Melbourne becomes the home of luxury travel network with Virtuoso’s Symposium

Melbourne has taken centre stage today as more than 500 of the world’s most influential decision-makers in luxury travel arrived for a week-long conference of networking events and experiences.Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula welcomed Virtuoso at its Symposium to an audience of interstate and international media, strengthening our relationship with the tourism economy.Virtuoso’s Symposium was last held in Sydney in 2009 and now through Visit Victoria, in partnership with Tourism Australia, the Andrews Labor Government is bringing it to Melbourne, supporting this unique and prestigious event as a perfect opportunity to engage with the rapidly growing high-value traveller market.Victoria has experienced its biggest year on record for international visitors with an unprecedented $8.5 billion expenditure in 2018, up 12.9 per cent on the previous year.

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism, Commercial Travel

CheckMyBus and redBus partner in international markets to simplify Bus Travel experience

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

CheckMyBus, the world’s leading metasearch engine for intercity bus, and redBus, the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform, have announced their partnership for Southeast Asia and the LATAM markets. redBus offers online bus booking services in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the LATAM markets of Peru and Colombia. With this partnership, redBus will provide comprehensive inventory and ease of online bus booking options for both domestic and international travellers through the CheckMyBus platform. Travellers can discover best bus trips on CheckMyBus, the world’s most comprehensive long-distance bus content platform with millions of connections across more than 90 countries. After the rebound of the travel industry, there has been a surge in both domestic and international travel. However, as a result of these changes, flights and other modes of private transportation have become more expensive, leaving budget-conscious travellers in search of cost-effective alternatives. Buses have consistently remained an affordable and budget-friendly option. Through this collaboration, CheckMyBus and redBus are committed to providing the best and most affordable bus booking experience for their users. In addition to domestic users, it is now much easier for international travellers to find the right buses to exciting destinations in South America and Southeast Asia having access to the largest bus inventory in these regions. Marc Hofmann, CEO of CheckMyBus, said: “Our mission is to make bus travel simple. By providing access to the extensive redBus inventory to our global audience, we are taking a significant step toward promoting bus travel in Southeast Asia and LATAM, making it more accessible. We are excited to contribute to the growth of the travel industry by assisting both domestic and international travellers in the region in collaboration with a strong partner like redBus.” Krishnan Ramaswami, Chief Business Officer - International Businesses, redBus, said: “Through this one partnership, we can offer extensive bus ticketing options to the international traveller. Global travellers can book a ticket & discover a range of services in Southeast Asian and Latin American markets as conveniently as locals. We expect this will improve our discoverability in newer markets and provide better accessibility to a larger customer base. We look forward to working with CheckMyBus to improve the ease & convenience of bus bookings.”

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Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Auberge Resorts Collection Announces Strategic Partnership with Bdt & Msd Partners

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

The Friedkin Group announced today that the company has entered into a strategic partnership with BDT & MSD Partners ("BDT & MSD"), a merchant bank built to serve the distinct needs of business owners and strategic, long-term investors. BDT & MSD, through its affiliated hospitality investment vehicle, will make a minority investment in Auberge Resorts Collection, the manager of the award-winning portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs set in some of the world's most desirable locations. In addition, BDT & MSD's hospitality vehicle intends to invest significant capital towards acquiring and developing luxury hotel and residential assets that will be branded and managed by Auberge Resorts Collection. The partnership reflects BDT & MSD's belief in Auberge Resorts Collection's unique brand positioning and focus on creating one-of-a-kind luxury hospitality experiences. The investment will support Auberge's continued strategic growth in the Americas, Europe and beyond, with a focus on gateway urban markets and high-profile experiential destinations. "This partnership further solidifies Auberge Resorts Collection's position as the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality and marks a new and exciting era for our world-class portfolio," said Dan Friedkin, chairman of Auberge Resorts Collection and chairman and CEO of The Friedkin Group. "BDT & MSD's differentiated, long-term capital and expertise in luxury hospitality investments makes them a perfect strategic partner and will allow us to further grow the strength of the Auberge brand." "Auberge is a world-class manager of distinctive luxury hotel properties, with an exceptional track record of delivering curated guest experiences in the world's leading hospitality markets. We are excited to be a part of its future and look forward to partnering with Auberge's talented team to build on its differentiated strengths and accelerate further growth," said Coburn Packard, partner & head of real estate at BDT & MSD. Since becoming part of The Friedkin Group in 2013, Auberge Resorts Collection has grown into the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality, comprising 27 unparalleled properties across the U.S., Latin America and Europe, with a development pipeline of over a dozen hotels and two additional hotels planned to open in Florence and South Carolina this year. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the essence of the location to life through one-of-a-kind design that reflects the destination, exceptional cuisine and dining experiences that attract both the local community and global traveler, innovative spas and wellness retreats and highly personalized service.

