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About Martin Kelly

Martin Kelly is a travel industry expert, journalist, marketer and event producer. He also consults to travel businesses on content, communications, marketing and strategy. Contact - martin.kelly@traveltrends.biz

Australian domestic travel spend falls 80 per cent in June quarter

By |2020-10-06T14:19:25+10:00October 6th, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

Travel spend in Australia fell 80% during the June quarter and there was  a 67% fall in overnight trips across the country in the three months to June 30, 2020.  Hotels, motels and resorts were were hit hardest with a fall in demand of 83% or 20.9 million nights, to More ...

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Expedia, Agoda say ‘sacred cows’ of rate parity and last room availability killed by COVID

By |2020-10-12T08:31:59+10:00October 2nd, 2020|Daily News, Hotels, Short Term Rental News|

The adversarial relationship between hoteliers and the OTAs has changed to an "all hands on deck mentality" during COVID with operators no longer insisting on rate parity and last room availability - once major sticking points - as they scramble to put heads on beds, according to Expedia and Agoda. More ...

280,000 reasons why the numbers don’t add up for bricks and mortar travel agents

By |2020-10-01T14:53:51+10:00October 1st, 2020|Daily News|

Imagine paying $280,000 a year rent for a 100sqm shop after spending $400,000 on a fitout. How the hell do you make any money? The answer is you don't. The above figures are behind the demise of one Sydney travel business in a major northern suburbs shopping centre. No doubt More ...

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Pet friendly listings the most searched for amenity on Airbnb Australia

By |2020-10-08T11:17:59+10:00September 29th, 2020|Daily News, Short Term Rental News|

Airbnb Australia says pet friendly listings are the most searched for amenity, while there's been a surge in popularity for back to nature accommodation experiences. People are also tending to stay longer and book later than they did pre-COVID, says Airbnb country manager Susan Wheeldon. "Unique listings - such as More ...

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$150 million boost for regional tourism infrastructure and marketing

By |2020-09-28T10:31:55+10:00September 28th, 2020|Daily News|

The Australian Government has announced $150 million regional tourism funding including a $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery marketing fund to help regions reliant on international tourism to attract domestic business, and $100 million for regional tourism infrastructure as part of the Building Better Regions initiative. Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham More ...

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Evan Petrelis, Renaissance Man, positive about domestic switch

By |2020-09-25T08:09:26+10:00September 24th, 2020|Daily News|

Evan Petrelis is the renaissance man of Australian travel - pun intended. Petrelis and his team at Renaissance Tours, which has been running high-end guided trips to the world's cultural capitals since 1997, have flipped the business and are now focusing purely domestic travel, a move that has won favour More ...

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Accor Pacific fires verbal salvo in Queensland’s COVID border war

By |2020-09-23T10:35:30+10:00September 22nd, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

Accor Pacific, Australia's largest hotel operator,  says Queensland hotels will run at 30% occupancy for months and some may be forced to close unless the Queensland government sets a border reopening date. "This is not just bad news for the hotel business, but has a knock-on effect for local business More ...

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TripADeal founders cede control, sell majority stake to private equity

By |2020-09-24T11:27:02+10:00September 21st, 2020|Daily News|

TripADeal founders Richard Johnston and Norm Black (pictured) have ceded control of the business they founded in 2011, selling 55% of the company to BGH Capital, which is in the process of buying theme park operator Village Roadshow. Like so many travel companies, TripADeal, which describes itself as an "online More ...

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Virgin, Airbnb talk redundancies – should have done it sooner says Scurrah

By |2020-09-21T15:04:30+10:00September 21st, 2020|Daily News, Short Term Rental News|

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah says he regrets not providing certainty to employees the airline stood down for months - many of them without pay - by making them redundant sooner. Scurrah said in an interview at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit that if he had his time again: More ...

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West Australian govt funds $3m support package for travel agents

By |2020-09-18T12:19:01+10:00September 18th, 2020|Daily News|

The West Australian government today announced a $3 million support package for the state's travel agents, whose businesses have been decimated by COVID travel restrictions.  It will provide packages of up to $5,000 to home-based agents and minimum $10,000 packages to brick-and-mortar businesses. To qualify, travel agents must have an More ...

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New COVID travel portal from Tourism Australia

By |2020-09-17T10:08:15+10:00September 17th, 2020|Daily News|

Travellers can now access a new COVID travel web resource from Tourism Australia. The ‘Australian COVID Travel Portal' aggregates key safety information, travel restrictions and guidelines from every state and territory. It includes current status of all state and territory borders and associated travel restrictions, relevant information on transport, hotels More ...

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Back to to the future at Web in Travel Singapore 2020

By |2020-09-24T11:27:45+10:00September 16th, 2020|Daily News|

Web in Travel Singapore is heading back to the future in a very modern way when the 15th edition of the event returns from September 28 to October 1. The first three days of WiT Experience Week 2020 - themed “Travel Zero.O: Back To The Future”  - will be 100% More ...

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Rydges hotel central to Melbourne’s COIVID crisis sells for $35m

By |2020-09-14T12:38:45+10:00September 14th, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

Rydges on Swanston, the hotel central to Victoria's second COVID wave, has sold for a reported $35 million.  Selling agent Colliers International says: "The strong buyer response was due to the property’s prime location, development upside, and limited supply of assets of this quality being offered to the market." A More ...

