Gray whale numbers increase in Alaska's waters

 

Recent scientific reports show that more gray whales were spotted this summer off the coast of Alaska than in any other year. The previous record for a full season from July through October was 18 calves, but in July 2012 alone, researchers counted more than 50 calves, according to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. That's good news for travelers who may have whale watching on their Alaska must-see list. While the prime time to view gray whales is in the spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see whales all year round in Alaska, on whale watching boat tours or simply strolling along the coastline. The Southeast community of Sitka celebrates the marine giants with Whalefest, held this year from November 1–4. The event, hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center, offers visitors a chance to learn about local marine wildlife through a number of presentations and discussions. The weekend also includes a community celebration with music, art and whale watching trips with some of the nation's best marine mammal scientists serving as guides. For more information on Whalefest, visit www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org. To plan a trip to Sitka, go to www.sitka.org.

Gray whale numbers increase in Alaska's waters

 

Recent scientific reports show that more gray whales were spotted this summer off the coast of Alaska than in any other year. The previous record for a full season from July through October was 18 calves, but in July 2012 alone, researchers counted more than 50 calves, according to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. That's good news for travelers who may have whale watching on their Alaska must-see list. While the prime time to view gray whales is in the spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see whales all year round in Alaska, on whale watching boat tours or simply strolling along the coastline. The Southeast community of Sitka celebrates the marine giants with Whalefest, held this year from November 1–4. The event, hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center, offers visitors a chance to learn about local marine wildlife through a number of presentations and discussions. The weekend also includes a community celebration with music, art and whale watching trips with some of the nation's best marine mammal scientists serving as guides. For more information on Whalefest, visit www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org. To plan a trip to Sitka, go to www.sitka.org.

Gray whale numbers increase in Alaska's waters

 

Recent scientific reports show that more gray whales were spotted this summer off the coast of Alaska than in any other year. The previous record for a full season from July through October was 18 calves, but in July 2012 alone, researchers counted more than 50 calves, according to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. That's good news for travelers who may have whale watching on their Alaska must-see list. While the prime time to view gray whales is in the spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see whales all year round in Alaska, on whale watching boat tours or simply strolling along the coastline. The Southeast community of Sitka celebrates the marine giants with Whalefest, held this year from November 1–4. The event, hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center, offers visitors a chance to learn about local marine wildlife through a number of presentations and discussions. The weekend also includes a community celebration with music, art and whale watching trips with some of the nation's best marine mammal scientists serving as guides. For more information on Whalefest, visit www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org. To plan a trip to Sitka, go to www.sitka.org.

Gray whale numbers increase in Alaska's waters

 

Recent scientific reports show that more gray whales were spotted this summer off the coast of Alaska than in any other year. The previous record for a full season from July through October was 18 calves, but in July 2012 alone, researchers counted more than 50 calves, according to the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. That's good news for travelers who may have whale watching on their Alaska must-see list. While the prime time to view gray whales is in the spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see whales all year round in Alaska, on whale watching boat tours or simply strolling along the coastline. The Southeast community of Sitka celebrates the marine giants with Whalefest, held this year from November 1–4. The event, hosted by the Sitka Sound Science Center, offers visitors a chance to learn about local marine wildlife through a number of presentations and discussions. The weekend also includes a community celebration with music, art and whale watching trips with some of the nation's best marine mammal scientists serving as guides. For more information on Whalefest, visit www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org. To plan a trip to Sitka, go to www.sitka.org.

FIRST CHRISTCHURCH CITY HOTEL RE-OPENS SINCE EARTHQUAKE

image: www.facebook.com/accorhotels
Ibis Christchurch opened its doors today (4 September), becoming the first city centre hotel to re-open since the February 2011 earthquake.

The Ibis – located in Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square – has undergone major remedial work, including the renovation of all 155 rooms and public areas, as well as structural strengthening to meet the city's new building code. Just four years old when the quake hit, the Ibis received only minor damage and re-opens as a virtually new hotel featuring the latest Ibis branding and facilities.

The hotel opening will play a crucial role in the revitalisation of Christchurch's tourism sector, signaling that the city is firmly back on the map and ready to welcome visitors. It will be a major benefit to business travellers and officials involved in the reconstruction of the city, allowing easier access to buildings and offices around the city centre and encouraging other businesses to re-open to service the new demand. Local residents will also receive a boost with up to 50 people employed at the hotel.

The launch of the hotel comes a month after the announcement of a masterplan for the "re-imagining" of the city. The Ibis will be very close to the proposed convention centre as well as other key tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

For tourists planning to visit the city now, the Ibis is adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, the Re:START Mall in Cashel Street. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Ibis re-opening will also add significantly to the city's restaurant stocks, with the new Oopen Pasta & Grill offering a menu featuring South Island specialty product and wines.

Hotel Ibis Christchurch General Manager, Tim Dearsley, said that the 4th September re-launch date was selected because it represents the second anniversary of the first major quake to hit Christchurch, though it didn't have anywhere near the same impact as the subsequent February 2011 quake.

"Christchurch tourism has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the earthquake," Dearsley said. "This was never true, but the re-opening of the Ibis will highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers and that there is plenty to do in the city, including many of the old activities, as well as new and innovative tourism experiences.

"While some of the CBD is still cordoned off, it is important to note that the 'red zone' has reduced from 387 hectares to 49 hectares today and the authorities aim to have the city fully open by the middle of 2013

"The re-opening will help accelerate the city's regeneration process. It will not only ease the critical shortage of accommodation and provide employment for local residents in Christchurch but it will allow significant progress to be made in reviving the city's central business district and tourism industry.

"The city has really needed the confidence boost of a major international hotel brand re-opening to cater for domestic and overseas visitors."

Accor's Novotel Christchurch hotel is scheduled to re-open in mid 2013, while the future of the group's two All Seasons hotels is yet to be determined due to restricted access to the hotels following the earthquake.

Accor Hotels

www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

FIRST CHRISTCHURCH CITY HOTEL RE-OPENS SINCE EARTHQUAKE

image: www.facebook.com/accorhotels
Ibis Christchurch opened its doors today (4 September), becoming the first city centre hotel to re-open since the February 2011 earthquake.

The Ibis – located in Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square – has undergone major remedial work, including the renovation of all 155 rooms and public areas, as well as structural strengthening to meet the city's new building code. Just four years old when the quake hit, the Ibis received only minor damage and re-opens as a virtually new hotel featuring the latest Ibis branding and facilities.

The hotel opening will play a crucial role in the revitalisation of Christchurch's tourism sector, signaling that the city is firmly back on the map and ready to welcome visitors. It will be a major benefit to business travellers and officials involved in the reconstruction of the city, allowing easier access to buildings and offices around the city centre and encouraging other businesses to re-open to service the new demand. Local residents will also receive a boost with up to 50 people employed at the hotel.

The launch of the hotel comes a month after the announcement of a masterplan for the "re-imagining" of the city. The Ibis will be very close to the proposed convention centre as well as other key tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

For tourists planning to visit the city now, the Ibis is adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, the Re:START Mall in Cashel Street. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Ibis re-opening will also add significantly to the city's restaurant stocks, with the new Oopen Pasta & Grill offering a menu featuring South Island specialty product and wines.

Hotel Ibis Christchurch General Manager, Tim Dearsley, said that the 4th September re-launch date was selected because it represents the second anniversary of the first major quake to hit Christchurch, though it didn't have anywhere near the same impact as the subsequent February 2011 quake.

"Christchurch tourism has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the earthquake," Dearsley said. "This was never true, but the re-opening of the Ibis will highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers and that there is plenty to do in the city, including many of the old activities, as well as new and innovative tourism experiences.

