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Bangkok is the leading travel destination for 2017, according to the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017.

Asia Pacific destinations made up five of the top 10 in the annual survey, which ranks the world’s 132 top destination cities – with Bangkok in Thailand taking out first place.

‘It is easy to see why Bangkok has topped the Global Destinations Cities Index as a great place to travel. For New Zealanders it is a close, cost-effective and exciting destination. Lots of Kiwis are making the most of the close proximity of Southeast Asia to enjoy fantastic cuisine, scenery and nwarmer weather,’ says Peter Chisnall, Mastercard country manager for New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

Asia Pacific had the highest amount of international overnight visitor spending among its top 10 cities bringing in $91.16 billion USD in travel expenditure in 2016.

Following Asia Pacific was Europe ($74.74 billion USD), and North America ($55.02 billion USD).


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Vanuatu: Ambae volcano has no effect on tourists 

Vanuatu Tourism Office and Air Vanuatu says that international tourism is unlikely to be effected by the volcanic activity on Ambae Island.

In a statement NF says: ‘Whilst not wishing to make light of the situation in Ambae, currently approximately 8000 people have been evacuated
from the eastern side of the island as volcanic ash is contaminating the water supplies.

‘The alert is on a relatively confined basis and this is not currently affecting air services either to Ambae itself or the rest of the Air Vanuatu network.’

VTO’s new Zealand rep Jacquie Carson says Ambae is a small island in the Penma Province, not highly visited

by tourists. ‘The situation on Ambae is not impacting other more populated and tourist focussed destinations. Tanna volcano remains accessible to visitors and its operations have not been affected.’ 

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While the Sunshine Coast is renowned for its beachside culture and its nightlife being as relaxed as its day time counterpart, after the sun sets behind the Glass House Mountains, there are pockets of bustling activity if you know where to look.

1. Aussie World’s Halloween FestEvil

Experience Aussie World’s dark side during their Halloween FestEvil! Back by popular demand, this night isn’t for the faint hearted but is for those who are looking for a bit of fun! Held on Friday the 13th of October, horror buffs (M15+) are invited to come face to face with their ultimate fears with a range of rides, mazes and entertainment that’s bound to shake everyone down to the bone! On 28 October, you’re in for a treat, as Aussie World turns into a Halloween FestEvil fantasy wonderland for a night of spooky fun the whole family will enjoy. Expect thrills and chills!

2. Caloundra Twilight Markets

With a variety of markets that rotate along the Sunshine Coast’s ever bustling coastal lines, the Caloundra Twilight Market, held every Friday during the September school holidays, is set to bring a whole new feel to market atmosphere. Take a walk through the countless stalls as the sun sets on Bulcock Beach while listening to the sweet tunes of street entertainment!  Your Friday night starts here.

3. Opera at the Castle

If you’re a fan of opera and musical theatre, this event is for you! Opera at the Castle is run by the Underground Opera Company and will showcase some of Australia’s finest voices as they perform pieces from popular operas and numbers from musical theatre showstoppers! Held in the magnificent banquet hall in Sunshine Castle Bli Bli, we recommend this experience for all music lovers on the Sunshine Coast! 

4. Sundowners in Twin Waters  

The Shore at Novotel Twin Waters Resort is a new pop-up Sundowner Lounge where drinks are enjoyed as the sun disappears over  the Twin Water’s lagoon. Running until Sunday 8 October, there’s a retro van serving cocktails and bean bags on the sand to relax on! What better way to kick off the Queensland long weekend! Cruise into the evening with cool tunes and cocktails by the lagoon at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.

5. Nights on Ocean 

On the second Friday of every month, Nights on Ocean comes to life on Maroochydore’s Ocean Street. With the street already famous for being the Sunshine Coast’s nightlife capital, Nights on Ocean builds on the street’s many restaurants and bars and amplifies the already pumping atmosphere. With food stalls to take you on a culinary tour around the world and desserts to satisfy the biggest sweet tooth craving, Nights on Ocean places you at the centre of Sunshine Coast’s nightlife.

6. Taps Mooloolaba 

What better way to kick off the weekend than by getting a table at Taps Mooloolaba and pouring yourself your own craft beers! With a variety of frothies only an arm’s reach away, your toughest decision won’t be what beer to try next, but what food you’ll have on their sensational menu! 

7. Degustation dinner

With fresh produce and innovative food being the heart of the Sunshine Coast, what better way to celebrate locals than by going out for a degustation dinner. Experience food differently by having the chefs choose your meals and courses for you! Guaranteed to make you appreciate the finer things in life, degustation dinners are a fancier way to spend your nights on the Sunshine Coast. Our suggestions are, Spice BarWasabiThe Long Apron and Spicers Tamarind

8. Take a full moon horse ride

Pony-up for an after dark saddle club adventure with Rainbow Beach Horse Rides. This two-and-a-half hour ride is an unforgettable experience. You’ll see the moon turn from orange to milky white as it rises and casts a reflection across the Pacific Ocean. All levels of riding ability are catered for so this is an easy one to tick off your bucket list.  Ride on the beach as the sun sets or take a moonlit country ride.

9. Night vision tours

Xperiences’ Night Vision Tours are a must-do after dark adventure. Kit up with military grade high definition night goggles and discover the nocturnal wildlife in the forest around Novotel Twin Waters Resort. Choose from a suspenseful adventure tour, or a slow-paced tour for nature lovers, or give yourself a scare with a “Wolf Creek” escapade.  Xperiences night vision escapades.

10. Take a sunset cruise

Join a Whale OneMooloolaba Harbour Reef Canal Cruises, or Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba for a sunset cruise to discover the waterways of Mooloolaba. Relax and admire the magnificent homes that line the canals and enjoy the sun disappearing behind the Glass House Mountains. If you're up Noosa way, hop aboard a Noosa Ferry for a one-hour, pre-dinner sunset cruise that'll take you up close the the wildlife of Lake Weyba before taking in the sunset at the river entrance.


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