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It’s terminal, Tigerair Australia shut down for good by Virgin Australia

By |2020-09-11T08:12:08+10:00September 11th, 2020|Aviation, Daily News|

Virgin Australia (VAH) has finally killed off its low-cost carrier Tigerair Australia, according to multiple media reports. The carrier, which has been grounded since late April, was originally going to be mothballed by VAH and resurrected when travel recovered post-COVID . But in a customer email obtained by Yahoo Finance, More ...

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Radical Travello pivot nets social media gold, doubles followers to 3m

By |2020-09-09T14:39:41+10:00September 9th, 2020|Daily News|

A radical pivot for travel networking and experiences app Travello has seen the company's Facebook followers double to 3 million, while downloads have grown dramatically to reach more than one million in just five months since the company was forced to re-evaluate its business in the wake of COVID-19. Co-founder More ...

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Positives emerge in disastrous season for Australia’s snow resorts and towns

By |2020-09-08T11:59:33+10:00September 8th, 2020|Daily News, Short Term Rental News|

The season from hell is coming to an end for Australia's domestic snow sports industry, worth an estimated $2.4 billion and a direct contributor to 23,000 jobs in a normal year.  However 2020 was anything but normal, especially in Victoria where government COVID travel restrictions meant the three main resorts More ...

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Travel stocks soar by up to 50% in a month on vaccine speculation

By |2020-09-03T15:17:16+10:00September 3rd, 2020|Daily News|

Prospects of a vaccine have sent Australian travel stocks soaring by up to 50% over the past month and a leading fund manager believes they have plenty more headroom despite recent dismal financial results and dire short-term prospects. Corporate Travel Management (CTD) and Webjet (WEB) led the pack with share More ...

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Hope springs eternal at St. Arnaud, now part of the Silo Art Trail

By |2020-09-02T14:45:19+10:00September 2nd, 2020|Daily News|

Sleepy St. Arnaud, population 2619, is now part of the ‘Silo Art Trail’ in western Victoria thanks to a huge new artwork called ‘Hope’ spanning two grain silos on the outskirts of town. Created by local artist Kyle Torney, the painting depicts the human history of St. Arnaud, originally a More ...

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Helloworld pays out more $800m in refunds so far, more to come

By |2020-09-03T08:54:51+10:00September 1st, 2020|Daily News|

Major Australian travel retailer Helloworld (ASX: HLO) says it paid out out more than $800 million in full or partial refunds to customers from its corporate, wholesale and ticketing businesses in Australia and New Zealand up to June 30, 2020, due to the impact of COVId-19 on travel. It says More ...

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Hotel tech company ReZme launches $800,000 crowd funding capital raise

By |2020-08-31T12:51:39+10:00August 31st, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

Hospitality tech startup ReZme has launched an $800,000 capital raise to build out its website design, management and online marketing platform, which the founders claim will help operators increase direct bookings. reZme was founded by Matt Taylor, former GM of Marketing at Choice Hotels Asia-Pacific, (pictured right) and and digital More ...

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Auckland hotel price war on cards as record number of new properties open

By |2020-08-31T15:04:54+10:00August 28th, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

Auckland's hotel market is about to get challenged by the biggest wave of new top-end properties in its history at precisely the wrong time. The openings are led by the Park Hyatt Auckland on September 15, The Hotel Britomart on October 1, the QT Auckland before the end of 2020 More ...

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Upton sees tech upside as travel companies reboot online approach

By |2020-08-27T12:26:25+10:00August 27th, 2020|Daily News|

Travel technology and website specialist Dave Upton has never been busier. He says COVID - and the enforced downtime that comes with it - has caused many travel retail businesses to rethink the way they do business and invest heavily in their online website and distribution infrastructure. Upton, who is More ...

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Hertz cuts Australian fleet by 40%, calls for border openings, launches #backontheroad

By |2020-08-27T15:06:17+10:00August 27th, 2020|Daily News|

Hertz wants to get Australia moving again. Eoin Macneill, Vice President, Hertz Asia Pacific, today called on Australian governments to start opening borders and encouraging travel, revealing a lack of demand has forced the car rental giant to cut its Australian rental fleet by 40 per cent, from 35,000 vehicles More ...

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TFE Hotels left with Travelodge COVID quarantine mess, guests evacuated

By |2020-08-26T08:59:07+10:00August 26th, 2020|Daily News, Hotels|

The reputation of TFE Hotels, one of Australia’s largest accommodation groups, has taken a hit after 366 guests quarantined in the Travelodge Hotel Sydney were last night evacuated by NSW Police who determined that complaints about poor standards of cleanliness and hygiene at the property were valid. Guests, some of More ...

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Apollo takes off with $25 million in Fed and QLD Govt money

By |2020-08-25T13:58:54+10:00August 25th, 2020|Daily News|

Motorhome rental and manufacturing company Apollo Tourism and Leisure (ASX: ATL) has secured $25 million in government loans to help it trade through the pandemic. Apollo's cash reserves had been hit hard by global travel restrictions with the company revealing in early May cash had dropped to $12.4 million from More ...

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