CORPORATE Travel Management has taken business travel computing into the clouds with the success of its two industry-leading enhancements to the CTW online booking tool; full integration of Wotif hotel inventory and post-ticketing changes online.

These technological enhancements from CTM were industry firsts across the Asia-Pacific region last year, aimed at providing Australia and New Zealand’s corporate travellers with the highest level of flexibility and convenience in the online booking environment, according to CTM CEO Jamie Pherous. 

Wotif hotel inventory is fully integrated with CTM’s Global Distribution System (GDS) online booking tool, u-book, providing mobile access to Wotif hotel inventory, seamlessly integrated with GDS content. Mr Pherous said CTM clients now had access to the largest hotel inventory in Australia and New Zealand with the biggest range of room types and rates.

Both Wotif and CTM are headquartered in Brisbane, contributing to the speed of development of the system.

CTM’s head of product development, Ben Wheeler said the company was excited to be one of the first travel management companies (TMCs) worldwide to bring these enhancements to its clients.

“By integrating Wotif hotel inventory with our Global Distribution System, CTM has opened up a number of new cost saving benefits for travellers at the click of a button,” Mr Wheeler said.

“These include access to new and improved accommodation options in metropolitan, regional and rural areas, and the choice of additional room types.”

He said in one simple step, travellers enter their basic hotel search into CTM’s online booking tool and the new technology will source and display all available GDS and Wotif inventory combined into one easy-to-read list.

Users can then prioritise their search results by hotel name or hotel chain according to their preferred hotel partners, maximising policy compliance and cost savings by aligning bookings to their negotiated supplier deals.


Another Asia-Pacific first launched a few months ago is CTM’s development of online flight changes post-ticketing for domestic Australian and New Zealand GDS bookings.

CTM clients can now change their pre-ticketed domestic flights online at the click of a button.

"Until now, once a fare had been ticketed it was a lengthy and manual process to make a simple time or date change,” Mr Wheeler said.

“But now, the re-booking process has been moved online and our clients can easily update their booking in a simple and seamless process.

“It’s a first for TMCs in the Asia Pacific region and a unique and valuable benefit to our customers”.

He said the process was simple, time efficient and aligned to the client’s travel policy to support compliance and maximise savings. Ticket reissue and revalidation is automated, enabling round-the-clock access to flight changes online.

“This new enhancement is totally transparent, with all change fees displayed up front so there are no hidden costs; the price displayed is the price you pay” Mr Wheeler  said.

Mr Pherous said CTM continued to invest in developing industry-leading products and services which add value to clients’ travel programs and improve efficiencies for business.

Mr Pherous said CTM employs more than 500 staff across Australia, New Zealand and the US with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Toorak, Perth, Gold Coast, Auckland and Denver. CTM is a Queensland Leaders Partner Company, helping to mentor the next generation of leading companies based in Queensland, and is the first IPO to come out of the Queensland Leaders network.





THE ACTIVITY at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show heartened Australia’s recovering commercial marine industries over the weekend. By day three, sales had surged towards $20 million as marine enthusiasts were greeted to spectacular weather on the Gold Coast and more than 300 motivated exhibitors.

Official visitor figures confirmed a 20 percent increase in people through the gate to last year, with close to 20,000 visitors on Thursday and Friday, traditionally viewed as quieter ‘trade’ days. 

“From a sales perspective, this is one of the best boat shows we’ve had in some years,” said Mulpha Sanctuary Cove head of events Johan Hasser.

“The boating industry ebbs and flows with economic conditions and the upward curve we’ve experienced at this year’s show reflects wider economic improvement. 

“There’s no doubt the atmosphere is great, that is the resounding feedback from both visitors and exhibitors.”

Rachel Haynes of Multihull Solutions said the company had an extremely successful show, noting a positive change in the market.

“There’s no doubt this year is better than last,” Ms Haynes said.

Multihull Solutions has sold a Fountaine Pajot Hélia 44 for $925,000 and two syndicate shares in another of the same model, worth $162,000.

“We’re also expecting to seal the deal on a Mahé 36 tomorrow,” she said on the Saturday.

While there was movement at the top end of the market, with a string of multi-million dollar deals from luxury brands Maritimo and Riviera, the trailer boat and personal watercraft sectors also proved strong.

JSW Powersports, which had jet skis available from $7,700, eclipsed its sales result from the 2013 Boat Show, clearing 20 units in the first three days.

