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THE ENTIRE Australian travel industry is being invited to become part of history in a world record attempt.

Norwegian Cruise Line is preparing for its 4th annual Walk for Wellness running from October 1 to 31.

This year NCL is upping the stakes, with an official world record attempt for the longest distance achieved by a team of travel professionals in one month.

Participants can walk solo, with colleagues or even take a hosted walk with their local NCL Business Development Manager via the free MoveSpring mobile app, which easily syncs with users’ mobile and wearable devices.

Walkers will be invited to ‘Think International, Think NCL’, by walking around a world map, with a particular focus on destinations popular with Australian and New Zealand cruisers, such as Hawaii, Alaska, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Asia.

There will also be weekly challenges, surprises and prizes along the way to keep the crew engaged, motivated and on track.

“Walk for Wellness was initially conceived during the pandemic to support our travel agents during challenging times,” said Ben Angell, MD and VP APAC, NCL.

“Since then, our industry has demonstrated remarkable strength, resilience and unity, but it’s critical we continue to prioritise our mental and physical wellbeing.

“Last year, 1,000 travel partners walked with us, this year we’re aiming higher and asking the entire Australian and New Zealand travel community to join us as we walk for our collective wellbeing and to set a world record – a powerful signal that we are here, we are strong and we are together.”

NCL has also pledged to donate $1,000 each time a milestone is reached, to mental health charity Mood Active, which empowers people to better manage their mental health through exercise.

“We look forward to Walk for Wellness every year, it’s such as fantastic and meaningful way to connect with and empower our travel industry colleagues to look after their physical and mental wellbeing – and to have a ton of fun as we do so,” said Damian Borg, Director of Sales, NCL AUNZ.

“We know there’s plenty of friendly competitive spirit among the travel community, so we hope everyone will come together to be part of our exciting world record attempt – every step counts!”

The first 300 registrations will receive a Walk for Wellness 2023 cap.


A MAJOR collaboration has just been announced aimed at measuring and addressing modern slavery supply chain risks across the travel industry. 

Intrepid Travel has launched the new travel consortium in partnership with Flight Centre.

Walk Free, an international human rights group, has reported the problem is getting worse, with an estimated 50 million people impacted around the world in 2022.

From souvenirs purchased to hospitality services provided, exploitation within travel continues to exist within supply chains.

Intrepid has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to modern slavery in its own operations and is taking this a step further by more deeply evaluating and providing support to its 5,500 direct suppliers.

Established through the Informed365 platform, the new consortium will engage with tier 1 suppliers through an annual, online assessment to identify risks, analyse knowledge and actions, understand suppliers’ needs and provide the support and tools they need to improve their own practices and those of their own supply chain.

Industry suppliers will only need to complete the survey once and they can elect for it to be shared with other business partners, reducing the burden for suppliers and overall issues of compliance.

Intrepid and Flight Centre have already begun to roll out these surveys and tools to their suppliers globally and are now actively encouraging other businesses to join the consortium to collaborate on eliminating modern slavery in tourism.

“For so long businesses in every industry have ignored or fallen short of addressing the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains,” said Sara King, General Manager of Purpose for Intrepid Travel.

“The reality is, we are our suppliers and we hope the tourism industry can lead this change in mindset for businesses everywhere to protect vulnerable people and communities around the world.”


AN INNOVATIVE tourism campaign is aiming to win the hearts of Aussie travellers.

Tourism Ireland’s refreshed global promotion – ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ – went live in Australia last month with new advertising creative set to be rolled out over coming weeks.

The campaign celebrates the different ways in which the island of Ireland fills the hearts of both visitors and locals and invites potential holidaymakers to come and experience those for themselves.

It’s an advocacy-led campaign with the advocates or personalities starring in the ads sharing the things about Ireland which fill their hearts and dialling up what differentiates Ireland from other destinations.

The new ads will shine a light on Ireland’s characters, character and culture through engaging personal anecdotes told by those who love it best – its stars, local characters and visitors.

“The new advertising creative highlights the true strengths of the tourism offering in Ireland including rich and authentic experiences, incredible landscapes, and the warm welcome that awaits Australian visitors,” said Sofia Hansson, Regional Manager Australia & New Zealand of Tourism Ireland.

