SAUDI ARABIA eVisas Now Available

Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to the world through a new tourist visa.

Australia is one of 49 countries eligible to apply for Saudi Arabia’s new tourist e-Visas and Visas on arrival, with the scheme marking the first time tourist visas have been made available.

The eVisa is a one-year, multiple entry visa, allowing tourists to spend up to 90 days in the country.

The cost of applying is SAR440 (AU$173.60) plus VAT, with applications able to be made at Saudi Embassies and Consulates in the 49 countries included in the program, at electronic kiosks available at airports and via an online portal at visa.visitsaudi.com

New Zealand is also one of the countries included in the program, alongside the US, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore and 38 European nations.

The scheme is backed by an development and diversity strategy designed to reduce the kingdom’s economic dependence on oil, which from 2019-2022 will focus on attracting first-time visitors.

Under the program, women who visit will not have to wear the abaya, which all locals by law must wear outside their homes.

Both men and women are asked to avoid tight-fitting clothing, dress modestly in public and avoid public displays of affection, while women must cover their shoulders and knees in public.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN Introduces Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO, Michael Bayley, has revealed the cruise line’s fifth Oasis Class ship, Wonder of the Seas.

The new 5448-guest Wonder of the Seas will be the world’s largest cruise ship and is expected to sail from Shanghai in 2021.

Take at look at her below.

“Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that,” said Bayley.

“Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come,” he added.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

KLM CELEBRATES 100 Years in the Air!

In an incredible aviation milestone, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines—the world’s oldest international airline still operating under its original name—has celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Everyone at The Travel Authority Group wishes them a very happy birthday and many happy returns.

“The fact that we are celebrating our 100th anniversary is not just testimony to a century of successful enterprise, innovation, and commerce, but also to the faith that customers and partners have in KLM. It is an ode to KLM’s aviation pioneers, who literally put civil aviation on the map worldwide,” said Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO at the airline’s celebration event.

In a look forward, KLM recently launched ‘Fly responsibly’—an initiative that invites others to join forces in the development of sustainable solutions for the aviation industry.

“It’s a remarkable milestone,” said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“We’re extremely close to the KLM team here in Australia. They do such a great job looking after our clients. We’re are delighted to celebrate with them, and we wish them many more years of happy passengers and success,” added Hosper.

To mark the occasion, the airline has released a new ‘miniature house’ in keeping with a tradition started back in the 1950s. Each specially designed miniature is a replica of a significant Dutch building. The centenery commemorative miniature represents Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague—the home of King Willem-Alexander and his family—and will be presented to KLM’s World Business Class passengers.

Cute, isn’t it? KLM will also mark its centenary with a special book titled ‘Welcome Aboard – 100 years of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

WE KNOW: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

Jackie Adams, Finance and Administration Manager at The Travel Authority Group, has recently returned from a stay (October 2019) at this iconic resort which re-opened in July 2019 after a two-year, $100 million post-cyclone face-lift.

Here’s what she had to say about her luxurious 5-night stay.


Arriving off the plane in the idyllic Whitsundays, the transfer to Hayman Island takes about an hour. The journey includes delicious canapés and champagne, setting a wonderful tone for your impending Hayman holiday.

We stayed in a Retreat Room—the resort’s lead-in room category. The 16 Retreat Rooms are located in the resort’s Beach Wing.

Ours had a comfortable king bed, a courtyard fitted with a deck chair and a large bathroom which included an outdoor shower. There was no view to speak of, but other room types vary between ocean and pool views. The newly refurbished resort offers a range of room types, from direct access pool rooms, to 2 bedroom suites, even entire houses.

The refurbishment has delivered an emphasis on sustainability and technology. Everything from in-room lighting to the booking of activities is controlled by iPad, and water bottles are provided which can be topped up at the refilling stations around the resort.

The buffet breakfast was a highlight, especially the make-your-own-juice station, barista-made coffee, and a unique Asian influence.

The resort offers many non-motorised activities including kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, Hobie Cats and sailboards that are free to use as well as a number of complimentary gym classes—all of which we tried!

There is also a network of walking trails on the island which lead to isolated beaches where you can bring snorkels or a picnic. As you might also expect, there are many other paid activities including private boat charters, island hopping, helicopter rides, jet skiing and numerous other adventure activities.