“And we sold most of our units on Sunday last year, so we’re in good stead to smash our sales record,” said dealer principal Jeff McNiven. “There’s a great atmosphere this year, people are here to buy.”

Alan Whittley, from Whittley Marine Group, was at the show with dealer Northside Marine and echoed the sentiment that 2014 was overall a stronger event.

Whittley launched its 2600 and SL 26 models at the show, and already had several sales runs on the board by Saturday and “bulging” quote pads. 

“We’ve got a high profile position so that has delivered a lot of foot traffic,” Mr Whittley said.

“More importantly, we’ve been able to convert enthusiastic browsers into buyers which is ultimately what the Boat Show is all about.”

The champagne was flowing on the marina at Integrity Motor Yachts, with new owners Russell and Kim Dah taking the keys to their Aspire Motor Yachts 45 Sedan.

Integrity Motor Yachts managing director Brett Flanagan said the show had presented great leads and the hand-over was a great start to the weekend.

The unseasonably warm weather was a blessing for Telic, which sold 400 pairs of its thongs and flip flops by Saturday.

Gold Coast resident Leanne Harris walked away from the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show with a $50,000 Ultimate Boating Experience win, courtesy of Maritimo and 92.5 Gold FM. Ms Harris and three friends will taste the Sanctuary Cove boating lifestyle, spending four nights at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort and their days aboard a skippered and fully catered 58ft Maritimo.

SCIBS is a key event on the national and international marine industry calendar and has injected millions of dollars into the Gold Coast economy over the past 25 years with last year’s show generating more than $148 million. Figutes have not been released for the 2014 event yet.


POSTED MAY 26, 2014.


P&O Cruises has listed four more new cruises from Sydney to Mooloolaba, in addition to the announced cruise in August -- and the Sunshine Coast region is delighted.

The new cruise dates, which are already taking bookings, occur in July, August and October of 2015, and March 2016, sailing on the 11-deck Pacific Pearl

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said even before the first cruise had arrived from Sydney, P&O Cruises and its parent company Carnival Cruises were showing confidence in the short-cruise market to the Sunshine Coast.

“This is really wonderful news,” Cr Jamieson said.

“When we first heard P&O was considering a trial cruise to Mooloolaba we were naturally excited and honoured – but this news is truly fantastic, and it shows great confidence in the Sunshine Coast as a viable destination even before the first ship has sailed.”

Cr Jamieson said festivities surrounding the inaugural cruise – arriving on August 16 – were building up.

“We are planning an outrigger boat race – the Carnival Classic – which will see competitors race from Mooloolaba out to the anchored ship, around it and back to shore,” the Mayor said.

“In addition a big market with music and other entertainment will operate from the wharf.

“A lot of local businesses are making special arrangements to give the 1800 Pacific Pearl passengers a wide range of options to enjoy our attractions.

“Our future as a potential regular cruise destination is now a real consideration and a major boost to our economy.”



POSTED MAY 23, 2014.



THE 26th annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) is poised to break new records as Australia’s marine industries shrug off the receding global financial crisis.

This year’s SCIBS will host more than 250 international and Australian exhibitors showcasing the very latest in international and national boat launches, marine products and trends while offering four days of family fun and entertainment.

Mulpha Sanctuary Cove head of events, Johan Hasser said this year’s show brought together an impressive line-up of boating brands including Fairway, Grand Banks, Hanse, Bavaria, Lagoon, Seawind, Ocean Alexander, Meridian, Light Wave, Outer Reef and Kadey-Krogen “with tinnies to superyachts and everything in between on show”. 

Mr Hasser said leading brands including Australia’s own  Maritimo, Horizon Motor Yachts, Riviera and Clipper Motor Yachts were among the big-name brands to sign up.

“SCIBS is not only a major event on the international marine industry calendar but is also a key economic driver for the Gold Coast and Queensland economies,” Mr Hasser said.

“Last year the show injected almost $150 million directly into the city, which is a huge boost for a wide range of local businesses.

“SCIBS is a focal point for the industry, puts boating enthusiasts in touch with what is new and exciting and gives the general public a great day out at the world-class venue that is Sanctuary Cove.”

Other exhibitors include Palm Beach Motor Yachts, Sunseeker, Multihull Solutions, Lagoon Catamarans, Stefan Boating World, Northside Marine, Queensland Marine Centre and Sirocco.

