|DURING a pre-AIME famil in the stunning Yarra Valley on Saturday we just couldn’t resist this poster at the Healesville Sanctuary. It’s part of a Zoos Victoria initiative which encourages the use of recycled toilet paper.|
|BEN was lucky enough to spend time with Dubai Tourism at AIME 2012 last night, with a special dinner at Melbourne’s fancy MoMo restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. And there’s lots to celebrate, with figures officially released today showing the Australasian market to Dubai up a very healthy 16% in 2011. But the big news was the yummy dessert (pictured), prompting the question “one hump or two?”|
|Ben Zaubzer Macau Govt. Tourist Office Australia wears designer ‘I love BEN’ stickers at AIME.|
|WOULD you eat from a toilet?
Apparently many people do at a place called ‘Modern Toilet’ in Taiwan. Commodes make seats, urinals make bowls and everything is all about the smallest room in the house!
|DO you have a group of 30 or more going to the US west coast that you need to move around? Check out the super, sleek Lux Bus America. The company offers pre-packaged- tours to such places as Las Vegas, theme parks, sporting events and museums. What’s more, they have just introduced a new onboard meal service that includes fresh baked pastries and hot breakfast items, available from April 9th to those travelling from Anaheim or Los Angeles to Las Vegas.|
|A MAJOR wipeout!
BEN spotted this sign to win a year’s supply of toilet paper on the Queen’s Road in Fiji last weekend.
|CUTE rules, ok?
That is if American Airlines has anything to do with it. The carrier has one of the world’s cutest ambassadors, a fluffy, furry celebrity called Boo. The pooch’s post as Official Pet Liaison is their newest executive. “As a pet-friendly airline we want our guests – those on two legs and those on four, to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience as possible on Virgin America,” said Virgin America spokesperson, Abby Lunardini.
|TALK about dropping yourself into it from a great height.
That’s what’s happening at Skydive the Beach Melbourne, whose latest package is an adrenalin-packed wedding proposal package. It’s the brainchild of the same people who operate Skydive the Beach Sydney out of North Wollongong, a popular activity with tandem jumping conference groups. In Melbourne, both parties jump, the man first, as a banner is placed with ‘Will You Marry Me’ on the landing zone so the hopeful groom can be waiting on bended knee with the ring in hand when she lands.
|POP on a pith helmet, strap on the desert boots, because archaeologists in Peru at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, report an intriguing discovery. They have found a tomb, thought to belong to a high ranking member of the Inca Empire, in a cave at this archaeological complex. American explorer, politician and professor, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered the site in 1911 and while specialists are examining the tomb, no bones or ornaments have been found inside, due to raiding that took place at Machu Picchu before the site was conserved and protected. It is estimated that by the end of 2012 more than a million travellers will visit Machu Picchu, now regarded as one of the new Seven Wonders of the Modern World.|
From the Emirate that brought us the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, comes the unveiling of the Middle East’s tallest Nutcracker at the Burj Al Arab, the World’s most luxurious hotel. Part of the luxury hotel’s annual festive season’s display and famous for creating one-of-a-kind celebrations in opulent surroundings, the figure stands 4.57m (15 feet) and is on display in the hotel’s upper lobby.
|Hanging around at Christmas.
This Christmas decoration (pictured below) caused a bit of drama in the United States with passers by thinking someone was in trouble and calling for help to get him down.
|Can you dig it!
Fiji’s Plantation Island Resort have an innovative al fresco fine dining option that puts diners in a freshly dug hole in the sand, complete with sand dining table and comfy cushions. Costing just FJD200 to set up, this unique dining proposition is in big demand from convention and incentive organisers looking for that something a little different. Resort staff prepared 20 sand tables for one recent group. Subject to tide and weather conditions, you can find out more on www.plantationisland.com.
|This will make you think twice before eating another lollipop. The Murray Regional Tourism Board’s stand in the Melbourne section of AIME earlier this week was handing out lollipops with bugs cooked into the middle of them (pictured below). “It’s something unique” said Carine Bourcier, marketing manager The Murray Regional Tourism Board. The bugs have been “bred to be consumed” and they are found locally, “so what better way is there to promote the region.” The Murray Region boasts having the third longest navigational river in the world, the largest paddle steamer fleet and the biggest number houseboats in the world – and now thanks to scientists they also have edible bugs.|
|Those who travel at the pointy end of the plane may not be able to relate to this seating plan, but more simple economy class folk will be nodding their collective heads in solemn agreement. A tongue-in-cheek airplane seating chart has been released by website known as “Pleated Jeans”, which details different types of people that we sometimes get stuck seated next to during a long flight. Pictured in the coloured section is ‘Your Seat’ and describes the people you are seated next to such as a loud snoring guy, armrest hog, a crying child and unattentive mother, a coughing person, overweight person, somebody who has fully reclined their seat and another with “wicked” body odour. Both you and the airline clearly don’t know the trials and tribulations that await in the minefield that is economy travel. So beware, take care, check out the seating plan on the internet, ring the airline and beg to be seated with the ‘normal people.’|
|HERE’S a tip for those taking part in a Port Stephens conference.
Check out Kaya, a dingo who is helping to save an endangered Australian bird. The smart five-year-old female who lives at the Oakvale Farm and Fauna World has been taught to step in paint and then on a blank canvas in front of visitors to the park. Her colourful paw-prints are sold to support the conservation of the bush stone-curlew, a nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird in danger of extinction on the Australian east coast. Oakvale Farm owner, Kent Sansom says Kaya, who lives by herself because she doesn’t get on well with the other dingoes, is a hit with visitors. “Dingoes are a social animal so we needed to think of a way to keep her stimulated and content. “Positive reinforcement such as a food reward provides Kaya with mental stimulation. “She is a unique and beautiful animal and this is an interesting way for people to see how intelligent the dingo is.”
MORE than 2,000 delegates converged on the newly expanded Adelaide Convention Centre this week, with the $400m venue playing host to the country’s biggest annual travel conference, the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE).
THE Travel Industry Exhibition (TIE) has put an events focus on its 2018 edition, with registrations now open for the 21-22 Aug show.
THE NSW Government has committed an extra $300,000 funding to attract business events to regional and rural areas of the state after an “overwhelming response” to a pilot program launched last year.