Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Returns to Manly in 2015

January 19, 2015 on 12:11 pm | In Adventure Travel, Australia, Beachbooker, New South Wales, Surfing Resorts, Sydney | Comments Off



The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will return to Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach in February 2015, hosting some of the world’s most revered surf and skateboard talent.

Supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing will run from 7-15 February, 2015, showcasing the world’s best surfers and skateboarders alongside a stellar music line up at Manly Beach, Sydney over nine days. The inaugural Australian Open of Surfing in 2012 put Manly and Sydney on world surfing’s centre stage and in 2015 is expected to attract an audience in excess of 175,000 people. The festival will once again show both Australia and the world that Manly not only has the best of Sydney’s beach and surf culture, but that it also offers a vibrant food, wine and shopping scene.

“I grew up surfing at Manly so I love what the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing brings to the area, the vibe and way the event has been embraced is brilliant. To have some of the biggest names in surfing in an ASP rated competition so close to the city is quite incredible”.

Booking.com“And the event isn’t all about the surfing. I can’t get enough of the skating and when I sit on the beach watching the technical tricks and air game of the skateboarders I see the future of surfing in what they’re doing,” said Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Contest Director Barton Lynch.

Among the world’s best surfers to hit the waves at Manly will be a powerful contingent of pro surfers from around New South Wales. With incredible beaches, reef breaks and world class waves, New South Wales is a surfing paradise and the home State of a number of athletes competing at the 2015 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing.

Surfing in New South Wales

With more than 1,300km of coastline dotted with sandy shores, New South Wales is tailor-made for surfing. The key to the state’s brilliant surf is the coastal topography: rather than uninterrupted miles of sand, the coastline is punctuated by headlands, cliffs, bays, coves, reefs and bomboras.

Sydney’s coastline links its famous beaches, from Narrabeen in the north to Bondi Beach in the south, where you can learn to surf or embark on a coastal walk to take in the scenery.

For more information go to Sydney.com or visitnsw.com


Hawaii: New hotel villa developments

January 15, 2015 on 2:02 pm | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Hawaiian Islands, Spa Resorts, Sports Travel, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Home General 160 600Situated on North Kaanapali Beach, Maui, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas completed its multi-million dollar renewal project of its guestrooms in December 2014. The extensive renovations across the 26-acre resort included exterior painting, new carpeting in hallways and guestrooms, black-out drapes and sheers, lighting fixtures, dining tables and chairs, televisions, sleeper sofa, interior lounger, bar stools and more. WestinKaanapali.com

The new Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Oahu’s North Shore is currently being built adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. Expected to open mid-2015, the 144-room hotel will feature an upscale pool, a bistro, and meeting space. The two and three-floor hotel is part of a vision to revitalize and sustain the Koolau Loa region. Marriott.com/CourtyardOahuNorthShore

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai at Manele Bay introduced new radio-frequency identification (RFID) wristbands for room access. Although the resort will still provide old fashioned key cards, the sleek high-tech wristbands are ideal for outdoor activities on the island, including snorkeling, surfing, SNUBA, hiking, horseback riding, golfing, and swimming. The bands currently operate for key entry only, but food and beverage, spa, and other retail charging privileges are on the horizon. FourSeasons.com/ManeleBay

Undergoing its largest renovation since opening nearly half a century ago, the Kauai Museum in Lihue will add a second level office building complete with an elevator and open-air walkways to connect all three buildings. The new developments will help to create easier access to the museum’s upper levels and provide additional space for educational and research components. Additionally, the museum will incorporate indigenous plants into the surrounding landscape and complete a total re-design of the permanent exhibits to better portray “The Story of Kauai.” KauaiMuseum.org

Ala Moana Center, the world’s largest outdoor shopping center, is undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion project to redevelop the Ewa (west) wing of the center into an expanded three-level retail space, totaling 650,000 square feet. Located on Oahu, the expansion project will include a 167,000 square-foot Bloomingdale’s department store, large format retailers, dining, entertainment, 200,000 square feet of inline retailers, and more than 1,000 parking stalls in the mauka (inland) Ewa parking structure. AlaMoanaCenter.com

Starting construction this year, West Oahu will welcome Ka Makana Alii, a 1.4 million-square-foot regional mall managed by DeBartolo Development.