Following on from its successful debut in 2013, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show team has expanded on its exclusive VIP Lounge concept for this year’s show.

This year’s VIP pass entitlements include exclusive entry to the comfort of the SCIBS VIP Lounge, VIP parking, food and beverages provided by the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort and plenty of luxury extras courtesy of Mulpha and SCIBS partners.

The 2014 SCIBS entertainment program is jam-packed with plenty of activities to keep boaties and everyone else in the family occupied.

The Channel 7 stage returns with Creek to Coast stars Sally Jenyns and Dean Miller cooking up a storm twice daily, while My Kitchen Rules favourites Paul Bullpit and Blair Tonkin will appear on Saturday and Sunday.

Channel 7 News weather, beach, boating and fishing expert Paul Burt will be on hand to offer some of his helpful and entertaining seafood handling and preparation tips.

In a unique treat, women are being invited to embark on an afternoon luxury cruise, High Tea on the High Seas, as part of the Women on Water program, while the children can let loose for hours in The Kids Zone with an interactive jumping castle, rock climbing wall and face painting fun.

The Queensland Water Police will be there to showcase operational vessels, including their tactical response boat, jet skis and the Brett T Handran 22m catamaran.  

World record-breaking rower Andrew Abrahams returns to the show to share his adventures after rowing the 5000km Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge solo in January. 

In the Marine Village precinct there will be a host of daily live music acts including various local and national artists as well as roving musicians and artists.

Sponsored by Club Marine and Euromarque Maserati Brisbane, SCIBS 2014 will run from May 22 to 25.

In 2014, SCIBS has partnered with Translink to offer free train travel to and from the boat show on all regular Queensland Rail City Network trains when users display a pre-purchased ticket to the event.

Free Park ‘n’ Ride’ services will operate for all self-drive visitors from Helensvale.

The 2014 Boat Show will showcase a wide variety of international boating brands, products and technologies alongside the superb backdrop of the award-winning Sanctuary Cove marina and The Marine Village.

Tickets are on sale now through the SCIBS website and through Ticketmaster. Adult day passes start at $20, with concession passes available for seniors and students. Children under 18 are free.




POSTED MAY 19, 2014.


DRONE technology and advanced mobile laser scanners are just a sample of the industry innovation to be showcased at the inaugural North Queensland Industry and Resources Expo (NQ Expo) this week from March 27-28 at Townsville Entertainment Centre.

Event director, Bob Carroll, said one of the most exciting things about hosting these events was seeing the latest technology, alongside the experts who could explain it.

“Advanced, innovative technology will be on display, and the experts on hand to demonstrate, answer questions, and provide crucial information,” Mr Carroll said. “It’s an opportunity for businesses to be way ahead of their competition.”

NQ Expo will be introducing delegates and exhibitors to one of the most advanced mobile laser scanners on the market from LiDAR specialist Fagerman Technologies in the United States.
“Some of the technology on display is mind-blowing,” Mr Carroll said.

“The laser scanners and mobile mapping technology from the US is phenomenal, and there will be onsite demonstrations.”

The drone technology is from innovative local company NQ UAV whose vision is to see North Queensland businesses, government departments, and research organisations become world leaders in their fields through the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology.

NQ UAV’s CyberQuad Maxi uses drone technology to allow users to get up close to buildings and sites to conduct visual or thermal inspections.

“If lasers and drones are not your thing, and it’s bolts and fasteners, trucks and transport, or even warehousing, or computer solutions you’re after, there will be products and services covering over 40 sectors on display,” Mr Carroll said.

Industry networking functions and seminars will round out an exciting few days, including the official launch to the 2014 event with special guests Mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill, and Executive Regional Director-North for the Department of State Development Infrastructure and Planning, Matthew Andrew.










THE Australian National Maritime Museum has launched its newest venue – one of the most atmospheric available to the business events industry – Lighthouse Gallery.

More than 350 business events industry professionals were treated to a spectacular launch on April 3, arriving along a red carpet to be welcomed to the event by fire twirlers stationed on the majestic vessel and unique event space HMAS Vampire.

As they entered the Lighthouse Gallery, the evening’s formalities commenced with one of Australia’s most likeable master of ceremonies, Darren Isenberg, introducing the venue and getting the crowd in the nautical spirit with a range of one liners including encouraging guests to say to their neighbour, “I like the cut of your jib” – causing the room to erupt with laughter.

