Travel News 12th February

This week in travel – robots staffing hotels, virtual technology changes the game of tourism, flights available for auction and much more. Read on for all the latest travel news around Australia and the world!

huis ten bosch robot japanWorld’s First Hotel Staffed by Robots

The world’s first hotel staffed by robots is set to open in Japan in July. The Henna Hotel is located in a dutch-style theme park Huis Ten Bosch. The hotel will have four actroid androids at its reception desk as well as four service and porter robots, one robot cloak room attendant and several cleaning robots. They will look like a young Japanese woman and are capable of speaking Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. They can also make hand gestures and reciprocate eye movements as well as clean rooms and carry luggage. Rooms at the Henna Hotel will be much cheaper than other hotels in the theme park because of lower operating costs. Rates are expected to start at around $79 a night.

Online Booking Duopoly Won’t Last

Skift has published its megatrends defining global travel in 2015 to find that the online booking duopoly currently held by Priceline’s booking.com and expedia inc. will likely fall in the next few years as new players sych as Amazon, Google and TripAdvisor emerge. FBR capital markets & Co forecast that Priceline’s booking growth would fall from 32% to 16-17% in the 2014-2016 period. Television advertising and the mobile revolution are largely responsible for the change in the market. The hotel industry is expected to take advantage of the emerging alternatives to the duopoly.

oculus rift Will Virtual Headsets Redefine Travel?

Oculus rift is a virtual reality headset soon to hit the market, which allows users to feel like they are walking around inside a virtual world. The oversized goggles are made to connect to computers and mobile devices and provide a unique 3D experience that could redefine tourism. Occulus rift could allow you to virtually visit a museum, explore a theme park or even take a hike through a national park. Tourism destinations are hoping the technology will give people a taste of the venue but attract them to visit it in person. Destination BC in Canada have utilised the goggle to create the Wild Within VR experience, which allows people to experience the breathtaking views of the Great Bear Rainforest in Brtish Columbia. CEO of Desination BC, Marsha Walden says, “we think virtual reality is a great fit for tourism marketing. It lets our trave trade and media partners experience our destination in a new and unique way that was not possible before.

Virgin Australia and Tourism Australia Launch Oscars Marketing Campaign

Virgin Australia and Tourism Australia started a $4 million joint television and digital marketing campaign yesterday aimed at luring more American visitors to Australia. The campaign will air during the Oscars pre-show and during Oscars coverage on Good Morning America and a number of online news outlet. Virgin Australia’s chief customer officer, Mark Hassell says it is an emotive campaign highlight Australia’s best food and wine experiences and our outstanding level of service.

Sydney Startup Lets Travellers Bid for Flights

A Sydney startup is giving Australians the opportunity to bid on cheap flights and travel vouchers. Skybid was launched by 26-year-old entrepreneur Karis Confos last October. Users register to the site for free and each time they bid on an auction, the price rises by one cent. Confos said the aim is to disrupt the stock standard approach of travel agents and allow consumers to spend more money at their travel destination rather than on transport getting there. Confos said the business is highly suited to tech-savvy Australians who love to travel and ind bargains, but she is seeking funding to grow the customer base.


Poulter Installations are Western Australian leaders with an established reputation for providing superior customer service and top quality products ranging between garages or garage doors, sheds, workshops, carports and patios.

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