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Mice Net : February 2009
upfront international Australians will have a new route to Paris from April this year with Air Austral flying Sydney – St Denis (Réunion) – Paris (Charles de Gaulle). Réunion, located approximately 200 kilometres south west of Mauritius, is one of the furthest overseas regions of France, and home to the French airline of the Indian Ocean, Air Austral. To celebrate the launch, Air Austral has released competitive limited-duration fares valid for travel between April 14 and November 25, 2009. Travel to Paris, Lyon, Marseille or Toulouse in Loisirs Classe (economy-class) for $2126, in Confort Classe (premium-economy) for $4552 or Club Austral (business-class) for $7352. Air Austral’s network from its hub in the capital, St Denis, includes the exotic nearby destinations of Mauritius, along with Seychelles, Madagascar, Johannesburg, and the cosmopolitan French cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. For details contact Air Austral on 1300 306 365 or visit www. airaustral.com.au. Malaysia has been voted the Best International Tourism Destination of 2008 by Global Traveler magazine readers. It was Malaysia’s third straight win, having won the title for the past two years. Global Traveler’s annual survey received responses from more than 31,000 readers, most of whom were frequent premium travellers averaging 33 round-trip flights per year. Through the survey they determined the best of business and leisure holiday products in 55 categories. Director of Malaysia Tourism in Sydney, Shahrin Mokhtar, said he was pleased that Malaysia had once again come through as the favourite. “It is a well deserved accolade for a wonderful country that is rich in culture, sights and of course shopping and cuisine.” Luxury hotel operator, Langham Hotels International (LHI), has appointed Aviva Chow as the director of global sales – MICE, as 20 mice.net part of the group’s strategic plan to provide a targeted service for the MICE business. Ms Chow will be responsible for the development of group global MICE strategies and revenues for all new and existing Langham properties, including The Langham, London (which will complete its GBP80 million refurbishment in 2009); the Langham group’s first luxury hotels in China (The Langham, Yangtze Boutique, Shanghai; Langham Place Beijing, Chaoyang; and Langham Place Beijing Capital Airport) and Eaton Hong Kong. Ms Chow is a 10-year hotel industry professional who has previously worked with Island Shangri-la Hong Kong, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The world’s first commercial river surfing company – Serious Fun Riversurfing - celebrated 20 years of whitewater adventure on Queenstown’s Kawarau River in January. General Manager Neil Harrison said the birthday was a huge milestone for the company. “I’m extremely proud to be part of Serious Fun’s 20 year history. This celebration marks the fact that thousands of people from all around the world have enjoyed an amazing experience on the mighty Kawarau River,” he said. The company’s story began in 1989 when Jon Imhoof, a backpacker from Hawaii, started taking friends bodyboarding on the Kawarau. “At first it was just a group of mates having a bit of fun on the river, then friends of friends starting coming along. In those days tourists and locals hung out together at the old Eichardt’s pub so we were soon taking tourists down the river too,” Mr Imhoof said. Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort has been named among the world’s best 500 hotels for 2009 by prestigious international magazine Travel & Leisure. Millbrook is one of only five New Zealand properties to be included in the magazine’s sixth annual ‘500 best hotels’ list. Other New Zealand hotels named are Rotorua’s Treetops Lodge, Taupo’s Huka Lodge, Auckland’s new Hyatt Regency and The George in Christchurch. Travel & Leisure’s global team of reporters and editors culled the 500 highest-rated hotels from its World’s Best survey and identified what makes each of them special. Millbrook sales and marketing manager Sarah Stacey believes that Millbrook’s charm and uniqueness comes from the experience of staying on a five star 500-acre rural property that is conveniently close to the excitement of Queenstown and world-renowned ski fields. Thailand’s tourism industry is making a strong recovery since the reopening of Bangkok airports on December 6 after an eight-day closure triggered by political protests. Figures released by the Airports of Thailand (AoT) show the number of arrivals totalled 15,567 on Dec 6, the day after Thailand’s main aviation gateway, Suvarnabhumi airport reopened. By December 21, the number of daily arrivals had surged to 28,021, a nearly 100 per cent increase. Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mrs Phornsiri Manoharn expressed satisfaction with the steady and sustained improvement. “This is clear proof of the high levels of confidence that visitors have in the kingdom of Thailand, the Thai people and the Thai tourism industry,” she said. “We are very happy to see the numbers coming back so quickly.” She said the numbers should grow even more steadily now that a new Thai government has been formed and a new Minister of Tourism and Sports appointed. At the time of writing Thailand was finalising a three-point recovery plan for 2009. These include emergency measures to restore visitor confidence in safety and security, policy measures to promote more domestic travel and international visitor arrivals, and tactical marketing measures which include special campaigns. She noted that the impact of the political protests was far lower in beach resorts including Phuket, Krabi and Samui.