Robyn Holt, councillor of the Australian National Maritime Museum and former editor of Vogue Magazine, officially opened the new venue, stating that after five years as a member of the board she was thrilled to be a part of a very exciting phase of the museum and to witness the transformation of the Lighthouse Gallery.

Ms Holt pronounced Lighthouse Gallery officially open for business and then handed over to Australian National Maritime Museum representative Deanna Varga to expand upon the event capabilities of the museum to planners. 

With the support of the event’s partners Decorative Events, AV1 and Laissez Faire Catering, the venue was transformed into a classically styled lounge bar, equipped with a chocolate and cognac stand, a cocktail bar and delectable canapés.

Increasing the museum’s portfolio of event venues to eight, Lighthouse Gallery offers a complete waterfront position, with enviable views of Sydney Harbour and resident Cape Bowling Green lighthouse.
Lighthouse Gallery is pitching for product launches, gala dinners, cocktail events and conferences – offering one-of-a-kind event experiences.

The all-new venue is also equipped with state of the art in-house audio-visual, award winning cuisine from catering partner Laissez Faire and opportunities to incorporate some of the museum’s world class exhibitions, such as the current Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival,  and tours into venue packages.



BUSINESS Events Week is being staged in Melbourne next week to promote the value and continued development of Australia’s business events industry.

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) chief executive officer, Karen Bolinger said the inaugural Business Events Week took place in February 2013 and featured a week-long program of activities that illustrated the fundamental value of business events to the nation’s economy, knowledge base and tourism industry.

This year’s event will run all next week in Melbourne, with its central event being the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Ms Bolinger also announced that Australian Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb is the official ambassador for Business Events Week 2014.

“Conferences span the entire business and knowledge sectors, providing a major platform to collaborate, innovate and educate,” Ms Bolinger said.

“The scientific community in particular is a major beneficiary of the legacies produced by conferences and who better to convey the significance of this than our Chief Scientist.

“Professor Chubb has provided a major contribution to our country and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to higher education, including research and development policy and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy.

“At the Melbourne Convention Bureau, we advocate that along with developing knowledge and research, business events are pivotal in terms of driving the economy and tourism sector.

“To put this into context, by 2020 the value of business events to the Australian economy will rise to $31 billion.

“In addition, business events create a positive flow on effect for small to medium businesses. In Victoria alone, between 2009 to 2013 delegate spend during MCB-secured business events is estimated at $100 million on hotels, $46 million on air travel, $23 million on sightseeing and tours, and $50 million on retail,” Ms Bolinger said.

“The significance of business events to the nation, and the jobs they provide, presents a strong argument for the ongoing investment into the industry.”

Professor Chubb said he was proud to be involved in Business Events Week.

“The long term economic benefits of business events are extremely valuable and varied; from attracting inward investment and generating knowledge economy jobs to securing research funding for academic institutions,” Prof. Chubb said.

“I am a firm believer in what business events can do to support the development of the research and knowledge sectors and am honoured to be involved in driving awareness via Business Events Week.”

AIME, from February 18-19, is now in its 22nd year of showcasing the best Australian, Asia-Pacific and international destinations, products and services to the meetings incentives, conventions and exhibitions markets..

Also confirmed to take place during the week is the annual Associations Forum CEO Symposium, where 100 to 120 senior decision makers from domestic and Asia-Pacific not-for-profit organisations will take part in business sessions, as well as a networking and social program.

Business Events Week will also see the return of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Open House – a public event showcasing innovation in the business events space. Open House will feature addresses from CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering chief, Cathy Foley; Cato Brand Partners chairman, Ken Cato; and ABC Television advertising and marketing program The Gruen Transfer’s Todd Sampson.


More than 60 events have been locked in for Business Events Week, with new additions to the calendar including Convergence 2014: The Promise of Precision Medicine on February 19.  

A half day event which is open to the public, Convergence 2014 brings together medical researchers, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers and doctors to help transform healthcare. The philosophy behind Convergence is that collectively, healthcare can progress beyond standardised, one-size-fits-all medicines and medical treatments towards those that target specific types of patients.


The key note speaker for the event will be San Francisco’s University of California vice chancellor for research, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology, Keith Yamamoto.



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