Rediscovering our bac kya rd
AN INCREASING number of Aussies are opting to leave their passport at home and explore their sunburnt country. “We’re having a great year for Australian tours – we released our brochure for 2017/18 in Sep and our bookings year-on-year are up significantly,” Liz Crowley, Scenic Journey Designer for Australia told travelbulletin. “[Australians] still want the big overseas adventure but they don’t want to do that every year,” she said. South Australia has seen a spike in popularity lately, as a focus on food and wine entices travellers to visit the likes of the Barossa Valley. “Everyone wants to see our icons, but for Australians who can see the Opera house every day, it’s the other things we have that they want to go and discover,” Crowley explained. The safety factor also comes into play, Crowley said, noting overseas events may play a part in travellers delaying overseas travel in favor of domestic. properties, Marriott International’s area vp Australia/nz & Pacific Sean Hunt confirmed to travelbulletin. Unable to specify the locations, Sydney and Melbourne are clear favourites, with the ‘Ribbon Hotel’ at the site of IMAX Darling Harbour already rumoured to be on the cards. The ‘W’ hotel brand isn’t new to Sydney, having adorned the finger wharf landmark location at Woolloomooloo for a number of years before then rebranding as Taj Blue Sydney and now Ovolo. Marriott International’s president and managing director Asia Pacific, Craig Smith is very bullish about growth for the group in this area. The hotel heavyweight now has 24 properties in its portfolio in this region and has deals in place for an additional 18 properties. Growth falls under Marriott’s ‘Pacific 50’ goal, targeting 50 hotels in Australia/nz/pacific by 2020. Other new developments already “coming out of the ground” include Ritz Carlton in Melbourne, The Westin Brisbane and the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Central Park. The Marriott Fiji at Momi Bay, south of Nadi, is also slated to open by April 2017.
Bethany Wines, Barossa Valley, Nick Rains