"While some of the CBD is still cordoned off, it is important to note that the 'red zone' has reduced from 387 hectares to 49 hectares today and the authorities aim to have the city fully open by the middle of 2013

"The re-opening will help accelerate the city's regeneration process. It will not only ease the critical shortage of accommodation and provide employment for local residents in Christchurch but it will allow significant progress to be made in reviving the city's central business district and tourism industry.

"The city has really needed the confidence boost of a major international hotel brand re-opening to cater for domestic and overseas visitors."

Accor's Novotel Christchurch hotel is scheduled to re-open in mid 2013, while the future of the group's two All Seasons hotels is yet to be determined due to restricted access to the hotels following the earthquake.

Accor Hotels

www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

FIRST CHRISTCHURCH CITY HOTEL RE-OPENS SINCE EARTHQUAKE

image: www.facebook.com/accorhotels
Ibis Christchurch opened its doors today (4 September), becoming the first city centre hotel to re-open since the February 2011 earthquake.

The Ibis – located in Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square – has undergone major remedial work, including the renovation of all 155 rooms and public areas, as well as structural strengthening to meet the city's new building code. Just four years old when the quake hit, the Ibis received only minor damage and re-opens as a virtually new hotel featuring the latest Ibis branding and facilities.

The hotel opening will play a crucial role in the revitalisation of Christchurch's tourism sector, signaling that the city is firmly back on the map and ready to welcome visitors. It will be a major benefit to business travellers and officials involved in the reconstruction of the city, allowing easier access to buildings and offices around the city centre and encouraging other businesses to re-open to service the new demand. Local residents will also receive a boost with up to 50 people employed at the hotel.

The launch of the hotel comes a month after the announcement of a masterplan for the "re-imagining" of the city. The Ibis will be very close to the proposed convention centre as well as other key tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

For tourists planning to visit the city now, the Ibis is adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, the Re:START Mall in Cashel Street. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Ibis re-opening will also add significantly to the city's restaurant stocks, with the new Oopen Pasta & Grill offering a menu featuring South Island specialty product and wines.

Hotel Ibis Christchurch General Manager, Tim Dearsley, said that the 4th September re-launch date was selected because it represents the second anniversary of the first major quake to hit Christchurch, though it didn't have anywhere near the same impact as the subsequent February 2011 quake.

"Christchurch tourism has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the earthquake," Dearsley said. "This was never true, but the re-opening of the Ibis will highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers and that there is plenty to do in the city, including many of the old activities, as well as new and innovative tourism experiences.

"While some of the CBD is still cordoned off, it is important to note that the 'red zone' has reduced from 387 hectares to 49 hectares today and the authorities aim to have the city fully open by the middle of 2013

"The re-opening will help accelerate the city's regeneration process. It will not only ease the critical shortage of accommodation and provide employment for local residents in Christchurch but it will allow significant progress to be made in reviving the city's central business district and tourism industry.

"The city has really needed the confidence boost of a major international hotel brand re-opening to cater for domestic and overseas visitors."

Accor's Novotel Christchurch hotel is scheduled to re-open in mid 2013, while the future of the group's two All Seasons hotels is yet to be determined due to restricted access to the hotels following the earthquake.

Accor Hotels

www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

FIRST CHRISTCHURCH CITY HOTEL RE-OPENS SINCE EARTHQUAKE

image: www.facebook.com/accorhotels
Ibis Christchurch opened its doors today (4 September), becoming the first city centre hotel to re-open since the February 2011 earthquake.

The Ibis – located in Hereford Street, just off Cathedral Square – has undergone major remedial work, including the renovation of all 155 rooms and public areas, as well as structural strengthening to meet the city's new building code. Just four years old when the quake hit, the Ibis received only minor damage and re-opens as a virtually new hotel featuring the latest Ibis branding and facilities.

The hotel opening will play a crucial role in the revitalisation of Christchurch's tourism sector, signaling that the city is firmly back on the map and ready to welcome visitors. It will be a major benefit to business travellers and officials involved in the reconstruction of the city, allowing easier access to buildings and offices around the city centre and encouraging other businesses to re-open to service the new demand. Local residents will also receive a boost with up to 50 people employed at the hotel.

The launch of the hotel comes a month after the announcement of a masterplan for the "re-imagining" of the city. The Ibis will be very close to the proposed convention centre as well as other key tourism, shopping and entertainment facilities.

For tourists planning to visit the city now, the Ibis is adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, the Re:START Mall in Cashel Street. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Ibis re-opening will also add significantly to the city's restaurant stocks, with the new Oopen Pasta & Grill offering a menu featuring South Island specialty product and wines.

Hotel Ibis Christchurch General Manager, Tim Dearsley, said that the 4th September re-launch date was selected because it represents the second anniversary of the first major quake to hit Christchurch, though it didn't have anywhere near the same impact as the subsequent February 2011 quake.

"Christchurch tourism has suffered enormously because of the perception that the city was closed following the earthquake," Dearsley said. "This was never true, but the re-opening of the Ibis will highlight that the city centre is now accessible to travellers and that there is plenty to do in the city, including many of the old activities, as well as new and innovative tourism experiences.

"While some of the CBD is still cordoned off, it is important to note that the 'red zone' has reduced from 387 hectares to 49 hectares today and the authorities aim to have the city fully open by the middle of 2013

"The re-opening will help accelerate the city's regeneration process. It will not only ease the critical shortage of accommodation and provide employment for local residents in Christchurch but it will allow significant progress to be made in reviving the city's central business district and tourism industry.

"The city has really needed the confidence boost of a major international hotel brand re-opening to cater for domestic and overseas visitors."

Accor's Novotel Christchurch hotel is scheduled to re-open in mid 2013, while the future of the group's two All Seasons hotels is yet to be determined due to restricted access to the hotels following the earthquake.

Accor Hotels

www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

QantasLink to upgrade B717 aircraft

Inline images 1

Qantas regional offshoot QantasLink is set to announce a major upgrade to the cabins on its 13-strong Boeing 717 jet fleet.

The revamp will see the reconfigured aircraft expand from the current 115-seat capacity to 125, in a single class economy arrangement.

The new seats will offer "increased levels of comfort" according to the carrier, including a top-mounted magazine box to maximise legroom, an additional seat pocket ideal for the storage of personal electronic devices, an adjustable headrest and a sliding tray-table.

A QF spokesperson confirmed the move, telling TD the upgrade would also include an interior colour scheme "consistent with Qantas' contemporary styling".

"The installation of the new seats, combined with a reconfiguration of storage space, has enabled QantasLink to increase capacity on board the B717s and provide, at the same time, an enhanced customer experience," she said.

The first of the reconfigured aircraft is set to enter service from mid-November this year.

More information in Travel Daily as it comes to hand.


QantasLink to upgrade B717 aircraft

Inline images 1

Qantas regional offshoot QantasLink is set to announce a major upgrade to the cabins on its 13-strong Boeing 717 jet fleet.

The revamp will see the reconfigured aircraft expand from the current 115-seat capacity to 125, in a single class economy arrangement.

The new seats will offer "increased levels of comfort" according to the carrier, including a top-mounted magazine box to maximise legroom, an additional seat pocket ideal for the storage of personal electronic devices, an adjustable headrest and a sliding tray-table.

A QF spokesperson confirmed the move, telling TD the upgrade would also include an interior colour scheme "consistent with Qantas' contemporary styling".

"The installation of the new seats, combined with a reconfiguration of storage space, has enabled QantasLink to increase capacity on board the B717s and provide, at the same time, an enhanced customer experience," she said.

The first of the reconfigured aircraft is set to enter service from mid-November this year.

More information in Travel Daily as it comes to hand.


QantasLink to upgrade B717 aircraft

Inline images 1

Qantas regional offshoot QantasLink is set to announce a major upgrade to the cabins on its 13-strong Boeing 717 jet fleet.