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowThe mixed-used center will include some of the world’s largest fashion retailers such as Macy’s, H&M, Forever 21, and three of Gap Inc. brands Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic, as well as Hawaii’s first Hampton Inn & Suites. The new mall will also feature more than 150 shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings, a department store, and LEED-certified office space. Phase one of Ka Makana Alii is scheduled to open in 2016. KaMakanaAlii.com

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa introduced its newest restaurant, Black Rock Kitchen designed for family and friends to gather, share great food, and talk story. Emphasizing the importance of ohana (family) and aina (meal), the locally inspired menu selections at Black Rock Kitchen incorporate these concepts into every dish. Additionally, the restaurant features a craft cocktail, beer and wine menu highlighting local spirits and island flavors. Sheraton-Maui.com/Dining

Cupcake and sandwich shop by day turned lively bar at night, Bethel Street Tap Room opened in downtown Honolulu, serving up drinks, provisions, and sweets. The tasty menu includes sandwiches like the bacon cheeseburger dip, a thick, hot dip of melty cheese and ground beef topped with crispy bacon and served with both French bread and potato chips, as well as hearty appetizers, cupcakes, and inventive cocktails and brews. Patrons can also munch on homemade pickles and complimentary bacon during happy hour. BethelTap.com

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New ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES in Hawaii

January 15, 2015 on 1:56 pm | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Festivals, Hawaiian Islands, Surfing Resorts, Webbandstand | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowHawaiian Legacy Tours is offering a new “Earth, Wind and Fire” tour in partnership with Paradise Helicopters on Hawaii Island. Guests will have the opportunity to view natural landmarks by air including active lava flows and cascading waterfalls and stop at the Hawaiian Legacy Forest to plant a koa legacy tree. A two-hour flight and planting experience is included in the six-person charter tours and all-day charters are also available. LegacyTrees.org and ParadiseCopters.com

Princeville Makai Golf Club introduced a new “Sunset Golf Cart Tour” for guests to experience the scenic vistas of the famed Makai Course and Kauai’s spectacular North Shore. Starting at 5 p.m. daily, guests can explore the course at leisure in a 2014 Club Car Prestige electric cart and follow the cart paths meandering through 18 holes, stop and linger to take photos, and watch the sun set over Hanalei Bay. Information on wildlife and scenic points is provided for this self-guided cart tour, with ninety minutes alloted on the course. MakaiGolf.com

Agricultural tourism initiatives in North Kohala on Hawaii Island are expanding with the launch of the “North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign.” The campaign works with local agricultural producers and chefs in the regional community to produce and market a variety of tours and farm-to-table dining experiences that are distinctive to its unique agricultural hub. Guided walking tours include visits through bountiful farms and culinary events like al fresco (outdoor) dining in picturesque Kohala. FarmToursNorthKohala.com


As part of an island-wide effort to revitalize Kauai’s rich cultural heritage, Kauai Nui Kuapapa was launched to identify key moku (landmark) and provide prominent signage, website support, and resources to highlight the island’s five major land districts, with Niihau as the island’s sixth district. Also identified are Kauai’s 54 ahupuaa (subdivision within a moku), as well as waterways touching the island’s main roadways. The project was developed by Na Hoku Welo LLC, in conjunction with the Office of the Mayor of the County of Kauai to educate visitors and residents about place names, stories, and cultural aspects found on Kauai. KauaiNuiKuapapa.com

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Bishop Museum unveiled a one-of-a-kind exhibition titled “CHANGE: 125 Years Through the Eyes of Bishop Museum,” offering a dynamic portal through time in which visitors can explore Hawaii’s transformation over the course of 125 years. More than 1,000 historic photographs and cultural artifacts from Bishop Museum’s archives and collections are on display. The exhibition will run through March 16, 2015. BishopMuseum.org

The Honolulu Museum of Art presents Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art from Feb. 12 to June 7, 2015.

Home General 160 600The exhibition showcases objects of Islamic art from the Honolulu home of philanthropist and art collector Doris Duke and new work from eight contemporary artists of Islamic background, all of whom have participated in Shangri La’s artist in residency program. Notable art and objects on loan from Shangri La, range from ceramic vessels and tiles from 11th-20th century Iran to enameled gold and ruby bracelets, necklaces, and earrings from Mughal India. HonoluluMuseum.org

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is taking a holistic approach to wellness with the launch of “Wellness Your Way,” a curated program designed to help guests achieve optimal energy-sustainable lifestyles through vitality-focused spa treatments, fitness classes including ocean-view yoga, and healthy culinary options. Initiated by the resort’s award-winning spa and led by an elite team of wellness experts, the program can be customized to each guest or available on an à la carte basis, with all components recommended under the guidance of the resort’s house doctor. FourSeasons.com/Maui

New locally inspired spa treatments and wellness services are available at Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Spa at Manele Bay. The island-influenced menu includes Royal Hawaiian Facial featuring JK7, Macadamia Sugar Polish, Hawaiian Spa Rituals, and Makakii Kalo/Taro Honey Mask. In addition to treatments, the Spa now offers a collection of wellness services, from private life coaching to mediation. FourSeasons.com/ManeleBay

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The Ultimate Kitesurfing Escape‏

January 15, 2015 on 1:22 pm | In Antigua Barbuda Anquilla, Beachbooker, Caribbean, Sports Travel, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowANGUILLA, BWI – Ani Villas Anguilla, the luxury Caribbean hideaway, partners with Private Jet Services Group and Anguilla Watersports Ltd. to offer the ultimate action-packed, super luxurious vacation for thrill-seeking yet discerning travelers.
The Ultimate Kitesurfing Escape package breaks new ground in the luxury travel market. Combining a full service experience with private airfare and extreme sports instruction is a novel concept in the luxury travel space.