If you are not the outdoorsy type, the resort has a fabulous spa that uses Sodashi products, and a hair salon.

We spent most of our time relaxing by the legendary Hayman Island pool which still stands as the largest pool in the Southern Hemisphere.

There’s also a heated infinity pool which was a delight when it was bit cool out.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has three restaurants to choose from of an evening: Amici, an Italian Trattoria; Pacific which is more fine dining; and the Pan-Asian restaurant Bam Bam which offers a more casual vibe.

Pacific restaurant.

We stayed during school holidays and, although breakfast and dinner could be busy, the resort never felt crowded and we always found a lounge by the pool or beach, and there were no issues accessing water sports equipment at any time.

We had a very relaxing break, and the staff were always attentive and happy to help with any requests. Hayman remains a family-friendly resort, but there are many areas of seclusion including a wonderful adults-only beach.

If it has been a while since you last visited Hayman, it’s certainly worth a re-visit!


Hayman Island sits at the northernmost point of Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

BRITISH AIRWAYS’ Club Europe Upgrades

If you’re flying long haul in British Airways’ very comfortable World Traveller Plus premium economy class and then connecting to a BA short haul flight, you can enjoy selected connections in the comfort of Club Europe.

ALL YOU have to do is book by 30 November 2019!

World Traveller Plus long-haul premium economy on British Airways.

World Traveller Plus is BA’s long-haul premium economy cabin. It gives you more space to relax on board, as well as a superior menu and greater baggage allowance than World Traveller economy class.

And now it can give you a free upgrade to Club Europe, too.

The comfort of Club Europe in the air and on the ground.

ABOUT CLUB EUROPE

Club Europe is British Airways’ short haul business class, and it offers:

  • More space to relax on board and a guaranteed window or aisle seat.
  • The chance to enjoy BA’s comfortable departure lounges.
  • Dedicated check-in desks and priority boarding.
  • More Avios and Tier Points for Executive Club Members.

Scroll down for terms and conditions.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
1. Customers who book selected qualifying World Traveller Plus British Airways (BA) or BA flights with a connection onto a BA short haul flight will be eligible to be booked into Club Europe. Customers booked in W class on long haul will be booked into the lowest available Club Europe class up to and including D class, customers booked in E class on long haul will be booked into the lowest available class in Club Europe up to and including R class. Where the relevant classes are not available customers will be booked into Y class in Euro Traveller.
2. Certain route exclusions may apply.
3. Travel in Club Europe is subject to availability at the time of booking.
4. Customers who change their travel arrangements after the date of booking will only be seated in Club Europe subject to the new arrangements meeting the eligibility criteria.
5. There is no limit to the number of times a customer can take advantage of the offer.
6. Avios will be awarded for the cabin flown in.
7. Booking dates: 15 October 2019 – 30 November 2019.

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA 50% Off Kids Sale!

SALE ENDS on 30 October 2019!

Plan your next family adventure in Australia or New Zealand with kids fares on sale now.

Virgin Australia is offering a massive 50% off all domestic and Trans-Tasman children’s fares when an adult fare is purchased in the same booking.

A child is a passenger over 2 years of age who is not yet 12 years of age.

These sale fares are valid for travel between 5 February 2020 – 25 March 2020 and 1 May 2020 – 31 May 2020.

Flights are on sale now until 30 October 2019, so make sure you take advantage of these discounted fares before they’re gone!

Scroll down for terms and conditions.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms and Conditions
On sale until 11:59pm AEST 30 October 2019 unless sold out prior. 50% discount applies to selected Domestic and Trans-Tasman children fares for travel from 05 February 2020 until 25 March 2020, and from 01 May 2020 until 31 May 2020.  Discount applies to the base fare and cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion. Discount does not apply to fees and taxes. A child is a guest over 2 years of age who is not yet 12 years of age. All children must be accompanied by an adult aged 15 years or older on the same fare on the same fare class and flights in the same booking. All fares are subject to availability. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Price may vary until ticketed. A checked baggage allowance is included in your fare. Add $40 for bookings made on the phone or at the airport. All payments made by debit/credit card are subject to a payment surcharge. Changes and cancellations incur a fee and any applicable fare difference. See Virgin Australia’a Fees page for details. Name changes are not permitted. Refunds are not permitted under your fare rules but you may be entitled to a refund under the Australian Consumer Law in certain circumstances. Check your fare rules for more information. Some flights may be operated by a partner airline. Full terms and conditions at www.virginaustralia.com.