The revamp will see the reconfigured aircraft expand from the current 115-seat capacity to 125, in a single class economy arrangement.

The new seats will offer "increased levels of comfort" according to the carrier, including a top-mounted magazine box to maximise legroom, an additional seat pocket ideal for the storage of personal electronic devices, an adjustable headrest and a sliding tray-table.

A QF spokesperson confirmed the move, telling TD the upgrade would also include an interior colour scheme "consistent with Qantas' contemporary styling".

"The installation of the new seats, combined with a reconfiguration of storage space, has enabled QantasLink to increase capacity on board the B717s and provide, at the same time, an enhanced customer experience," she said.

The first of the reconfigured aircraft is set to enter service from mid-November this year.

More information in Travel Daily as it comes to hand.


QantasLink to upgrade B717 aircraft

Inline images 1

Qantas regional offshoot QantasLink is set to announce a major upgrade to the cabins on its 13-strong Boeing 717 jet fleet.

The revamp will see the reconfigured aircraft expand from the current 115-seat capacity to 125, in a single class economy arrangement.

The new seats will offer "increased levels of comfort" according to the carrier, including a top-mounted magazine box to maximise legroom, an additional seat pocket ideal for the storage of personal electronic devices, an adjustable headrest and a sliding tray-table.

A QF spokesperson confirmed the move, telling TD the upgrade would also include an interior colour scheme "consistent with Qantas' contemporary styling".

"The installation of the new seats, combined with a reconfiguration of storage space, has enabled QantasLink to increase capacity on board the B717s and provide, at the same time, an enhanced customer experience," she said.

The first of the reconfigured aircraft is set to enter service from mid-November this year.

More information in Travel Daily as it comes to hand.


YouTube promotes historic Spring Walk (est. 1856) in Royal Botanic Gardens



YouTube has been utilised to provide a snapshot of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in spring, in an effort to increase international tourism and local interest in the Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust's Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said the Spring Walk at the Garden is blooming, providing the perfect launchpad for its new Youtube channel.

"We're using Botanic Gardens TV on YouTube to show all seasons at the Garden to people around the world.  We started with spring because it is significant that Australia's first botanic garden Spring Walk was established here in 1856," Professor Mabberley said.

"On YouTube viewers will learn about the origins of tulips, see footage of them and the many other beautiful flowers along the Spring Walk – and the Garden could provide inspiration for their own gardens.

"Most people assume tulips are from Holland, but in fact they're native to Central Asia.  Their botanical name, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word 'turban', in which the Turks used to wear the flowers.

"It was in the 16th Century that tulips were brought to Holland from Turkey where they had become very popular.  They are now cultivated and grown en masse in large fields.  When food was scarce during the Second World War, people even ate the bulbs," Professor Mabberley said

Royal Botanic Garden's Senior Horticulturalist, Paul Nicholson, said his team creates a seasonal display of 6,000 tulips, 2,000 other bulbs (including hyacinths and ranunculus) and about 5,000 annuals along the Spring Walk.

"This year's annuals are pink primulas and purple pansies.  The other major features are permanent plantings, including a row of ornamental flowering peaches (Prunus persica 'Versicolor') and 17 different cultivars of wisteria.  There's also a mix of rhododendrons — with some unusual ones from southern China, Vietnam and Laos," Mr Nicholson said.

"The tulips, primulas and pansies are flowering now.   In the first week in September, the ornamental peaches and wisterias will start flowering — by the third week they should be in full bloom," Mr Nicholson said. At this time visitors will also see heads of purple mist flower — Bartlettina sordida from Mexico, planted in swathes along the walk.

The Spring Walk is between Botanic Garden Creek (near the Palm Grove Centre) and Lion Gate Lodge — on the southern side of the Macquarie Wall where, in 1856, it was first planted with azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade-loving plants.

The 2012 Spring Walk is sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Hotel maintains a strong commitment to supporting sustainability and is pleased to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which shares common values surrounding the conservation of our natural environment.

Visit Botanic Gardens TV:    http://www.youtube.com/user/BotanicGardensTV

YouTube promotes historic Spring Walk (est. 1856) in Royal Botanic Gardens



YouTube has been utilised to provide a snapshot of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in spring, in an effort to increase international tourism and local interest in the Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust's Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said the Spring Walk at the Garden is blooming, providing the perfect launchpad for its new Youtube channel.

"We're using Botanic Gardens TV on YouTube to show all seasons at the Garden to people around the world.  We started with spring because it is significant that Australia's first botanic garden Spring Walk was established here in 1856," Professor Mabberley said.

"On YouTube viewers will learn about the origins of tulips, see footage of them and the many other beautiful flowers along the Spring Walk – and the Garden could provide inspiration for their own gardens.

"Most people assume tulips are from Holland, but in fact they're native to Central Asia.  Their botanical name, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word 'turban', in which the Turks used to wear the flowers.

"It was in the 16th Century that tulips were brought to Holland from Turkey where they had become very popular.  They are now cultivated and grown en masse in large fields.  When food was scarce during the Second World War, people even ate the bulbs," Professor Mabberley said

Royal Botanic Garden's Senior Horticulturalist, Paul Nicholson, said his team creates a seasonal display of 6,000 tulips, 2,000 other bulbs (including hyacinths and ranunculus) and about 5,000 annuals along the Spring Walk.

"This year's annuals are pink primulas and purple pansies.  The other major features are permanent plantings, including a row of ornamental flowering peaches (Prunus persica 'Versicolor') and 17 different cultivars of wisteria.  There's also a mix of rhododendrons — with some unusual ones from southern China, Vietnam and Laos," Mr Nicholson said.

"The tulips, primulas and pansies are flowering now.   In the first week in September, the ornamental peaches and wisterias will start flowering — by the third week they should be in full bloom," Mr Nicholson said. At this time visitors will also see heads of purple mist flower — Bartlettina sordida from Mexico, planted in swathes along the walk.

The Spring Walk is between Botanic Garden Creek (near the Palm Grove Centre) and Lion Gate Lodge — on the southern side of the Macquarie Wall where, in 1856, it was first planted with azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade-loving plants.

The 2012 Spring Walk is sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Hotel maintains a strong commitment to supporting sustainability and is pleased to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which shares common values surrounding the conservation of our natural environment.

Visit Botanic Gardens TV:    http://www.youtube.com/user/BotanicGardensTV

YouTube promotes historic Spring Walk (est. 1856) in Royal Botanic Gardens



YouTube has been utilised to provide a snapshot of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in spring, in an effort to increase international tourism and local interest in the Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust's Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said the Spring Walk at the Garden is blooming, providing the perfect launchpad for its new Youtube channel.

"We're using Botanic Gardens TV on YouTube to show all seasons at the Garden to people around the world.  We started with spring because it is significant that Australia's first botanic garden Spring Walk was established here in 1856," Professor Mabberley said.

"On YouTube viewers will learn about the origins of tulips, see footage of them and the many other beautiful flowers along the Spring Walk – and the Garden could provide inspiration for their own gardens.

"Most people assume tulips are from Holland, but in fact they're native to Central Asia.  Their botanical name, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word 'turban', in which the Turks used to wear the flowers.

"It was in the 16th Century that tulips were brought to Holland from Turkey where they had become very popular.  They are now cultivated and grown en masse in large fields.  When food was scarce during the Second World War, people even ate the bulbs," Professor Mabberley said

Royal Botanic Garden's Senior Horticulturalist, Paul Nicholson, said his team creates a seasonal display of 6,000 tulips, 2,000 other bulbs (including hyacinths and ranunculus) and about 5,000 annuals along the Spring Walk.

