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TALKING TRAVEL

April 12: Traveltalk gets promiscuous!

This week we speak to Chris Fundell from Globus, we take a look at whats in our latest magazine, plus we review the world’s most promiscuous countries!

April 5: April Fools Day Pranks, A dream come true in Antarctica and all the latest news

April Fools Day Pranks, A dream come true in Antarctica and all the latest news from traveltalkmag.com.au

Episode 2: Qantas emergency audio, Two royal announcements and something to wiggle about!

In this episode, audio from onboard the Qantas emergency incident near Perth, Two royal announcements and something to wiggle about!

Episode 1: Welcome our weekly Talking Travel podcast.

Jon Underwood is joined by his new co-host Dan Lake. Together they discuss what’s taken place in the industry in the past week as well as looking at what exactly is going on with Boeing? Plus, dogs on planes? Is this a thing? Listen to the latest episode below.

Season One Podcasts

Episode 17 – It's A Wholesaler's World

Every yin has its yang and for travel agents, they wouldn’t be able to do most of what they do without a strong wholesaler in the background providing all the flights, hotels, cruises and other product they sell every day.

Wholesale is a hyper competitive side of the travel industry, with many well-known and some less-so all duking it out with the best packages, deals and pricing to snag the sale. Technology is a key component of the wholesale game too, with the ultimate goal of being that easy-to-use warehouse for agents to grab what their clients need and put it all together to build their perfect holiday.

Today on Talking Travel, we’re digging a bit deeper into the world of the wholesalers, with three guests on this episode – James Whiting from Infinity Holidays, Steve Brady from Helloworld and Walter Nand from the young upstart brand, Rediscover Travel.

Episode 16 – The Serenity Of River Cruising

There’s something about a European river cruise that keeps Australians coming back for more, year after year, with many others discovering it for the first time and promptly getting hooked themselves.

Whether it’s the gentle, relaxed nature of travel, the rolling countryside passing by on both sides, postcard towns adorning the riverbank, or even just the food and frivolity onboard, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular way to see the world.

Today on Talking Travel, we’re chatting to two industry leaders in river cruising – Alice Ager from Uniworld River Cruises and David Clark from Tauck – to find out more about the river cruiser of today, the itineraries most beloved by Australians and how river cruising keeps drawing people back year after year.

Episode 15 – Sharing The Load

It’s 2024 and with every new year comes promise, excitement and motivation to make the next 12 months better than the last. For some, that may involve implementing their New Year Resolution to lower their stress by making changes to how they work.

Two people ahead of the curve on that front are our guests today on this episode of Talking Travel. Anna Shannon from Travel Agent Finder and Charlie Trevena from Destination Webinars share many synergies with their businesses which has led them to join forces and work towards some common goals.

One such goal is a shared marketing resource. Neither Anna nor Charlie each needed one full-time, but together, they can each provide part-time work and both benefit from her expertise.

Sharing workforces is a topic both ladies are passionate about, firmly believing the concept can be applied to the travel industry to help ease the immediate staff shortages and overworked agents struggling to meet the public’s lust for travel.

Episode 14 – A Hawaiian Adventure

It’s fair to say Hawaii went through a lot in 2023. The tropical paradise that fills us with so much warmth and joy turned to darkness for four days last August as wildfires reduced much of western Maui to ruin.

But if ever a people can show resilience and build back, it’s the Hawaiians, and build they did, with plenty of promise now on the horizon for much of the affected areas.

Elsewhere on the other islands, the business of tourism continued unabated, and the U.S. state remains one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers to visit. The relaxed vibe, warm people and energetic environment delivers everything a holidaymaker could want. In 2024, the future in Hawaii is as bright as the sun that shines down on it. Long may it continue.

Episode 13 – The Tourism Lifeline

It’s the last working week of the year and Christmas is nearly upon us, but for some parts of the world, the festive season brings no cause for celebration thanks to devastating acts of Mother Nature that literally rocked their world.

Horrific earthquakes this year in Turkey, Syria and Morocco are just two examples of how nature can deliver such pain and anguish. And for those who have nothing left, the page turns to 2024 and hopes that life can be rebuilt.

One such catalyst that provides so much help is the global tourism industry, in two ways. First, initial fundraising helps to generate immediate assistance to those affected by such heartache. But secondly, travellers return to affected countries and spend their money with local businesses, rebuilding livelihoods and putting food back on their table.

