Tuesday, June 30, 2009

State of Origin accommodation

With just two weeks to go until State of Origin 3 in Brisbane (July 15), I thought I'd give you a quick update on accommodation for that night.

A number of the hotels require pre-payment or have a 7 day cancellation policy in place.

Starting at the top, almost all of the 5 star hotels have availability still, prices start from around $400 for the night of the 15th.

The 4 and 4.5 star hotels, some have availability some are sold out already. The best value accommodation now starts at $350 but is within walking distance of Suncorp Stadium.

There are a number of apartments still available. Of course, the longer you stay the cheaper the per night rate becomes. Based on a two night stay, the night of the State of Origin would be just under $350 and the other night would be under $200.

Even 3.5 star hotels in the CBD are almost $300 and the only one we'd use has a two night stay in place.

If you need State of Origin accommodation in Brisbane, e-mail or call us and we'll let you know what the best available option is.

Michael Jackson's funeral and grave major travel destinations

I came across this article in an industry newsletter and its an interesting (travel-related) thought regarding the passing of Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson's funeral and grave major travel destinations

Macabre though it may seem to talk about it, tourism officials in California are looking at one of the biggest possible potential boosts to the State’s tourism, with millions already travelling to Los Angeles filling hotels and planes while doing so, to pay their respects to Michael Jackson,.

According to examiner.com in the USA, celebrity funerals and graves have always attracted legions of fans who travel from all parts of the globe, with Rudolph Valentino the first, but hardly the last and once the funeral is over, the pilgrimages reallybegin.

Tourists will travel thousands of miles to visit the gravesite of their favourite celebrity, for example, Elvis Presley's grave at Graceland is the biggest example, drawing tens of thousands of fans annually.

Jim Morrison's grave in Paris and Princess Diana's final resting place in Althorp, England, are also other examples of how popular celebrities can be even in death and how far tourists are willing to travel to pay homage.

The gravesite of Michael Jackson, who died suddenly last week at 50, will undoubtedly be the next great destination for celebrity worshipers who have the time and money for a long-distance cemetery trip and while Jackson's funeral plans have not yet been announced he is likely to be buried in California.

So, while some people might consider celebrity grave visits to be a bid macabre, it's actually an intriguing niche in the travel world, with a number of groups around the world specialising in locating and publicising celebrity graves, or arranging visits, with these groups stressing respectfulness, encouraging fans to say goodbye to a favourite star with dignity and a sense of peacefulness.

If you can't actually travel to a celebrity grave, there are Web sites that post photos and provide precise details about noteworthy graves – check some of these out:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sofitel "$100 reasons why" special

While reading one of the industry newsletters I get each day I came across the following package announcement from Sofitel. For the quality 5 star hotels that Sofitel are, its a great deal!

Do you think the hotels are a little quieter than normal?

Special offer - $100 reasons why packages with Sofitel Australia

Proving that luxury can still represent great value, Sofitel Luxury Hotels is now offering travellers 100 good reasons to stay at a Sofitel hotel or resort in Australia this winter.

Guests who book to stay on this package at one of Sofitel’s five great destinations in Australia until 31 August 2009 will receive a $100 hotel credit each night of their stay, which can be used within the hotel for a wide range of dining options and services.

Sofitel rates start from just $250 per night* (inclusive of the daily credit).

Sofitel Luxury Hotels offer five brilliant destinations along the east coast of Australia: Sofitel Brisbane Central, Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Sofitel Melbourne On Collins and the majestic Sofitel Werribee Park Mansion Hotel & Spa just 25 minutes from the heart of the Melbourne CBD.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stupid inquiry

While catching up on industry news, I also came across the following story that made me laugh. Its been a while since we've had a really stupid inquiry, although I did have to sort out a bit of a mix-up this morning when a traveller that we booked on behalf one of the Travel Management Companies turned up at the wrong hotel and wondered why they didn't have his booking.

He may be living in New Zealand, but poor Jake Morgan has had to put up with an unfair amount of mind numbing questions during his time in the travel industry. While this one isn’t exactly a stupid inquiry, it is perplexing to wonder who is the more intellectually challenged – the agents who booked the trip, or the customers for not realising. Bless.

From Jake Morgan, PREVU Corporation Ltd, Auckland, NZ:

From my time working on a cruise liner in the Caribbean, and later in Grand Cayman, I
was blessed with almost too many stupid inquiries to mention. Here is one of my favourites:

Me: “How are you enjoying your vacation, folks?”

Them: “Lovely, but not what we expected.”

Me: “How so?”

Them: “When we went to the travel agent, we thought we had booked to go to the Grand Canyon.”

Umm, this doesn't look like the Grand Canyon??

Qantas points from Woolworths

Sure, its not about hotel accommodation but I saw this story in one of the travel industry newsletters I read and thought you might find it interesting. I'm sure both companies will be promoting the news over the upcoming weeks.

Woolworths customers to earn Qantas points while shopping

Australians shopping at Woolworths will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points due to a unique loyalty partnership announced by the Australian carrier today.

Customers must link their Everyday Rewards and Qantas Frequent Flyer accounts and present their Everyday Rewards card upon purchase of goods.

After doing so, they will earn one point for every $1 spent over $30 in one transaction.
The loyalty program will be available at Woolworths Supermarket and Liquor from 22 June and to BIG W from 16 July.

BWS, Dick Smith and participating Caltex Woolworths co-branded fuel outlets will join the loyalty program later in the year. Dan Murphy’s will not be included.

Purchases over $30 will still grant the four cents per litre fuel discount and customers shopping with a credit card that earns Qantas Frequent Flyer points will still be valid in addition to the $1 points above $30.

Points can be redeemed for flights on Qantas, Jetstar and 23 partner airlines or alternatively, online at the Qantas Frequent Flyer store.

Simon Hickey, Chief Executive Officer of Qantas Frequent Flyer said the partnership was a way for customers to know they were getting value for their money every time they shopped. “Qantas is committed to ensuring the program remains the best way to accumulate points for great value rewards”

Hickey told reporters during a teleconference today that the partnership had not yet revealed what purchasing terms would apply to BWS, Dick Smith and Caltex Woolworths as a part of the loyalty scheme.

Customers can join Everyday Rewards by taking a dedicated card from any Woolworths Supermarket and register at

Qantas said Everyday Rewards members not members of Qantas Frequent Flyer program would be waived of the $82.50 joining fee if they joined Qantas Frequent Flyer through Woolworths.