"This year's annuals are pink primulas and purple pansies.  The other major features are permanent plantings, including a row of ornamental flowering peaches (Prunus persica 'Versicolor') and 17 different cultivars of wisteria.  There's also a mix of rhododendrons — with some unusual ones from southern China, Vietnam and Laos," Mr Nicholson said.

"The tulips, primulas and pansies are flowering now.   In the first week in September, the ornamental peaches and wisterias will start flowering — by the third week they should be in full bloom," Mr Nicholson said. At this time visitors will also see heads of purple mist flower — Bartlettina sordida from Mexico, planted in swathes along the walk.

The Spring Walk is between Botanic Garden Creek (near the Palm Grove Centre) and Lion Gate Lodge — on the southern side of the Macquarie Wall where, in 1856, it was first planted with azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade-loving plants.

The 2012 Spring Walk is sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Hotel maintains a strong commitment to supporting sustainability and is pleased to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which shares common values surrounding the conservation of our natural environment.

Visit Botanic Gardens TV:    http://www.youtube.com/user/BotanicGardensTV

YouTube promotes historic Spring Walk (est. 1856) in Royal Botanic Gardens



YouTube has been utilised to provide a snapshot of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in spring, in an effort to increase international tourism and local interest in the Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust's Executive Director, Professor David Mabberley, said the Spring Walk at the Garden is blooming, providing the perfect launchpad for its new Youtube channel.

"We're using Botanic Gardens TV on YouTube to show all seasons at the Garden to people around the world.  We started with spring because it is significant that Australia's first botanic garden Spring Walk was established here in 1856," Professor Mabberley said.

"On YouTube viewers will learn about the origins of tulips, see footage of them and the many other beautiful flowers along the Spring Walk – and the Garden could provide inspiration for their own gardens.

"Most people assume tulips are from Holland, but in fact they're native to Central Asia.  Their botanical name, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word 'turban', in which the Turks used to wear the flowers.

"It was in the 16th Century that tulips were brought to Holland from Turkey where they had become very popular.  They are now cultivated and grown en masse in large fields.  When food was scarce during the Second World War, people even ate the bulbs," Professor Mabberley said

Royal Botanic Garden's Senior Horticulturalist, Paul Nicholson, said his team creates a seasonal display of 6,000 tulipr, 2,000 other bulbs (including hyacinths and ranunculus) and about 5,000 annuals along the Spring Walk.

"This year's annuals are pink primulas and purple pansies.  The other major features are permanent plantings, including a row of ornamental flowering peaches (Prunus persica 'Versicolor') and 17 different cultivars of wisteria.  There's also a mix of rhododendrons — with some unusual ones from southern China, Vietnam and Laos," Mr Nicholson said.

"The tulips, primulas and pansies are flowering now.   In the first week in September, the ornamental peaches and wisterias will start flowering — by the third week they should be in full bloom," Mr Nicholson said. At this time visitors will also see heads of purple mist flower — Bartlettina sordida from Mexico, planted in swathes along the walk.

The Spring Walk is between Botanic Garden Creek (near the Palm Grove Centre) and Lion Gate Lodge — on the southern side of the Macquarie Wall where, in 1856, it was first planted with azaleas, rhododendrons and other shade-loving plants.

The 2012 Spring Walk is sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. The Hotel maintains a strong commitment to supporting sustainability and is pleased to partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust which shares common values surrounding the conservation of our natural environment.

Visit Botanic Gardens TV:    http://www.youtube.com/user/BotanicGardensTV

NOVOTEL MELBOURNE GLEN WAVERLEY UNVEILS MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER

 

 

Superior King Room                                    Bathroom                                                                       MediaHubHD

 

3 September 2012: Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has unveiled its $5.6 million dollar refurbishment of 200 accommodation rooms, revealing a sophisticated new look and feel in line with the hotel's reputation as the premier business and leisure destination in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The completion of the four month refurbishment program heralds the arrival of Novotel's innovative NEXT rooms which have been designed with a range of features to enhance the spaciousness and functionality of the room in conjunction with new advances in in-room technology and energy-saving products.

Hotel General Manager, Andrew Maynard said that the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley will set a new benchmark in the design of a Novotel room and is excited to bring this vision to life.

"We are very excited about the excellent standard of room we now have available to our guests after four months of renovations.  We have made significant changes to uplift the style, functionality and technology in the rooms, which we hope will attract even more leisure and conference guests to our hotel," he said.

The growing number of guests travelling with electronic devices will welcome the large workstation with integrated 'MediaHub HD' which allows portable digital devices to be connected to the 32" television.  Stereo Bluetooth enabled smart phones, laptops or MP3 players can also connect wirelessly to stream audio through the TV speakers, so guests can work like they would in the office or be entertained by their own music, movies or games as they would at home.

A number of energy-saving elements have been incorporated into the new rooms including a low-energy, silently operated mini bar fridge with glass door for easy viewing, polished stainless floor lamps for easy on the eye room ambiance, adjustable LED bedside reading lights, and full length block-out curtains to reduce heat and light for optimal room temperature. With the addition of these new features, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is now fully accredited in Accor's PLANET 21 global sustainability program.

Rooms also feature the Novotel NEXT halo bed head with integrated backlighting and designer headboard with bright splashes of colour, luxurious Sleepmaker Pocket Spring beds, new carpet, iPod docking station and clock radio, space-saving chaise lounge and a versatile coffee table providing a separate area for dining or relaxing with a magazine.

New sleek, white bathrooms have been given the wow factor with large, spacious stone vanities complete with NEXT halo vanity mirror. A frameless shower screen and designer tap ware complement the stylish bathroom design.

Security has also been enhanced with the addition of security key card lift activation, the new accommodation room proximity touch locking system and an upgrade of hotel security cameras.

As one of Melbourne's most successful conference and event venues outside of the city centre, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has also added 300 custom designed banquet chairs to further enhance its recently refurbished Conference Centre. The new chairs will provide guests with superior back support and comfort during even the longest of events.

An integrated hotel and entertainment complex, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is right on the doorstep of a shopping centre, cinemas, indoor bowling and is within walking distance to over 35 restaurants and cafes located in Glen Waverley village.

The Novotel is located at 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, just a short 20 minute drive from Melbourne's CBD and the Dandenong Ranges. The train station is located behind the hotel for easy direct access to the city or MCG.

Rates at Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley start from $189 per room per night. To book or arrange a site inspection of Novotel Glen Waverley's new look and feel, visit www.accorhotels.com or phone (03) 8561 2345.

 www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

 

NOVOTEL MELBOURNE GLEN WAVERLEY UNVEILS MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER

 

 

Superior King Room                                    Bathroom                                                                       MediaHubHD

 

3 September 2012: Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has unveiled its $5.6 million dollar refurbishment of 200 accommodation rooms, revealing a sophisticated new look and feel in line with the hotel's reputation as the premier business and leisure destination in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The completion of the four month refurbishment program heralds the arrival of Novotel's innovative NEXT rooms which have been designed with a range of features to enhance the spaciousness and functionality of the room in conjunction with new advances in in-room technology and energy-saving products.

Hotel General Manager, Andrew Maynard said that the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley will set a new benchmark in the design of a Novotel room and is excited to bring this vision to life.

"We are very excited about the excellent standard of room we now have available to our guests after four months of renovations.  We have made significant changes to uplift the style, functionality and technology in the rooms, which we hope will attract even more leisure and conference guests to our hotel," he said.

The growing number of guests travelling with electronic devices will welcome the large workstation with integrated 'MediaHub HD' which allows portable digital devices to be connected to the 32" television.  Stereo Bluetooth enabled smart phones, laptops or MP3 players can also connect wirelessly to stream audio through the TV speakers, so guests can work like they would in the office or be entertained by their own music, movies or games as they would at home.

