingly, evenly balanced across gender. Over the coming years we expect the desire to travel alone to continue its growth, setting the challenge for tourism providers to better serve this popular and lucrative travel trend."

To find out more about The Solo Travel Handbook, and top tips for travelling solo, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/explore-every-day.

Lonely Planet's Solo Travel Handbook

Published January 2018 / 168pp, full colour / H210 x W165mm, paperback / AUD $29.99



Monday, 15 January 2018

Intrepid Travel's new active adventures



As we enter the New Year with good intentions to shed Christmas kilos and improve our fitness levels, adventure travel company Intrepid Travel has revealed new active trips, due to an increase in demand for this style of travel.

Designed to experience a destination through hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking, the latest additions to Intrepid's active adventures combine a love of health and wellness with travel.

In 2017 Intrepid offered 17 active-style itineraries and this year the adventure company now has 24 itineraries, increasing its offerings by 41%.

"Money spent on wasted gym memberships this January can be put to better use by booking an active adventure", said Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel Regional Director Asia Pacific. "Our trips give travellers motivation to train towards a specific goal while continuing to stay active on holiday."

"Australians have a real appetite for active trips and these itineraries offer bucket-list activities like white-water rafting on the Amazon River and cycling through villages in Chang Mai," said Mitchell.

Intrepid Travel's new active trips include:

India: Hike, Bike and Raft takes adventure seekers to ride white water rapids down the Ganges, hike & bike through the Himalayan foothills, hike through Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, cycle through to the temple-studded town of Gopeshwar and practice yoga in the spiritual hub of Rishikesh. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $2,840 per person twin share.

Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike and Raft lets travellers ride through tea plantations, canoe down rivers, and hike to ancient fortresses on this fitness-focused adventure from Negombo to Colombo. This trip gives travellers the chance to get active and experience Sri Lanka's pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks. The 13-day trip is priced from AUD $2,340 per person twin-share.

Japan: Hike, Bike and Kayak takes travellers along the famous Nakasendo trail that linked Tokyo and Kyoto in ancient times, cycling along the beautiful Kamon river in Kyoto, to kayak the beautiful bay at Ise Shima and take the Kumano pilgrim trail- one of only 2 UNESCO listed pilgrimage trails in the world. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $5,195 per person twin-share.

Nepal: Hike, Bike and Raft lets adventurers explore the northern Kathmandu Valley on two wheels while continuing to help the quake-stricken country rebuild. While most tours tend to focus solely on the hiking trails, this eclectic round-trip from Kathmandu combines classic trekking with mountain biking and river rafting, with a yoga class to stretch out and finish up. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $1,675 per person twin-share.

Peru: Bike, climb and hike lets travellers climb, bike and hike through Peru and discover ancient civilisations on the Inca Trail. Explorers can skirt along zip lines, haul themselves up cliff faces using via ferrata climbers and pedal past farming communities in this breathtaking adventure along the Inca Trail.

The 10-day trip starts from AUD $3,245 per person twin-share.

Ecuador: Raft, Bike and Hike lets travellers hike from the glistening crater lake of Quilotoa to the tiny Andean village of Chugchilan, go mountain biking down the world's highest active volcano in Cotopaxi National Park and hit the rapids on a main tributary of the Amazon River, the Jatunyacu (Big Water) River. The trip also includes a guided walking tour of Amazonian jungle, and lets travellers discover the World Heritage-listed charms of Quito. The 10-day trip starts from AUD $1,895 per person twin-share.

Myanmar and Thailand: Hike, Bike and Raft lets travellers hike to the dramatic mountain-top location of Pan Pet, kayak to explore floating gardens & stilt settlements, and bike through the Golden Triangle and on to Chiang Mai. The 12 day trip starts from AUD $2,995 per person.

For more information or to book visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com.au

Monday, 8 January 2018

Cruise the Mediterranean in Spring and save up to $900 per cabin




#cruise

Enjoy an affordable holiday with an MSC Cruise this northern hemisphere spring.  Picture colourful flowers everywhere, climbing walls, filling fields and sprouting on balconies, it seems there are blooms everywhere you look in this stunning region.  And, there is nowhere else where you can cruise to so many different countries and sample its many flavours, cultures and re-trace the footsteps of history.

Spring is a great time to explore must-see locations.  MSC Cruises itineraries include the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Florence Duomo, Rome Colesseum & Sistene Chapel, UNESCO World Heritage site at Bari (Italy), Archaeological site of Pompeii, Marrakech city tour in Morocco, stunning coastal views of Montenegro and the picturesque Greek village of Santorini.  Guests can experience the cultural and ecological diversity that every place has to offer.

Save up to $900 per balcony cabin when you book a 9 night West Mediterranean cruise on MSC Orchestra, departing Barcelona March 8, 2018. Highlights include the Learning Tower of Pisa and the Florence Duomo, the Rome Colesseum and Sistene Chapel.  

