13/04/12: In a first from the world's best guidebook publisher, Lonely Planet has announced a series of new offline country guides for the iPhone and iPod Touch, available at the App Store for $10.49 each. The first countries featured include Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia and Costa Rica. This is a godsend for travellers, offering expert content, recommendations and detailed maps all available offline and so exempt from expensive data or roaming charges. Awesome job LP :-).
Stay tuned for a review of the Australia Country Guide!
12/04/12: Sydney's annual festival of light, music and ideas is back from 25 May to 11 June and promises to put the spotlight on the Harbour City like never before. Vivid Sydney was recently ranked as one of the world’s top ten ideas festivals by the influential Guardian newspaper in the UK; being named alongside SXSW and TedX is a major endorsement of the festival. The NSW Government today announced today the festival’s lighting centrepiece, the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails would be designed by German light collective, URBANSCREEN. Read more:
11/04/12: It seems Indonesia's national carrier Garuda Airlines has emerged from years of low brand esteem since the high profile 2007 Yogyakarta crash, taking out the best international airline for January 2012 in a recent Roy Morgan survey of airlines. I flew Garuda to Bali in 2008, despite the talk around the Yogyakarta tragedy, and I have to admit was impressed even back then with the service. The SMH reports Garuda has refreshed its fleet and is now compliant with best-practice maintenance and safety standards. Read more:
02/12/11: Some great news for Sydney's visitor economy, even better news for those looking for flights to Asia from Sydney at Perth/Melbourne prices.. Sydney has been announced as the first destination for Singapore Airlines' new budget carrier 'Scoot'. The new airline will fly daily between Sydney and Singapore from mid-2012 - read more
19/10/11: China and India remain the focus for Australian tourism chiefs, with the point further reinforced at last week's Australian Tourism Directions Confererence.
The event, organised by Tourism Australia and now in its second year brought together an impressive line up of tourism, government and business leaders to report on the state of Australian tourism and examine future trends.
A new strategic plan to triple the number of Indian visitors down under to more than 400,000 was revealed, and former Australian Prime Minsister, now Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd named the rise of China's second tier cities as a massive opportunity for the nation's tourism industry.
10/10/11: Google's prized real estate - the white space on the home page - which last week carried a one line tribute to Steve Jobs, links today to the news that Google Earth is celebrating (incredibly) its one BILLIONTH download.
Google Earth (I'm proud to say an Australian innovation) is a fantastic tool for the traveller and the 'One World. Many Stories' site is well worth a look (you'll need Google Earth downloaded).
How do you use Google Earth?
28/09/11: Virgin Chairman Richard Branson has been named in a new survey among 1000 of Expedia's Australian Facebook users as the number one celeb they would most like to sit next to on a flight.
With 15 per cent of the vote, Branson beat off competition from US President Barack Obama and Johnny Depp (both 12 per cent) and Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie (11 per cent).
At the bottom of the votes pile was Tom Cruise and David Beckham (two per cent each).
Who would you most like to sit next to on a flight?
20/09/11: Ice cream made from camel's milk is set to go on sale in the UK for £4 a scoop. The dessert, which is already popular in the Middle East, is the brainchild of UK company Ginger's Comfort Emporium (@GingersComfort) and will be unveiled in London next month at the Experimental Food Society Spectacular. It's a healthy alternative for those with a sweet tooth - it's being promoted as low in fat and with 10 times more iron than cow's milk. What's the weirdest food you've tried on your travels?
11/09/11: I'm pretty chuffed my first published article seems to have been well received - thanks to all who've read and enjoyed. It's around 7pm Sunday night and it's running as the top story in four States in Fairfax online. I'm not sure whether the attention I've been paying the piece has driven that or whether it's genuinely had people interested. So far 28 Facebook shares and 10 tweets - I'm not sure what to expect but I'm happy with that : ). Right, now for the next article...
01/09/11: Travel industry experts believe the web has had its day and Facebook is the place to be. With a more than 20 per cent growth in the 'travel brand Facebook community' in the first quarter of 2011 the big global brands are now using Facebook as an alternative to search. A new report - L2 Digital IQ Index: Travel 2011 - conducted in the US earlier this year shows Facebook accounts for 12.3 per cent of all consumer time on the internet so it's no wonder travel companies (and the odd travel blogger) are making the move. Read the full report.
28/08/11: The 11Eleven Project is set to create a global snapshot on November 11 this year, and organizers are asking everyone who wants to be involved to register at 11elevenproject.com
Over 24 hours anyone with a smartphone, a camera or computer is invited to make a short movie, take a photo, write, make music or capture a sound to reflect where they are and what they are doing. The submitted work will be collated into a DVD, photobook and music album with sales going to support a range of charities. Read more about the project and get involved!
24/08/11: Tourism Australia and TripAdvisor have announced a new partnership to provide visitors to the Nothing Like Australia website with travel reviews and other user-generated content.. great news for both parties and for visitors who now have access to TripAdvisor's fantastic resource of reviews and opinions about destinations, attractions, experiences and more.
22/08/11: Sip quietly: a guide to Sydney’s dining secrets - some great insider dining tips here from Lonely Planet author Jane Ormond. Sydney's credentials as a mecca for foodies have gone crazy over recent years - at one end of the spectrum, if you have the mullah, the city is home to some of the world's best restaurants and chefs - at the other end, you can find some of the most delectable cheap eats on the planet for less than $10.
What's your favourite Sydney dining experience?