A number of energy-saving elements have been incorporated into the new rooms including a low-energy, silently operated mini bar fridge with glass door for easy viewing, polished stainless floor lamps for easy on the eye room ambiance, adjustable LED bedside reading lights, and full length block-out curtains to reduce heat and light for optimal room temperature. With the addition of these new features, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is now fully accredited in Accor's PLANET 21 global sustainability program.

Rooms also feature the Novotel NEXT halo bed head with integrated backlighting and designer headboard with bright splashes of colour, luxurious Sleepmaker Pocket Spring beds, new carpet, iPod docking station and clock radio, space-saving chaise lounge and a versatile coffee table providing a separate area for dining or relaxing with a magazine.

New sleek, white bathrooms have been given the wow factor with large, spacious stone vanities complete with NEXT halo vanity mirror. A frameless shower screen and designer tap ware complement the stylish bathroom design.

Security has also been enhanced with the addition of security key card lift activation, the new accommodation room proximity touch locking system and an upgrade of hotel security cameras.

As one of Melbourne's most successful conference and event venues outside of the city centre, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has also added 300 custom designed banquet chairs to further enhance its recently refurbished Conference Centre. The new chairs will provide guests with superior back support and comfort during even the longest of events.

An integrated hotel and entertainment complex, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is right on the doorstep of a shopping centre, cinemas, indoor bowling and is within walking distance to over 35 restaurants and cafes located in Glen Waverley village.

The Novotel is located at 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, just a short 20 minute drive from Melbourne's CBD and the Dandenong Ranges. The train station is located behind the hotel for easy direct access to the city or MCG.

Rates at Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley start from $189 per room per night. To book or arrange a site inspection of Novotel Glen Waverley's new look and feel, visit www.accorhotels.com or phone (03) 8561 2345.

 www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

 

NOVOTEL MELBOURNE GLEN WAVERLEY UNVEILS MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER

 

 

Superior King Room                                    Bathroom                                                                       MediaHubHD

 

3 September 2012: Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has unveiled its $5.6 million dollar refurbishment of 200 accommodation rooms, revealing a sophisticated new look and feel in line with the hotel's reputation as the premier business and leisure destination in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The completion of the four month refurbishment program heralds the arrival of Novotel's innovative NEXT rooms which have been designed with a range of features to enhance the spaciousness and functionality of the room in conjunction with new advances in in-room technology and energy-saving products.

Hotel General Manager, Andrew Maynard said that the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley will set a new benchmark in the design of a Novotel room and is excited to bring this vision to life.

"We are very excited about the excellent standard of room we now have available to our guests after four months of renovations.  We have made significant changes to uplift the style, functionality and technology in the rooms, which we hope will attract even more leisure and conference guests to our hotel," he said.

The growing number of guests travelling with electronic devices will welcome the large workstation with integrated 'MediaHub HD' which allows portable digital devices to be connected to the 32" television.  Stereo Bluetooth enabled smart phones, laptops or MP3 players can also connect wirelessly to stream audio through the TV speakers, so guests can work like they would in the office or be entertained by their own music, movies or games as they would at home.

A number of energy-saving elements have been incorporated into the new rooms including a low-energy, silently operated mini bar fridge with glass door for easy viewing, polished stainless floor lamps for easy on the eye room ambiance, adjustable LED bedside reading lights, and full length block-out curtains to reduce heat and light for optimal room temperature. With the addition of these new features, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is now fully accredited in Accor's PLANET 21 global sustainability program.

Rooms also feature the Novotel NEXT halo bed head with integrated backlighting and designer headboard with bright splashes of colour, luxurious Sleepmaker Pocket Spring beds, new carpet, iPod docking station and clock radio, space-saving chaise lounge and a versatile coffee table providing a separate area for dining or relaxing with a magazine.

New sleek, white bathrooms have been given the wow factor with large, spacious stone vanities complete with NEXT halo vanity mirror. A frameless shower screen and designer tap ware complement the stylish bathroom design.

Security has also been enhanced with the addition of security key card lift activation, the new accommodation room proximity touch locking system and an upgrade of hotel security cameras.

As one of Melbourne's most successful conference and event venues outside of the city centre, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has also added 300 custom designed banquet chairs to further enhance its recently refurbished Conference Centre. The new chairs will provide guests with superior back support and comfort during even the longest of events.

An integrated hotel and entertainment complex, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is right on the doorstep of a shopping centre, cinemas, indoor bowling and is within walking distance to over 35 restaurants and cafes located in Glen Waverley village.

The Novotel is located at 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, just a short 20 minute drive from Melbourne's CBD and the Dandenong Ranges. The train station is located behind the hotel for easy direct access to the city or MCG.

Rates at Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley start from $189 per room per night. To book or arrange a site inspection of Novotel Glen Waverley's new look and feel, visit www.accorhotels.com or phone (03) 8561 2345.

 www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

 

NOVOTEL MELBOURNE GLEN WAVERLEY UNVEILS MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MAKEOVER

 

 

Superior King Room                                    Bathroom                                                                       MediaHubHD

 

3 September 2012: Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has unveiled its $5.6 million dollar refurbishment of 200 accommodation rooms, revealing a sophisticated new look and feel in line with the hotel's reputation as the premier business and leisure destination in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The completion of the four month refurbishment program heralds the arrival of Novotel's innovative NEXT rooms which have been designed with a range of features to enhance the spaciousness and functionality of the room in conjunction with new advances in in-room technology and energy-saving products.

Hotel General Manager, Andrew Maynard said that the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley will set a new benchmark in the design of a Novotel room and is excited to bring this vision to life.

"We are very excited about the excellent standard of room we now have available to our guests after four months of renovations.  We have made significant changes to uplift the style, functionality and technology in the rooms, which we hope will attract even more leisure and conference guests to our hotel," he said.

The growing number of guests travelling with electronic devices will welcome the large workstation with integrated 'MediaHub HD' which allows portable digital devices to be connected to the 32" television.  Stereo Bluetooth enabled smart phones, laptops or MP3 players can also connect wirelessly to stream audio through the TV speakers, so guests can work like they would in the office or be entertained by their own music, movies or games as they would at home.

A number of energy-saving elements have been incorporated into the new rooms including a low-energy, silently operated mini bar fridge with glass door for easy viewing, polished stainless floor lamps for easy on the eye room ambiance, adjustable LED bedside reading lights, and full length block-out curtains to reduce heat and light for optimal room temperature. With the addition of these new features, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is now fully accredited in Accor's PLANET 21 global sustainability program.

Rooms also feature the Novotel NEXT halo bed head with integrated backlighting and designer headboard with bright splashes of colour, luxurious Sleepmaker Pocket Spring beds, new carpet, iPod docking station and clock radio, space-saving chaise lounge and a versatile coffee table providing a separate area for dining or relaxing with a magazine.

New sleek, white bathrooms have been given the wow factor with large, spacious stone vanities complete with NEXT halo vanity mirror. A frameless shower screen and designer tap ware complement the stylish bathroom design.

Security has also been enhanced with the addition of security key card lift activation, the new accommodation room proximity touch locking system and an upgrade of hotel security cameras.

As one of Melbourne's most successful conference and event venues outside of the city centre, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley has also added 300 custom designed banquet chairs to further enhance its recently refurbished Conference Centre. The new chairs will provide guests with superior back support and comfort during even the longest of events.

An integrated hotel and entertainment complex, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is right on the doorstep of a shopping centre, cinemas, indoor bowling and is within walking distance to over 35 restaurants and cafes located in Glen Waverley village.

The Novotel is located at 285 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, just a short 20 minute drive from Melbourne's CBD and the Dandenong Ranges. The train station is located behind the hotel for easy direct access to the city or MCG.