“This renewed campaign is expected to encourage Australian holidaymakers to put the island of Ireland on their list for travel in late 2023 and into 2024.”

The first ads of the new campaign feature actresses Sharon Horgan from Bad Sisters and Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell from Derry Girls.

The ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ ads will run on multiple channels, including Video on Demand, Netflix and online. The ads will also be shared on Tourism Ireland’s social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.


A NEW course is being offered for people who would like to gain skills and be job-ready for employment as a tour guide.

The three-day course is being run by Tour Guides Australia, who are trying to reduce the chronic shortage of guides in the visitor economy.

The initiative aligns with THRIVE 2030, Australia’s national strategy for the long-term sustainable growth of the visitor economy policy to grow a secure and resilient workforce.

The course and on-the-job experience may lead to professional accreditation with Tour Guides Australia and course participants will receive a complimentary associate membership to get you networking immediately.

Enrolments are available for September in Darwin, Cairns and Sydney. Tour operators and attractions can also request course delivery onsite at a time that matches recruitment cycles and tour series.

“We’ve designed the course to be adaptive and we’re ready to work with businesses to deliver tailored courses,” said Leanne Saward, President of Tour Guides Australia.

“Our Tour Guiding Fundamentals introductory micro-credential course is fast-paced, affordable and delivered by accredited tour guides who share their knowledge, insights and real-world experiences across diverse settings like day tours, multi-day overland trips, cruise ship shore excursions and site experiences.”


A NEW survey highlights just what travellers want when choosing guided tours.

TTC Tour Brands has just released the findings from its first iteration of the annual ‘Big Tour Study’.

The company undertook a global survey of more than 7,000 TTC Tour travellers, with 2,796 respondents from across Australasia.

Ready for the 2024 selling season, the results reveal key motivators with travelling on guided tours, overarching travel sentiment and the implications on the tour industry at large.

Key insights from the survey were that the majority of TTC Tour travellers cited sightseeing and bucket list travel experiences as the priority (88%). Also ranking highly was the desire to experience those off-the-beaten path moments that you may only find through an expertly guided tour.

Some 54 per cent of TTC travellers said they were looking to discover places they normally would not explore on their own and that are off the beaten track.

The research also demonstrated that ticking off a new country or region (70%) and immersing themselves in new cultures and experiences (61%) are driving factors for booking a tour.

Travelling with a tour provides guests the opportunity to easily connect with like-minded travellers and meet new people, whether this be travelling solo (43%) or as a couple (27%). Only 23 per cent of tour intenders worry about group size.

The desire for food tours in those in the under 35’s (46%) and 35-54 (36%) was significantly higher than in the over 55’s (18%). This trend of different tours considered within the age groups was also seen in island hopping and hiking/activity.

“TTC Tour Brands is continuously looking to identify ways to better support our partners in their business” said Toni Ambler, Managing Director of TTC Tour Brands in Australia & New Zealand.

“This study is intended to be an asset for travel advisors, arming them with the insights they need to bring more customers into touring and to make the sale.”


Blue Lagoon, Iceland

A NEW study has analysed online travel reviews to reveal the most relaxing places to visit around the world.

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria made the top 10, coming in at number 10 with 950 reviews.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland was crowned as the most relaxing destination globally, with more than 4,000 reviews. It offers geothermal waters, natural scenery and a wide range of spa facilities and amenities including saunas, steam baths and various skin treatments using the lagoon’s natural resource.

The research was done by who looked at the number of times the word ‘relaxing’ was mentioned in online travel reviews.

Over half of the top 50 destinations were in Europe, including the Széchenyi Baths and Pool in Hungary and Luxembourg Gardens in France.

Here is the top 10:

  1. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
  2. Széchenyi Baths and Pool, Hungary
  3. Thermae Bath Spa, England
  4. Luxembourg Gardens, France
  5. Parque del Retiro, Spain
  6. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
  7. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools, New Zealand
  8. St Stephen’s Green, Ireland
  9. Jardin Majorelle, Morocco
  10. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Australia