BRITISH AIRWAYS Singapore & UK-Europe Sale Ends 10 November!

SINGAPORE return from $710
ADD-ON a Kuala Lumpur or Penang sidetrip from $120, Bangkok from $200, and Phuket or Koh Samui from just $360!

Also, try these London fares on for size.

  • LONDON return from $1236 in World Traveller economy class.
  • FROM $3285 return in World Traveller Plus premium economy class.
  • FROM $6540 return in Club World business class.

BONUS! Club World business class fares include chauffeured airport transfers.

Conditions apply. So, please be sure to ask about this and our sale fares to UK-European destinations right across the British Airways network.

London fares shown reflect mid-week departures during low season periods between 18 October and 25 November 2019; 16 January 2020 and 24 March 2020; and 22 April to 06 June 2020.

Slightly higher fares are available during other dates up until 30 August 2020.
Contact us for details!

These great value fares from British Airways are on sale for a limited time only or until sold out.
Available departure dates vary as below.

SINGAPORE Depart by 05 December 2019
UK/EUROPE Fares are available for departures right through to 30 August 2020

Fares shown are from Sydney, were correct at 18 October 2019, but are subject to availability and change due to currency fluctuations and other factors. Other conditions apply.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

ONE&ONLY Royal Mirage Dubai – SAVE $970!

3 NIGHTS from $1239 per person, twin share.

One&Only Royal Mirage is considered one of Dubai’s most stylish beach resorts, where genuine care and hospitality blend with fantasy and tradition, creating an ambiance of Arabian influenced refinement and majesty.

ON SALE until 15 November 2019
FOR STAYS between 01 June 2020 – 04 September 2020

Overlooking Palm Island Bay, the resort offers understated elegance and exclusive charm with a kilometre of private coastline, 65 acres of lush landscaped gardens and meandering water features.

INCLUSIONS

  • 3 NIGHTS in a Palace Superior Deluxe Room
  • FULL breakfast daily
  • FREE lunch or dinner daily
  • 4 HOUR Traditional Dubai City Tour
  • 7 HOUR Sunset Desert Safari including Arabic style buffet BBQ dinner and premium wine, beer and house spirits
  • FREE entry to Aquaventure Waterpark
  • SAVE 50% on pool and beach sun loungers at DRIFT Private Beach Club.
  • FREE scheduled shuttle service to major shopping venues
  • RETURN private car transfers from Dubai airport to hotel

Scroll down for terms and conditions.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 18 Oct 19 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking. Viva Holidays and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.

WE KNOW: New York City

David Thompson, Manager – Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate in Sydney knows the Big Apple inside and out.

New York City has always been his favourite city, and he had the very great fortune to live there for two years, not so long ago. He visited again earlier this year.

New York moments.

His biggest tip for visitors—particularly first-timers?

“Divide and conquer,” says David.

“Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs are ENORMOUS, so you need to have a plan. On my recent trip, I chose to stay in three separate hotels so I could explore the areas around the hotels without spending half of my time in cab, Ubers and the Subway,” advises David.

Brooklyn Bridge; The Chrysler Building; David’s favourite spot in New York—the rooftop at The Met.

Here’s how his most recent trip played out.

LOWER EAST SIDE

I stayed at the fab Hotel on Rivington, located right in the middle of my favourite area in New York. This hotel features floor to ceiling windows that give breathtaking views of the area.

The East Village, Soho, West Village and Tribeca are all walking distance. Some of the best food and bars in the city can be found here. Try Clinton St Baking Co. for all-day brunch, Sel Rrose for oysters and Champagne, or Death & Co. for award-winning cocktails.

Oysters and cocktails at Sel Rrose.

A must-do is 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Located right on the spot that World Trade Centre building once stood, it is deeply moving and fascinating. Pre-book as the lines can be enormous.

BROOKLYN

Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. There are loads of new restaurants, bars and boutiques, with more opening every day.