Rates at Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley start from $189 per room per night. To book or arrange a site inspection of Novotel Glen Waverley's new look and feel, visit www.accorhotels.com or phone (03) 8561 2345.

 www.accor.com | www.facebook.com/Accor | www.accorhotels.com

 

It's crunch time! NSW tourism operators only have a few days left to make their entry count

Inline images 1

The 2012 NSW Tourism Awards is nearing its submission cut off date - 7 September 2012 and organisers say it isn't too late to enter.  

Andrew Jefferies, General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council of NSW, has been happy with the level of submissions received so far, but knows that many leave it until the eleventh hour to complete their submission.

"Our main focus for 2012 has been to promote the benefits and value of participating in the Awards program. We've worked extremely hard to recognise and celebrate the efforts of our state's tourism operators - who continually boost our reputation across the country and the world.  

"I strongly encourage all tourism businesses across the state's wider tourism industry, who haven't already done so, to enter the highly valuable Awards program and build upon the success of 2011," said Mr Jefferies.  

The process of entering involves operators answering questions about their businesses and feedback received about the process have been very positive; with many entrants expressing how critical it is for the growth and success of their business.

2012 NSW Tourism Award finalists and winners will gain even more from their participation this year as their successes will become part of the 2013 Tourism in Focus campaign, where exceptional tourism products will be featured extensively in promotions and media.

Applications to enter the 2012 NSW Tourism Awards close COB 7 September 2012. All tourism businesses based in NSW are eligible to enter.

For more information, visit: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/entrants/how-to-enter/

Tourism Industry Council of NSW: http://www.ticnsw.com.au/

Tourism Awards Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NSWTourismAwards  

Tourism Awards Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/NSWTourismAward

The Awards have 31 categories across the industry spectrum - attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators, marketing and accommodation and outstanding contribution from individuals. To enter: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/awards-information/categories/

Entries to the NSW Tourism Awards close on Friday 7th September 2012.

Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 9th October 2012.

The NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held on Thursday 22nd November 2012 at Le Montage, Sydney.

Benefits of entering the Awards:  

  • The NSW Tourism Awards offer entrants recognition for outstanding achievements, an increased profile and valuable networking opportunities.  
  • Winning awards highlight that you are a professional, trusted and benchmarked provider which will help your business stand out in the marketplace.
  • Now in its 23rd year, this Awards program is the most widely recognised Tourism Awards program in the country and is backed by TICNSW and Destination NSW.
  • Entrants will benefit from increased brand awareness and the ability to generate marketing opportunities which will lead to increased sales and revenue.
  • Entrants will gain exposure to influential and valuable networks, opening up new business opportunities.
  • Entrants will have the opportunity to benchmark their business against that of peers and competitors.
  • The questions and criteria have been specifically designed to help entrants develop annual business plans.
  • Entry in the Awards provides an accurate record and overview for your business.
  • All entries will receive a site visit by a Judge and receive feedback after the Awards.
  • Winners will be identified as outstanding tourism businesses in their particular category and gain recognition in front of the industry at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner, which are publicised state-wide.
  • Winners are featured in a special NSW Tourism Awards feature by the Sun Herald and profiled in an edition of Channel 7′s Sydney Weekender.
  • Winners and Finalists can include the NSW Tourism Awards logo on all media and marketing materials.
  • Finally, winners will become automatic finalists in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards and gain recognition for excellence in the industry on a national stage.


It's crunch time! NSW tourism operators only have a few days left to make their entry count

Inline images 1

The 2012 NSW Tourism Awards is nearing its submission cut off date - 7 September 2012 and organisers say it isn't too late to enter.  

Andrew Jefferies, General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council of NSW, has been happy with the level of submissions received so far, but knows that many leave it until the eleventh hour to complete their submission.

"Our main focus for 2012 has been to promote the benefits and value of participating in the Awards program. We've worked extremely hard to recognise and celebrate the efforts of our state's tourism operators - who continually boost our reputation across the country and the world.  

"I strongly encourage all tourism businesses across the state's wider tourism industry, who haven't already done so, to enter the highly valuable Awards program and build upon the success of 2011," said Mr Jefferies.  

The process of entering involves operators answering questions about their businesses and feedback received about the process have been very positive; with many entrants expressing how critical it is for the growth and success of their business.

2012 NSW Tourism Award finalists and winners will gain even more from their participation this year as their successes will become part of the 2013 Tourism in Focus campaign, where exceptional tourism products will be featured extensively in promotions and media.

Applications to enter the 2012 NSW Tourism Awards close COB 7 September 2012. All tourism businesses based in NSW are eligible to enter.

For more information, visit: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/entrants/how-to-enter/

Tourism Industry Council of NSW: http://www.ticnsw.com.au/

Tourism Awards Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NSWTourismAwards  

Tourism Awards Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/NSWTourismAward

The Awards have 31 categories across the industry spectrum - attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators, marketing and accommodation and outstanding contribution from individuals. To enter: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/awards-information/categories/

Entries to the NSW Tourism Awards close on Friday 7th September 2012.

Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 9th October 2012.

The NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held on Thursday 22nd November 2012 at Le Montage, Sydney.

Benefits of entering the Awards:  

  • The NSW Tourism Awards offer entrants recognition for outstanding achievements, an increased profile and valuable networking opportunities.  
  • Winning awards highlight that you are a professional, trusted and benchmarked provider which will help your business stand out in the marketplace.
  • Now in its 23rd year, this Awards program is the most widely recognised Tourism Awards program in the country and is backed by TICNSW and Destination NSW.
  • Entrants will benefit from increased brand awareness and the ability to generate marketing opportunities which will lead to increased sales and revenue.
  • Entrants will gain exposure to influential and valuable networks, opening up new business opportunities.
  • Entrants will have the opportunity to benchmark their business against that of peers and competitors.
  • The questions and criteria have been specifically designed to help entrants develop annual business plans.
  • Entry in the Awards provides an accurate record and overview for your business.
  • All entries will receive a site visit by a Judge and receive feedback after the Awards.
  • Winners will be identified as outstanding tourism businesses in their particular category and gain recognition in front of the industry at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner, which are publicised state-wide.
  • Winners are featured in a special NSW Tourism Awards feature by the Sun Herald and profiled in an edition of Channel 7′s Sydney Weekender.
  • Winners and Finalists can include the NSW Tourism Awards logo on all media and marketing materials.
  • Finally, winners will become automatic finalists in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards and gain recognition for excellence in the industry on a national stage.


It's crunch time! NSW tourism operators only have a few days left to make their entry count

Inline images 1

The 2012 NSW Tourism Awards is nearing its submission cut off date - 7 September 2012 and organisers say it isn't too late to enter.  

Andrew Jefferies, General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council of NSW, has been happy with the level of submissions received so far, but knows that many leave it until the eleventh hour to complete their submission.

"Our main focus for 2012 has been to promote the benefits and value of participating in the Awards program. We've worked extremely hard to recognise and celebrate the efforts of our state's tourism operators - who continually boost our reputation across the country and the world.  

"I strongly encourage all tourism businesses across the state's wider tourism industry, who haven't already done so, to enter the highly valuable Awards program and build upon the success of 2011," said Mr Jefferies.  

The process of entering involves operators answering questions about their businesses and feedback received about the process have been very positive; with many entrants expressing how critical it is for the growth and success of their business.

2012 NSW Tourism Award finalists and winners will gain even more from their participation this year as their successes will become part of the 2013 Tourism in Focus campaign, where exceptional tourism products will be featured extensively in promotions and media.

Applications to enter the 2012 NSW Tourism Awards close COB 7 September 2012. All tourism businesses based in NSW are eligible to enter.

