From commissions to Koreans: ABiC debates continue
After Sydney’s successful Adventure and Backpacker Industry Conference drew to a close last Thursday, operators took the rare chance of all being in town together to arrange an extra informal meeting to further discuss some of the burning issues to have arisen from the conference. Read more »
ATA’s tribute to the newly retired Ken Hart
The widening gap between UK school-leavers and Australia
Tom Griffiths, founder of Gapyear.com, argues that those students who miss out on a University place are also missing out on a gap year in Australia due to an industry system that fails them. Read more »
Tourism? But Australia’s got mining…
Scotty’s Beach House owner Boyd Scott argues Australia’s tourism industry is sinking into irrelevance while the country’s decision-makers are blinded by the mining boom.
“And don`t forget to say “G`day” to `em: you wouldn`t want to make a liar of me, now, would you?” So ended an amiable Paul Hogan Tourism Australia ad, where he told us Aussies how to treat the hordes of international tourists that he`d lured over here with his famous “Shrimp on the barbie” ad campaign. Read more »
It’s time for tough questions and positive leadership
Destination Melbourne chief executive Chris Buckingham argues that James Packer’s uncomfortable home truths about Australia’s tourism industry should be listened to.
James Packer was strident in his views on the state of the Australian tourism industry over the weekend. One of the richest men in the country did not have a lot of good things to say.
A little help please Julia
Honestly, I would rather eat a jar of Marmite than talk about politics so believe me when I say, this isn’t a political rant…
Read more »
Queensland fails tourism moment of truth
Traveltrends.biz editor Martin Kelly says Queensland has a lot to offer – but the sunshine state must face up to a few home truths.
The political thought police are back in action in Queensland – and the news is all bad for the state’s tourism industry, which needs honesty, not self-deception, in what is shaping as a pivotal period in its history. Read more »
Beware of the beast
After returning from a holiday in the US this week, I not only came back with the post-holiday blues, but a sense of frustration about what Australia is so desperately lacking – good service. Read more »
BOA NSW lobbies for van-packer solutions
BOA NSW president Katrina Greeves updates the industry on what the association has been doing about the thorny issue of illegal camping by backpackers.
Thanks to Thumbrella readers for sharing your local van-packer experiences and meetings with local stakeholders. I thought I’d give the industry a quick update on what we’ve been doing here in Sydney with Randwick City Council, which is turning into a very positive consultation process. Read more »
Slow and steady wins the race
Top Deck director of global sales and strategy Lance Batty says it’s not all doom and gloom out there, but businesses must continue investing in their product ready for the day the dollar starts to fall.
After reading all the dire press out there recently, I wanted to share some good news. Our new season trips started operating post April 1. The inaugural departure of our new City, South and Outback trip headed south on April 3 from Melbourne to Adelaide and on to Coober Pedy and Alice Springs, with a respectable 12 travellers. Not too bad for our first trip as our maximum load is 20. Read more »
Australia – the new England
Scotty’s Beach House owner Boyd Scott explains why Australia has become the new England and how operators must accept that it is now an expensive destination to travel.
Some recent news articles in our papers and on BTN got me into a ruminative mood that culminated in a minor Eureka moment of major portent. Those of us directly involved in the Australian backpacking industry need to change mental gears and get our head around the new paradigm ASAP: we are the new England. Read more »
Where’s the justice?
Port Campbell Hostel manager Tony McAuliffe says when it comes to user reviews, the customer is not always right.
My wife and I manage the Port Campbell Hostel, on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, which opened as a new-build facility in late 2009. It replaced a series of buildings offering backpacker-style accommodation since around 1983, which had, by all accounts, decayed past their best-before date several years ago. Read more »
Iceland to offer world’s first tour inside a volcano
Tourists visiting Iceland will get the rare opportunity to see the inside of a volcano for a unique experience.
The dormant volcano Thrihnukagigur located half an hour outside of Reykjavik has been dormant for 4,000 years – so there’s not much risk of a sudden eruption melting visitors.
Inquisitive tourists, once they’ve managed a 40 minute mike across a lava field, will get to see the inside of the magma chamber as they descend in a cable lift.
The tour of the volcano, which was first explored by scientists in 2011, costs £180 per person, with some of the contributions going towards Iceland’s ongoing volcano research projects.
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