From World Tourism Day to World Heritage. Travel Editor STEPHEN SCOURFIELD surveys another week in Travel
Ahead of World Tourism Day on Tuesday, September 27, Cathay Pacific has released new research showing how eager Australians are to head overseas, with 34 per cent of respondents to a questionnaire saying they already have international travel booked. An additional 30 per cent are looking to book something in the next six to 12 months.
AND WE’RE OFF…
Tourism Council WA’s latest WA Traveller’s Intention Survey shows clearly that we’re ready to head off overseas. It predicts:
+ A 13 per cent increase in WestAustralians heading outbound over the next 12 months.
+ That travel by West Australians to other States and Territories will increase 6 per cent over the next 12 months.
+ . . . and a 5 per cent decrease in travel within WA by West Australians over the next six months. A Tourism Council spokesperson says demand for most towns is likely to remain steady, but for some, including Albany and Broome, it looks likely to decline.
RETHINK HAS STARTED
The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Rethinking Tourism”. As a spokesperson for the United Nations explains: “World Tourism Day will be celebrated as the shift towards tourism is being recognised as a crucial pillar for development and as progress is well underway. Tourism is now on the agenda of governments and of international organisations in every global region. At the same time, destinations and businesses are proactively adapting to meet challenges and responsibilities.” The theme Rethinking Tourism reflects this aiming to prompt discussion about rethinking tourism for development, including through education and jobs, and tourism’s impact on the planet and planning to grow more sustainably.
CALLING FOR BACKUP
Travel agents have been pushing the message that travellers should book with them because of the protection and backup they provide. So reader Charlie Karelse did the right thing in booking a return Tokyo cruise with Celebrity this November through a travel agent.
Charlie says: “On April 12, we received an email advising us that the cruise had been cancelled and we could rebook on another cruise, or receive our deposit back if we did not wish to rebook. We told them, through our travel agent, that we did not wish to go for another booking and we wished to get our deposit back. Celebrity said in their email that refunds would be within 30 days. Now, about six months later, and phone calls from ourselves and our travel agent, we still have not received our deposit.” At least Charlie has that travel agent on his side.
Qatar Airways has unveiled its new Frequent Flying Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4.
It is exclusively for Privilege Club members and oneworld alliance partners. It is a floor below the Premium Lounge, overlooking the tarmac.
The airline has also revealed a new dedicated Premium Check-in area at Terminal 4 for first and business class passengers.
Qatar has five daily flights from London Heathrow, up to three daily flights from Manchester, and a daily service from Edinburgh.
+ Readers Janet and Frank are off to Europe for three weeks in December, flying with Emirates to Amsterdam and then joining a river cruise and coach trip. Given recent luggage issues, they ask: “Do you think it’s possible to fit in everything needed for a three-week stay without taking check-in luggage? Maybe there are too many limitations for carry on, with regard to toiletries, umbrellas etc.”
+ Managing with just carry-on is a bit trickier in winter in Europe — but manageable. Yes, umbrellas can be an issue when flying, but I was just in France and bought one in a street market for 6 euro — and the river cruise ship should have an umbrella to use every day it’s needed. While toiletries have a 100ml/100g limit, once again, you can buy small amounts wherever you are. For clothing — a light but waterproof jacket, then layers of course. Lots of people like “puffer jackets” because they scrunch up small.
+ One last trick I have, if I’m caught out getting cold or wet, is to buy whatever I need, then donated it to the crew or a charity shop when I leave. Spread the happiness around.
Quiz question: Which country has the most UNESCO world heritage sites?
And a bonus point: Name the first.
Answer: The rock drawings of Valcamonica, in 1979. (The year before the historic centre of Rome and properties of the Holy See.)
. . . Valcamonica, on the Lombardy plain, has more than 140,000 symbols and figures carved in the rock over a period of 8000 years. They depict scenes of agriculture, navigation, conflict and magic. It is one of the world’s greatest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs.
SPIRIT & CULTURE
Outback Spirit has announced an all-inclusive 13-day Arnhem Land Wilderness Adventure. It includes all food and beverage, access permits and entry fees, lodging, cruises, and the arrival flight from Cairns to Nhulunbuy, and connecting flight from Seven Spirit Bay to Darwin for 2023 bookings. Arnhem Land is a spiritual part of our country, rich in Aboriginal culture and history, with dramatic scenery, and lots of wildlife. Peter Egglestone, speaking for Journey Beyond, says: “Every step of the journey — from your morning espresso to your gin aperitif and gourmet dinner, transportation, lodging, entrance fees and flights — is included, so our guests can relax and enjoy their journey, focusing on the experience, rather than the logistics.” The trip includes visiting arts centres, a bush medicine demonstration and visiting the rock art at Mt Borradaile, and three nights at Seven Spirit Bay. Travel is in purpose-built Mercedes Benz 4WD vehicles. It is from $12,995 per person twin share. outbackspirittours.com.au and 1800 688 222
SEAL OF APPROVAL?
You have until November 15 to have your say about the idea of a trial for swimming with Australian sea lions off our coastline. A trial has been proposed at Shoalwater Islands and Jurien Bay marine parks this summer, and West Australians can have a say on how humans interact with the animals. They are protected in WA, which means the public is usually required to keep a minimum distance of 50m away in the water, 100m in a vessel and 10m on land. dbca.wa.gov.au and search for “interact with seals”.