For more information, visit: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/entrants/how-to-enter/

Tourism Industry Council of NSW: http://www.ticnsw.com.au/

Tourism Awards Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NSWTourismAwards  

Tourism Awards Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/NSWTourismAward

The Awards have 31 categories across the industry spectrum - attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators, marketing and accommodation and outstanding contribution from individuals. To enter: http://www.nswtourismawards.com.au/awards-information/categories/

Entries to the NSW Tourism Awards close on Friday 7th September 2012.

Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 9th October 2012.

The NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held on Thursday 22nd November 2012 at Le Montage, Sydney.

Benefits of entering the Awards:  

  • The NSW Tourism Awards offer entrants recognition for outstanding achievements, an increased profile and valuable networking opportunities.  
  • Winning awards highlight that you are a professional, trusted and benchmarked provider which will help your business stand out in the marketplace.
  • Now in its 23rd year, this Awards program is the most widely recognised Tourism Awards program in the country and is backed by TICNSW and Destination NSW.
  • Entrants will benefit from increased brand awareness and the ability to generate marketing opportunities which will lead to increased sales and revenue.
  • Entrants will gain exposure to influential and valuable networks, opening up new business opportunities.
  • Entrants will have the opportunity to benchmark their business against that of peers and competitors.
  • The questions and criteria have been specifically designed to help entrants develop annual business plans.
  • Entry in the Awards provides an accurate record and overview for your business.
  • All entries will receive a site visit by a Judge and receive feedback after the Awards.
  • Winners will be identified as outstanding tourism businesses in their particular category and gain recognition in front of the industry at the Awards Ceremony and Dinner, which are publicised state-wide.
  • Winners are featured in a special NSW Tourism Awards feature by the Sun Herald and profiled in an edition of Channel 7′s Sydney Weekender.
  • Winners and Finalists can include the NSW Tourism Awards logo on all media and marketing materials.
  • Finally, winners will become automatic finalists in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards and gain recognition for excellence in the industry on a national stage.


UNITED AIRLINES' FIRST 787 TAKES FLIGHT

United Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner has completed its first production flight as Boeing makes final preparations for delivering it to United at the end of September. The aircraft took off from Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on Sunday. Boeing pilots flew the 787 around the Seattle area for more than three hours as part of planned tests of the aircraft's controls and systems.

During the flight, crew members examined the 787's onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and safety elements, including cabin pressurization, avionics, navigation and communications systems.

Sunday's flight was part of a series of work that Boeing performs after each 787 comes out of its paint hangar and before airlines take delivery of the planes. The work also includes fueling, systems tests, engine runs and taxi tests.
           

UNITED AIRLINES' FIRST 787 TAKES FLIGHT

United Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner has completed its first production flight as Boeing makes final preparations for delivering it to United at the end of September. The aircraft took off from Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on Sunday. Boeing pilots flew the 787 around the Seattle area for more than three hours as part of planned tests of the aircraft's controls and systems.

During the flight, crew members examined the 787's onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and safety elements, including cabin pressurization, avionics, navigation and communications systems.

Sunday's flight was part of a series of work that Boeing performs after each 787 comes out of its paint hangar and before airlines take delivery of the planes. The work also includes fueling, systems tests, engine runs and taxi tests.
           

UNITED AIRLINES' FIRST 787 TAKES FLIGHT

United Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner has completed its first production flight as Boeing makes final preparations for delivering it to United at the end of September. The aircraft took off from Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on Sunday. Boeing pilots flew the 787 around the Seattle area for more than three hours as part of planned tests of the aircraft's controls and systems.

During the flight, crew members examined the 787's onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and safety elements, including cabin pressurization, avionics, navigation and communications systems.

Sunday's flight was part of a series of work that Boeing performs after each 787 comes out of its paint hangar and before airlines take delivery of the planes. The work also includes fueling, systems tests, engine runs and taxi tests.
           

SCENIC TOURS LAUNCH AFRICA 2013

Scenic Tours, the leading operator of all-inclusive and fully escorted luxury tours in Africa, has launched their Africa programme for 2013.

Africa boasts vast expanses, incredible wildlife and unique cultures. With Scenic Tours, guests will witness wildebeest migrate across the Masai Mara and go on safari to spot the 'Big Five' in Kruger National Park. They will witness flamingos on Lake Nakuru, experience sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro and discover Victoria Falls.

Itineraries travel to South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, and new for 2013 is extended touring to Botswana where guests will meet the Maasai and dine under the stars at an ethnic boma dinner. Also new for 2013 are some exceptional hotels and lodges including the renowned Simola Golf and Country Estate in Knysna. And some additional Scenic FreeChoice activities, where guests have the freedom to choose at no extra cost, such as whale watching, walking safaris and African cooking classes.

Scenic Tours Product Manager for Africa, Andrew Kelleher said "We're really excited about our new Africa touring programme for 2013. With new Scenic Special Stays and Scenic FreeChoice we have again raised the bar of luxury for our guests offering unrivalled quality and location as well as exclusive choice. Feedback from our 'sold out' 2012 touring has been incredible and am looking forward to an even bigger and better year to come."

Scenic Tours operates small group tours with a maximum of 36 guests. There is unrivalled access to natural marvels with exclusive early access to game parks and state-of-the-art open top vehicles to ensure face-to-face wildlife encounters.

From bookings made by 31 December 2012, guests will enjoy savings of up to $1600 per couple. Prices on the

31 Day Grand African Adventure start from $15,695 pp twin share. Includes all accommodation, most meals, all activities, events and entertainment, airport transfers, and all tipping and gratuities.

Proudly Australian and unashamedly passionate, for 25 years Scenic Tours has been delivering the ultimate in all-inclusive luxury touring experiences to unique and extraordinary places on every continent. scenictours.com.au

SCENIC TOURS LAUNCH AFRICA 2013

Scenic Tours, the leading operator of all-inclusive and fully escorted luxury tours in Africa, has launched their Africa programme for 2013.

Africa boasts vast expanses, incredible wildlife and unique cultures. With Scenic Tours, guests will witness wildebeest migrate across the Masai Mara and go on safari to spot the 'Big Five' in Kruger National Park. They will witness flamingos on Lake Nakuru, experience sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro and discover Victoria Falls.

Itineraries travel to South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, and new for 2013 is extended touring to Botswana where guests will meet the Maasai and dine under the stars at an ethnic boma dinner. Also new for 2013 are some exceptional hotels and lodges including the renowned Simola Golf and Country Estate in Knysna. And some additional Scenic FreeChoice activities, where guests have the freedom to choose at no extra cost, such as whale watching, walking safaris and African cooking classes.

Scenic Tours Product Manager for Africa, Andrew Kelleher said "We're really excited about our new Africa touring programme for 2013. With new Scenic Special Stays and Scenic FreeChoice we have again raised the bar of luxury for our guests offering unrivalled quality and location as well as exclusive choice. Feedback from our 'sold out' 2012 touring has been incredible and am looking forward to an even bigger and better year to come."

Scenic Tours operates small group tours with a maximum of 36 guests. There is unrivalled access to natural marvels with exclusive early access to game parks and state-of-the-art open top vehicles to ensure face-to-face wildlife encounters.

From bookings made by 31 December 2012, guests will enjoy savings of up to $1600 per couple. Prices on the

31 Day Grand African Adventure start from $15,695 pp twin share. Includes all accommodation, most meals, all activities, events and entertainment, airport transfers, and all tipping and gratuities.

Proudly Australian and unashamedly passionate, for 25 years Scenic Tours has been delivering the ultimate in all-inclusive luxury touring experiences to unique and extraordinary places on every continent. scenictours.com.au

SCENIC TOURS LAUNCH AFRICA 2013

Scenic Tours, the leading operator of all-inclusive and fully escorted luxury tours in Africa, has launched their Africa programme for 2013.