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism

Exodus Adventure Travels Announces New Trips in Partnership with Royal Canadian Geographic Society

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

Exodus Adventure Travels, the international award-winning leader in adventure travel, today announced its new 2024 RCGS Quests trips, a series of expert-led tours developed in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. These limited edition, small group trips are what travel legends are made of – adventures that are designed to offer travelers unparalleled opportunities to explore some of the planet's most awe-inspiring destinations and led by noted hosts in their respective fields. This year's line-up features such noted hosts as World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims; bestselling author, Robin Esrock; Indigenous education advocate, Charlene Bearhead, and others. "We are honored to partner with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society on these highly anticipated adventures," said Sam Seward, President at Exodus Adventure Travels. "This is our third year operating our RCGS Quests program, with continued demand to explore further and experience more, pushing these trips to new heights and featuring another stellar line-up of hosts to add even more depth to each itinerary." Exodus' 2024 RCGS Quests Series features the following six adventures: RCGS: Highlights of the Amalfi Coast with Scott Forsyth Discover the land of la dolce vita for a wondrous week on the Amalfi Coast led by an expert local guide and hosted by professional photographer and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Scott Forsyth. Explore one of Europe's most dramatic stretches of coastline and be spellbound by this land's natural beauty and cultural treasures. The Host: Scott Forsyth is an award-winning photographer who specializes in Canadian landscapes. Devoted to exploring Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Ocean coastlines, Scott is a Fellow of both the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorer's Club and is Canadian Geographic's Photographer-In-Residence. Eight-day itinerary priced from $2,240 USD. Departing April 6, 2024 RCGS: Classic Kenya 4WD Safari with Patricia Sims No country, perhaps, is more synonymous with a classic African safari than Kenya. Step into scenes from 'Out of Africa' as you explore Kenya's best safari sites led by an expert local safari guide and hosted by award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow and World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims. The Host: Patricia Sims is the co-founder of the annual World Elephant Day (Aug. 12), a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. From swimming with wild dolphins and whales in oceans around the world to getting up close and personal with monkeys in the jungles of Borneo and elephants of Thailand, Patricia is also an award-winning filmmaker who always has a passionate eye on conservation. Patricia is a Fellow International of The Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$4,649 Departing August 10, 2024 RCGS: A Week in Jordan with Sarah Legault Explore the wondrous historical and archaeological highlights of Jordan on this week-long adventure. From the incredible history of the Wadi Rum Desert to strolling through ancient Roman cities and floating in the Dead Sea, this Jordanian adventure contains all the highlights of this fascinating country. It is led by an expert local guide and hosted by Vice President of Philanthropy for the RCGS, Sarah Legault. The Host: Sarah Legault has been the head of advancement at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society since 2018 and has worked at charitable organizations throughout her career. Her vast understanding of the Society, Canadian Geographic and all associated programs is extraordinary. As the current Vice President of Philanthropy and Fellow of the RCGS, Sarah's mission-aligned values of environment, people, culture, and geographical literacy support engaging and forward-thinking initiatives which she always is keen to share and discuss. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$2,550 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Rome, Assisi & Magical Umbria – Premium Adventure with Robin Esrock Explore Rome and Assisi's historic landmarks and classical ruins. Walk through Italy's unspoiled countryside staying in a picturesque four-star resort in the hills of Umbria, led by an expert local guide and hosted by bestselling author, TV host, public speaker and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow Robin Esrock. The Host: Dubbed "King of the Bucket List" by Travel + Leisure, Robin Esrock's success as a global adventurer, travel writer, bestselling author and international TV personality started with a one-year solo round-the-world backpacking adventure to 24 countries. During this year, Robin uploaded weekly reports, photography, videos, reviews, and interviews with every person he met. In doing so, he ushered in a new era of multi-platform, switched-on wired-in travel journalism, leading to adventures beyond his wildest dreams. Robin's stories have been published in noted publications worldwide, including National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, and more. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$4,050 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Egypt Nile Cruise with Charlene Bearhead Follow in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs and ride the sands of time back thousands of years on this classic Egypt Nile cruise led by an expert local guide and hosted by Indigenous education advocate, author, Vice President of Learning and Reconciliation at Canadian Geographic, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Charlene Bearhead. With ancient tombs and mysteries around every bend, unrivaled legacy and mind-blowing history await. The Host: Charlene Bearhead is an Indigenous education advocate and author with over 30 years of regional, national and international experience. Previously Charlene served as education days coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, education coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, education advisor for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Indigenous Education working group, and the first education lead for both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC. She is also the co-author of the children's book series Siha Tooskin Knows. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$2,380 Departing November 16, 2024 RCGS: Highlights of Vietnam with Lynn Moorman Discover the complex culture and history of Vietnam on this intoxicating exploration of Vietnamese life highlighted by superb landscapes and amazing cuisine. Led by an expert local guide and hosted by Lynn Moorman, a lifelong geographer with a love for exploring remote landscapes and environments. The Host: Lynn Moorman is a prominent geographer and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, in Calgary, Canada. Lynn's teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of geography, learning sciences and applied visualization technologies, including virtual and augmented reality. Her work has taken her to the highlands of northern Vietnam, to map agricultural productivity, to the frozen Arctic Ocean where she works with Inuit in Canadian Arctic communities to use near-real time satellite imagery to keep ice travel safe. Lynn is a Fellow, former Board member and current Chair of the Research Committee of the RCGS. 10-day itinerary priced from US$2,170 Departing November 17, 2024

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