Save up to $800 per balcony cabin when you book a 7 night East Mediterranean cruise on MSC Lirica, departing Venice 6 April, 2018. Enjoy a full day in Mykonos, Byzantine churches and Greek temples of Corfu and the 16th century 'old town' of Dubrovnik.

Save up to $800 per balcony cabin when you book a 7 night East Mediterranean cruise on MSC Musica, departing Venice 25 March, 2018. Experience Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Medieval architecture of Kotor, Montenegro and the picturesque Greek village of Santorini, Greece.

Call MSC Cruises on 1300 028 502 or visit www.msccruises.com.au or your local agent to book TODAY!

*Conditions apply. Save up to based on balcony cabin, twin share. Prima price compared to brochure price.


Air Tahiti Nui’s New Year Sale



Get 2018 off to a Flying Start

Air Tahiti Nui is offering Australians a fun and achievable New Year’s resolution in 2018 – the trip of a lifetime.

As part of the airline’s annual New Year Sale, Air Tahiti Nui has discounted flights to Tahiti and Bora Bora, bringing the ultimate getaway within reach of more Australians.

On sale until 24 January 2018, return economy airfares from Sydney to Papeete are priced from just $1149* per person.

Meanwhile return economy airfares from Sydney to Bora Bora start from $1675* per person.



Air Tahiti Nui Regional Manager Australia Alan Roman said the New Year Sale was a great way to add one of the world’s most sought-after destinations to the 2018 travel calendar and get the year off to a flying start.

“There’s no better way to start a new year than with something truly exciting to look forward to. Just a hop and a skip across the Pacific, the Islands of Tahiti offer a picture-perfect year-round destination for sun-seeking Australians wanting a relaxing sojourn on the palm-fringed shores of a Tahitian paradise like Bora Bora,” Mr Roman said.

“While not all New Year’s resolutions are easy to keep, we hope our New Year Sale makes it easier for Australians to stick to at least one in 2018 – taking the trip of a lifetime to a destination of their dreams.”


For more information or to book visit www.airtahitinui.com.au

*Subject to availability, terms and conditions apply. Travel is valid from 21 January to 31 October 2018 with some blackout periods during peak times. Prices quoted include government, airport, security and border fees based on a Sydney departure. Flights are also available from Melbourne and Brisbane


One dollar deposit with Intrepid


Keep that New Year’s travel resolution

January is the ideal time to make travel plans for the year ahead and Intrepid Travel is making it easy for travellers to commit to their 2018 travel dreams with a deposit of just $1.

“In spite of the festive season leaving many people broke at the start of the year, January is a popular time to book an Intrepid trip to look forward to. Unlike losing weight, setting unrealistic financial goals, or kicking that Netflix habit, travel is one of the few New Year’s resolutions that is easy to keep,” says Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific.

“We want Australians to achieve their travel goals for 2018 and just go, without letting their finances hold them back. This is why we are running our dollar deposits offer again for travellers.”

From dancing the salsa in Cuba, eating Banh mi in Vietnam or relaxing on a sailing trip along the Mediterranean coastline, travellers can book their dream adventure for only $1 from now until 2 February 2018. Travel is for departures until 31 December 2018, exclusions apply.

For more information visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/dollar-deposit


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

G Adventures' Sale of the Year



Aspiring 2018 travellers can snap up a New Year bargain without even leaving the house, thanks to leading small-group tour operator G Adventures continuing its popular tradition of offering impressive savings during January.

The tours will be on sale until January 31 and are valid for travel departing before 31 July 2018, giving travellers and agents plenty of time to plan the adventure of a lifetime.

The offer provides the perfect opportunity for travellers wanting to explore more of the world in 2018 to start the year with a bang. Enticing destinations on offer include:

Cuba Libre, 8 days (Havana to Havana) - Walk through the pincushion hills and wander amongst orchids and lush mountain coffee plantations – see another side of the island on this week-long tour through the "Garden Province" of Cuba. $1499, save $200

Highlights of Borneo, 13 days (Kota Kinabalu to Kuching) – The perfect trip for adventure and wildlife lovers alike. Traverse caves, trek through Gunung Mulu National Park, and search for orangutans and bats. Enjoy local fare, picnic in the rainforest, cruise the Melinau River, and spend a free day on the tropical island of Pulau Tiga. $2679, save $200

Hightlights of Morocco, 15 days (Casablanca to Marrakech) - Wander through kasbahs, spice markets, and cities pulsing with energy on this comprehensive trip. Climb onto a camel and explore the edge of the Sahara before admiring the views from the heights of the Atlas Mountains. Experience the energy of imperial cities as you explore souks stuffed with exotic wares. $1679 save $100

G Adventures is encouraging travellers and agents to book early on the trips to secure their preferred itinerary and departure date, as the January Sale often sees many trips sell out.

For more information, or to book call 1300 796 618 or visit: http://gadventures.com.au/travel-deals/sale-of-the-year/.

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