Africa boasts vast expanses, incredible wildlife and unique cultures. With Scenic Tours, guests will witness wildebeest migrate across the Masai Mara and go on safari to spot the 'Big Five' in Kruger National Park. They will witness flamingos on Lake Nakuru, experience sunrise over Mount Kilimanjaro and discover Victoria Falls.

Itineraries travel to South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, and new for 2013 is extended touring to Botswana where guests will meet the Maasai and dine under the stars at an ethnic boma dinner. Also new for 2013 are some exceptional hotels and lodges including the renowned Simola Golf and Country Estate in Knysna. And some additional Scenic FreeChoice activities, where guests have the freedom to choose at no extra cost, such as whale watching, walking safaris and African cooking classes.

Scenic Tours Product Manager for Africa, Andrew Kelleher said "We're really excited about our new Africa touring programme for 2013. With new Scenic Special Stays and Scenic FreeChoice we have again raised the bar of luxury for our guests offering unrivalled quality and location as well as exclusive choice. Feedback from our 'sold out' 2012 touring has been incredible and am looking forward to an even bigger and better year to come."

Scenic Tours operates small group tours with a maximum of 36 guests. There is unrivalled access to natural marvels with exclusive early access to game parks and state-of-the-art open top vehicles to ensure face-to-face wildlife encounters.

From bookings made by 31 December 2012, guests will enjoy savings of up to $1600 per couple. Prices on the

31 Day Grand African Adventure start from $15,695 pp twin share. Includes all accommodation, most meals, all activities, events and entertainment, airport transfers, and all tipping and gratuities.

Proudly Australian and unashamedly passionate, for 25 years Scenic Tours has been delivering the ultimate in all-inclusive luxury touring experiences to unique and extraordinary places on every continent. scenictours.com.au

ICCA launches National Cruise Week

ICCA announces first ever National Cruise Week

The International Cruise Council Australasia has just announced "Australia's largest cruise promotion" - the inaugural National Cruise Week which will take place 03-09 Sep 2012.

ICCA gm Brett Jardine said the initiative would be the largest consumer promotion ever undertaken by the local cruise industry, with 28 ICCA member cruise lines and over 1000 member travel agents taking part across Australia and New Zealand.

He said the Australasian initiative followed the ongoing success of similar promotions in the UK and USA, and will see member cruise lines offering exclusive deals and "spectacular savings" only available through ICCA member travel agents.

Last year's US National Cruise Week, hosted by ICCA's sister organisation Cruise Lines International Association, generated $55 million in new sales (and more than $7 million in commissions) across North America.

"As Australia is one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world, we have high hopes for the inaugural National Cruise Week and believe it will help drive sales even further as we enter the region's largest cruise season," Jardine said.

More information in tomorrow's issue of CruiseWeekly.

Brand New Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou


HBA SETS NEW BENCHMARK FOR AVANT-GARDE HOTEL DESIGN WITH THE BRAND NEW FOUR SEASONS HOTEL GUANGZHOU

China's most significant hotel opening this year creates new design landmark for the city of Guangzhou

Global interior design leaders HBA, Hirsch Bedner Associates set out to challenge perceptions of hotel design with the styling of the Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, a stunning new architectural landmark in China's southern provincial capital and the brand's 88th property worldwide. Remarkable for both its soaring height and tapering avant-garde design, the newly opened hotel is set to become a new benchmark for interior design in Asia.

Rising 103 stories above the Pearl River, the Four Seasons Guangzhou occupies the top third of the new Guangzhou International Finance Center. The project is architecturally dramatic for its triangular tower, diagonal lattice and soaring, 30-floor-high atrium. HBA's interior design concept is striking, developed to push the boundaries of design and challenge perceptions of the classic hotel interior.

HBA won an international competition to design the hotel. "It was because we were able to beautifully communicate a visual presentation that upholds the integrity of the Four Seasons brand coupled with innovative design and sensitivity to location," said Ian Carr, CEO of HBA in Singapore.

Every detail of the hotel's elegant yet ultramodern interior was meticulously planned and executed to ensure an exceptional guest experience. From the ground floor, guests take dedicated express elevators to the 70th floor lobby, where a dramatic three metre (ten foot) red steel sculpture by Australian artist Matthew Harding appears to float on a sea of watery glass, reflecting the astounding ceiling window 30 floors above.

The incredible naturally-lit atrium, surrounded by restaurants and rooms above, is higher than the top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and New York's Statue of Liberty. The intricate textured screen made of woven metal wraps around the interior of the sky-high lobby. In a subtle reference to the hotel brand, the screen is themed around the four seasons, from spring in the basement to fall in the upper reaches.

"The artwork extends to edgy, modern Southern Chinese pieces by local artists and continues the theme of the four seasons from spring on the ground floor to winter at the top floor," said Sandra DeSouza, Director of Canvas, art consultants on the project. For instance, at Tian Bar on Level 99, the artwork is pure, white and ethereal in a fitting tribute to the heavens.

A key challenge facing HBA was to match interiors with the complex structural columns featured in all public spaces and the hotel's 104 guest rooms and suites. Each boasts a unique floorplan as a result, with the building narrowing as it rises and columns intersecting at different points. The only constants in HBA's guest room interiors are the bathrooms and beds, positioned to offer unparalleled views of the Pearl River Delta and cityscape. Floor to ceiling glass windows additionally encourage guests to "look right down", said Carr. "This design is naturally inspired by the 103-storey building we were given. We didn't want to close up the windows and deny guests the spectacular view."

Furniture is predominantly modern Italian, with contemporary Chinese art playing off elements of nature and culture. HBA created beautifully customized carpets that are watercolor-like and evocative of the skies and clouds.

"Everything Four Seasons does is classy – nothing trite or glib," said Carr.

Embracing this brief, HBA's objective was to bridge the gap between Four Seasons' "modern conservatism" style and the building's avant-garde architecture, with the vast, light-filled central atrium contributing to a particularly dramatic effect.

"Where guests check-in, they can look up and see beautiful patterning spanned across 35 floors of tapering diagonal glass, it's quite amazing," said Carr.

This lent itself to creating further patterns of angles and refractive elements in the interior design, from the handrails in the atrium – custom measured for each floor – to a dynamic skylight at the top, with angular black panels. The effect is magnified in interior corridors, with angled glass deliberately projecting outwards to "embrace the height". Nowhere is this sense of height more intense than from a bridge on Level 100, where a staircase projects into the void and glass floors look down 40 floors below to the lobby.

In addition to Tian Bar, HBA also provided sumptuous interiors for Yu Yue Heen, Caffe Mondo and Kumoi – three of the hotel's four new dining destinations. Located on Level 71, signature Chinese restaurant Yu Yue Heen deliberately speaks a different design language than the rest of the project, with interiors playing on traditional Chinese calligraphy and carrying the colors of the Red Dragon. In Yu Yue Heen, and throughout the hotel, design marries tradition and innovation to firmly ground interiors in modern China.

"Overall, Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou breaks conventions, coupling luxury with the avant-garde," added Carr. "The architect created amazing spaces for us to work with and this building really stands out as a new design icon for both Guangzhou and for the Four Seasons brand."

For HBA in Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne, New Delhi, Dubai Thailand, Moscow, Istanbul and Manila, visit www.hba.com


Bridging the gap between Four Seasons' ultra-luxury standards and the avant-garde design of Guangzhou IFC, HBA's design creates a space that is sumptuous and soaring in scope

The building's unconventional structure required more than 100 different room configurations, each offering unimpeded views of the Pearl River Delta and cityscape

In signature Chinese restaurant Yu Yue Heen, and throughout Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou, HBA's concept marries cultural tradition and design innovation


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