I stayed at the Tillary Hotel which is located within an easy walk of Brooklyn downtown with its amazing factory outlets, and the Brooklyn Centre for concerts and basketball.

The Tillary Hotel, Brooklyn.

The impressive Brooklyn Museum is a must-do, too—the building alone is worth the walk. The Tillary hotel is also a short walk to Dumbo (Down under the Manhattan Bridge), which is a refurbished and hugely popular area that runs from the Manhattan bridge to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to take a ferry (every 10 mins) from Brooklyn Bridge Pier to Williamsburg.

Williamsburg is THE place to go in New York. Full of on-trend fashion stores, very cool bars and restaurants and fantastic people watching. Go to the William Vale hotel rooftop for some of the best views of New York you have ever seen. Head to Brooklyn Bowls for food, drinks, live acts and even a game of bowls—very Williamsburg.

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN / TIMES SQUARE

Try to avoid the chaos of staying right in the middle Times Square. Look to stay a few blocks away, in any direction, and things calm right down.

I stayed at the fabulous Intercontinental Barclay—a very short walk from Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station and Times Square. This 1926 grand dame has been completely refurbished with modern twists and all the mod cons and exceptional service you would expect from a 5-star New York hotel.

Intercontinental Barclay

From here check out MoMA for one of the best collections of Modern Art in the world. Then head up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ which, as the name suggests, is at the top of Rockefeller Plaza.

Jump in a cab to WholeFoods at Columbus Circle grab some picnic supplies and head across the street to Central Park—the huge green space in the middle of Manhattan. Find somewhere nice to sit and watch the world go by.

Walk across to the Metropolitan Museum (The Met)—the world-famous Museum that holds countless priceless works of art and artefacts from all over the globe. My favourite spot in the whole of New York City is the rooftop on top of the museum.

This incredible space has jaw-dropping views across Central Park, and on to the ever-growing Manhattan skyline and beyond. You can buy a drink and sit and soak up the sun or check out the artworks that change regularly on the rooftop.


David’s room at Hotel on Rivington; elegant interiors at The Times Square EDITION Hotel; and Intercontinental Barclay.

We think David has the Big Apple licked.

Are you ready to divide and conquer on your next visit?

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

WE KNOW Luxe Rodeo Drive

The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper, recently travelled to the US and stopped by Los Angeles. Peter stayed at the Luxe Rodeo Drive—the only hotel on Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive.

“I really enjoyed my stay at Luxe Rodeo Drive. It has an incredible location for shopping, with nearby neighbours including Guess, Chanel and Hermes,” says Peter.

“Staff are super-friendly, and rooms are generously sized—the Premier King and Grand Premier King Rooms being the best value,” he adds.

The hotel features

  • 86 stylish rooms and suites
  • Concierge services
  • Multilingual hotel staff
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout hotel
  • The Spa on Rodeo services
  • Luxe Club on Rodeo benefits
  • Business center
  • 24-hour valet parking
  • Transportation services
  • Sophisticated meeting venues
  • Rooftop fitness center
  • Complimentary Bicycle Rentals (2 Hours complimentary, $5/hr thereafter)

One exciting element of a stay at the hotel, says Peter, is the Luxe Club.

“Luxe Club comes at a fee of US$30 per day (+tax), but it really adds some value,” says Peter.

So, what do you get for your compulsory daily fee?

The hotel describes it thus: The Luxe Club on Rodeo fee ensures each guest enjoys the experience of a private club. Enjoy light bites, evening libations and more, all in an environment reflecting the relaxed sophistication of our prestigious Beverly Hills address.

Luxe Club perks include

  • Expanded hot and savory continental breakfast options including made-to-order omelets, pastries, cereal, fresh fruit and juices
  • Breakfast served from 6:30am to 10:30am
  • Light Lunch served from Midday to 2:00pm, includes wraps, paninis and soups
  • Evening Food Tasting served from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, includes hors d’oeuvres
  • Evening Drinks served nightly from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, includes a selection of beer, wine, and handcrafted cocktails during Happy Hour
  • 24-Hour Coffee and Beverage Bar offering a selection of bottled water, sodas, coffees and tea
  • Late Night Happy Hour from 8:00pm to 10:00pm with $8 beverages

Luxe Club is available to adults from 21 years of age.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.