Episode 12 – A Canadian Wonderland

Whatever time of year you may visit Canada, there’s something magical in store for you. But when autumn and winter roll around, the excitement goes to another level.

The wide open spaces turn from a lush green into a mesmerising yellow and gold before being blanketed in a crisp white snowfall, a time when Canada is at its most popular with skiers and those craving a winter wonderland.

Whether you’re indulging in this winter action or crossing the country to explore the classic architecture and French flair in the east, you’re guaranteed a memorable holiday as Canada delivers time after time, making it one of the most popular and repeat destinations for Australian travellers year after year.

On today’s episode of Talking Travel, we’re digging deep into not just the snow but all that Canadian culture with Nathan McLoughlin from Destination Canada and Vic Naughton from Air Canada.

Episode 11 - A new approach to luxury

Travel seems to be one of the only things not being sacrificed in a cost-of-living crunch. In fact, travellers are going the other way – devoting more of their money to seeing the world and experiencing the finer things in life, even for only a few days or weeks at a time.

Luxury hotels saw this coming years ago and have been jostling for the spotlight ever since, with a ‘no holds barred’ competitive approach and innovating to ensure each guest can tailor a stay exactly to their liking.

While this has led to some rather unconventional requests, hotels smile, nod and oblige, going well out of their way to appease this new breed of high-end holidaymaker. After all, a happy guest leaves a positive review.

In this episode of Talking Travel, we chat to two leading Melbourne luxury hoteliers to find out just how far the envelope has been pushed, and can be pushed, to ensure each guest leaves with a smile on their face.

Episode 10 - Cruise Ship Entertainment

Gone are the days of bellyflop contests and shuffleboard for your onboard amusement at sea – cruise ship entertainment is now big business.

Cruise ships today present Broadway-style stage show extravaganzas featuring elaborate costumes, daredevil stunts and supremely talented performers who leave audiences spellbound and cheering for an encore…or two.

But what goes into these stage spectaculars? Do travellers want to engage with familiar concepts they see in their everyday lives, such as popular game shows, or want to be left dazzled by world-class singers, dancers and storytellers?

On this episode of Talking Travel, we chat to entertainment impresarios Shane Riley from Virgin Voyages and Carnival Australia Director of Entertainment, Jeremy Barnes, to find out more about what travellers can expect for their after-dinner entertainment on their next cruise holiday.

Episode 9 - Indigenous Tourism Dreamtime

With a history spanning over 65,000 years, Australia’s Indigenous tourism offers a profound and immersive journey into the rich cultural tapestry of its ancient land.

Indigenous tourism in Australia is a unique opportunity for travellers to engage with vibrant cultures and gain insight into ancient spiritual beliefs, practices and contemporary contributions. Indigenous tourism promises an authentic and transformative experience, fostering a deeper understanding of Australia’s remarkable heritage.

Economically, Australia’s native stories are key drivers of its international tourism narrative, with visitors both domestic and overseas eager to engage with modern interpretations of these compelling stories.

Episode 8 - The love of the job

There’s an old saying:  “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” 

For many travel agents, the love of their job and helping their clients experience the wonders of the world ignites a passion that carries them through even the tougher days and on to a remarkable career full of cherished memories and stories.

In this episode of Talking Travel, we celebrate two of the legends of the Australian travel industry – Michelle Everson from Jamison Travel in Canberra and Trevor Jones of Hawthorn Travel in Melbourne.

Together, Michelle and Trevor share a professional lineage of 80 years in this industry and in that time, have amassed a world of amazing stories, wisdom and experience that will inspire generations who follow in their footsteps.

Episode 7 - The ongoing rise of European high-speed rail

Governments across Europe are investing billions in high-speed rail to improve tracks, trains, stations, technology and how passengers use the various services across the continent.

The deregulation of rail across the continent is seeing new train operators move into territories previously monopolised by state-owned and legacy operators.

This increased competition is leading to cheaper fares, more frequent services and many other benefits for travellers.

At the same time, the environmental benefits of travelling by train have never been more front-of-mind after France became the catalyst by banning passenger flights between cities that a train can link in 2.5 hours or less. Other nations and investors are watching closely as various new passenger trends emerge.

To discuss these trends and much more, we’re joined in this episode by Rail Europe General Manager Australia, Richard Leonard, and Eurail Research Analyst, Jody Bauer, who will share their vision on how European high-speed rail will evolve and how Australians can maximise their adventures by train with new-look tickets and fares.

