QANTAS AND AIRBNB TEAM UP TO MAKE FREQUENT FLYERS FEEL RIGHT AT HOME

Qantas and Airbnb have come together in a world-first partnership to give Qantas Frequent Flyer members the opportunity to earn Qantas Points when they book their Airbnb accommodation through qantas.com.

Australia’s national carrier and the accommodation leader have partnered to reward Qantas Frequent Flyer’s 11.4 million members with one Qantas Point for every dollar they spend on any of Airbnb’s 2.5 million accommodation listings across 191 countries.

The partnership marks the first time Airbnb has worked with an airline in this way to reward Frequent Flyer members when booking accommodation through Qantas’ website – and is the next step in Qantas’ partnerships with innovative digital and technology businesses. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said it was a natural fit for two global brands with a track record of wanting customers to feel at home when they travel as well as using technology to create great experiences for their customers.


Skydive the Beach acquires Raging Thunder Adventures to become Australia's largest adventure

Australia’s leading adventure tourism company, is now aiming to also become its largest. The company has announced that it had acquired Queensland-based Raging Thunder Adventures, a leading multi-faceted adventure tourism business, for A$15.45 million.

Raging Thunder Adventures is considered North Queensland’s premier adventure tourism company in the adventure capital of Australia. It operates extreme white water rafting adventures, hot air balloon rides, canyoning, kayaking and boat tours of the Great Barrier Reef, serving more than 100,000 passengers each year.

Raging Thunder Adventures also owns and operates one of two fast catamaran ferries which provides day trips to Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef and this year the company established a canyoning operation at Crystal Cascades, 20 minutes from the centre of Cairns. Executive Director of SKB, Anthony Boucaut said the acquisition means SKB will be able to provide more unforgettable experiences and adrenaline-pumping stories across Australia.

Raging Thunder Adventures has built a solid reputation of providing memorable and sustainable adventure experiences within the world’s most unique natural habitats. We are thrilled to be able to diversify our offering and bring these ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ adventures to more Australians and international visitors.


Behind A Safari Experience at Ulusaba: Sir Richard Branson’s Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Ulusaba is Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve in South Africa. The name Ulusaba means ‘place of little fear’, so named because the koppie, or hill, on which Rock Lodge sits provided the ancient Shangaan tribal warriors with the perfect lookout point.

Rock Lodge has the best view in the Sabi Sand, Perched high on the summit of a koppie, with panoramic views over miles of bush, grab a pair of binoculars to see what you can spot.

Anyone who’s been on safari before knows that no two game drives are ever the same! There are two daily game drives at Ulusaba, one leaving early in the morning and one leaving late afternoon, each lasting around three hours. Times will vary depending on the season, but you should always keep your eyes peeled for the Big 5!

Ulusaba is part of Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s collection of unique retreats.

The hills of Ulusaba are spectacular as they rise above the surrounding terrain, offering a view unsurpassed anywhere else in the reserve.

Ulusaba sits entirely within the Sabi Sand Reserve near Kruger National Park, surrounded by 13,500 hectares (about 33,000 acres) of open bush.


George Clooney & pals bring Casamigos tequila to Australia

Casamigos Tequila founders and owners, George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman, are proud to bring their award-winning Casamigos Tequila to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and surrounding islands. Casamigos is the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila in the United States and was recently named a “2015 Hot Prospect Brand” by Shanken publication Impact, the world’s leading spirits industry publication.

“We love tequila. On the rocks, by the shot, at times, straight from the bottle,” say George Clooney and Rande Gerber. “We are excited to bring Casamigos to Australia and New Zealand. It’s a great feeling to share something we created, drink and are extremely proud of,” added Clooney and Gerber.

Casamigos is named after Clooney and Gerber’s houses in Mexico, and roughly translates to “house of friends.” Tequila-filled nights with friends is how Casamigos was born.

Casamigos was originally created out of Clooney and Gerber’s desire to enjoy the best-tasting, smoothest tequila and was always intended for personal use, to be shared with family and friends.


HEY TRAVEL FANS: ETIHAD AIRWAYS UNVEILS NEW FIRST CLASS AMENITY KITS

Etihad Airways has revealed its new First Class amenity kits, designed in partnership with two leading brands from the worlds of fashion and beauty – fashion designer Christian Lacroix and pioneering Hungarian skincare brand, Omorovicza.

The stylish new bags will be offered initially on the airline’s flagship A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Melbourne London, New York and Mumbai and fleet-wide in early 2017. 

Calum Laming, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Guest Experience, said: “The new kits perfectly balance fashion and style with beauty and wellbeing.

“By forging partnerships with these two innovative lifestyle brands, we are once again able to demonstrate Etihad Airways’ continuous commitment to First Class travel, and to providing unparalleled experiences at every phase of our guest’s journey with us.”