Episode 6 - Nurturing the next generation of travel professionals

Staff shortages have been a chronic problem across the travel industry ever since Australia’s border reopened, with the sector as a whole struggling to keep up with the incredible demand now being seen.

Many advisors are swamped, working nights, weekends and holidays just to keep up as recruiters are in overdrive trying to find qualified candidates for a plethora of roles.

Industry associations are investing in future crops of young, hungry travel professionals who are completing various certificates and traineeships to launch their careers in the sector. One of these is CLIA Australasia, which is nurturing the forthcoming stars of cruising through TAFE NSW.

On this episode of Talking Travel, we assess all sides of this educational equation as we chat to Lindsay Campbell, one such TAFE NSW student who has just begun her path to success in cruising in a CLIA-backed course.

We’re also joined by cruise and travel expert and iTravel award-winning advisor, Megan Catterall, who is training and developing Lindsay through hands-on experience during her study. Finally, we find out from CLIA Australasia Head of Training, Peter Kollar how CLIA is supporting students like Lindsay and agents like Megan to nurture the next generation of stars.

Episode 5 - Visit Britain

May was an incredibly busy and exciting time to be in the United Kingdom, full of pomp and pageantry across the country.

In less than a week, millions around the world watched as London hosted the first Royal Coronation in 70 years as King Charles III was formally crowned. A few days later, a very different kind of pageantry was on show as Liverpool hosted Eurovision for the first time in 25 years.

Both events, plus an annual calendar full of many more, are stimulating a roaring tourism trade to the UK as millions from around the world, including record numbers from Australia, are flocking to the Old Dart for their own British adventures.

On this episode of Talking Travel, we explore the booming popularity of the UK with VisitBritain Australia and New Zealand Country Manager, Maria Sykes, and discuss the best ways to move about the country with Rail Online CEO, James Dunne.

Enjoy this episode of Talking Travel.

Episode 4 - Travellers Tales

Most people would agree that creating lifelong memories is the best part of travelling the world. The sights we see, the people we meet and the experiences we enjoy are imprinted in our psyche and soul to be joyfully shared countless times with friends and family.

As culpable as travel agents are in helping us to create these memories, they’re no strangers to their own unique experiences, which Flight Centre is now turning into a YouTube series called ‘This One Time’.

On this episode of Talking Travel, Jon and Matt talk to Flight Centre’s Global Head of Marketing, Clint Hearne, to learn about the series and its objectives as a marketing tool. Also in this episode, we hear a few hilarious tales from other Flight Centre agents, and share some of our own.

Don’t miss this hilarious episode of Talking Travel.

Episode 3 - Johanna Griggs & Graham Ross

For nearly 30 years, Better Homes and Gardens has become a staple of the weekly television schedule for millions of Australians, who tune in to discover ways to enrich their lifestyles in many different ways.

One of these is through travel, with the show and its presenters taking viewers to every corner of the planet, showcasing amazing cities, towns, wildlife, gardens and experiences.

Joining Jon Underwood and Matt Lennon on this episode are two of the show’s presenters – host Johanna Griggs and ‘Garden Guru’ Graham Ross – to share just a taste of their incredible adventures around the world. We discuss their favourite places, personal travel highlights, embarrassing moments and even find out which countries they have yet to add to their extensive global adventures.

Episode 2 - The Last Tourist

This is the podcast EVERY traveller needs to hear.

Much like Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ documentary sparked the world into considering its environmental impact, The Last Tourist is a catalyst to make global travellers sit up and take notice of the effect they’re leaving on the world through travel.

Whether it’s the wildlife we seek, the natural environment we crave or the local communities that intrigue us, overtourism is causing irreparable damage to the world we explore. The Last Tourist aims to shine a light on what mass tourism is doing to the world and to encourage us to think carefully about the places we visit, the tours we book and the ways we travel.

Join Jon Underwood and Matt Lennon as we chat to The Last Tourist’s Executive Producer, Bruce Poon Tip and Director, Tyson Sadler, about their experience making the documentary and the change they’d like to inspire in the world’s tourists.

Episode 1 - AFTA & Intrepid

In the premiere episode of Talking Travel, hosts Jon Underwood and Matt Lennon speak to AFTA CEO Dean Long and Intrepid Travel GM of Sales and Partnerships, Yvette Thompson. Topics include the recovery of travel, AFTA’s upcoming ‘Women in Travel Summit’ and much more.