Designed to offer a unique combination of luxury and adventure, the package includes exclusive round trip private airfare from anywhere in North America by Private Jet Services, kitesurfing instruction from the International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certified Anguilla Watersports team, and a variety other activities, services, and amenities provided by the discerning Ani Villas staff over a weeklong stay at the remarkable Anguilla estate.

All guests at Ani Villas enjoy a fully-serviced bespoke vacation, but this $175,000 ultimate kitesurfing escape includes a complete itinerary of action and relaxation:

A weeklong stay at Ani Villas’ luxurious North and South Villas for up to 14 guests.

World-class pampering from a full team of staff, including butlers, private chef, tennis pro, and more.

Round trip private jet service from anywhere in North America by Private Jet Services.

Get Your Dive Gear HereComprehensive training and guidance from Judson Burdon and the distinguished IKO-certified kitesurfing instructors at Anguilla Watersports. 16+ hours for up to 10 of the guests.
Stand up paddleboard lessons and adventures.

Massage sessions on off days to recover and recharge.

Daily yoga sessions to maximize performance.

Full board: all meals at Ani Villas and on the beach provided by Ani Villas’ own Chef “Sweets” Connor, together of meals at a selection of Anguilla’s remarkable restaurants.

Cocktails, dinner, and awards ceremony with the Anguilla Watersports team on the Ani Villas patio at sunset, plus an after-party with reggae band.

The package includes 16+ hours of kitesurfing instruction on Anguilla’s world-renowned beaches. The Anguilla Watersports team of distinguished kitesurfers provides instruction for all levels, everything from getting newcomers started to taking a seasoned kitesurfer to the next level.

To keep the kitesurfers in top condition, the package includes massages and daily yoga for all guests on Ani Villas’ patios and roof decks, all with fantastic ocean views.

“Anguilla is a hidden gem for kitesurfing—great wind, stunning water, and no crowds,” says Judson Burdon, owner and lead instructor at Anguilla Watersports. “Our IKO-certified instructors can take beginners from zero to hero in a matter of hours.”

Even members of the family or group who aren’t kitesurfers will have plenty to do. The island has 33 beaches, and coupled with the Ani Villas beach butler service, lessons from the in-house tennis pro, stand up paddleboarding adventures with Anguilla Watersports, snorkeling, boat trips, and more, this package has something for everyone.

The ten bedroom private Ani Villas estate overlooks remarkable Little Bay, and offers two fully staffed villas featuring pools, hot tubs, indoor and outdoor dining areas, tennis court, full gym, mountain bikes, paddle boards, and breathtaking lounges and decks. Ani Villas provides a full-service team of concierge, butlers, tennis coach, optional personal trainer, and private security. On-call amenities include spa services, massage, yoga, and more.

“We are very excited to bring this new type of exclusive action-oriented escape to our client base,” explains Michael Friedman, marketing manager at Private Jet Services. “This package is perfect for the distinguished traveler who wants to get the most out of a vacation.”

“The entire Ani Villas team is pleased to partner with Private Jet Services and Anguilla Watersports on this escape,” says Felix Pina, property manager at Ani Villas Anguilla. “This is the perfect chance for a group of active friends to reconnect while learning a new sport—or perfecting their skills—in world-class luxury.”

Kitesurfing packages are also available without airfare, as well as for larger or smaller groups. Inquire today at dreams@anivillas.com

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Nelscott Reef Trials Offers Big Wave Surfers Qualifying Spots for 2015/2016 Season‏

January 13, 2015 on 10:00 am | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, California, Hawaiian Islands, South America, Surfing Resorts, USA | Comments Off




Oregon’s Nelscott Reef is a serious big wave that will challenge competitors as they battle to win a place on the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour.

The Nelscott Reef Trials, the qualifying event for the 2015/2016 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour, is currently on standby, with organizers monitoring conditions necessary in delivering 30-foot-and-above waves to the infamous cold-water reef in the Pacific Northwest.

A world-renowned big wave reef situated outside of Oregon’s Lincoln City, Nelscott has hosted big wave competitions since 2010 and now exists as the sole qualifying event for the elite Big Wave Tour. The Nelscott Reef Trials welcomes a 24-man field of world-class athletes that will battle for four highly-coveted positions on the 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour (BWT).

“Nelscott has been a part of the Big Wave Tour for a few years now and it’s an ideal venue to host our sole qualifying event for the 2015/2016 season,” Pete Mel, Big Wave Commissioner, said. “We’ve seen some promising activity in the Pacific Northwest this year and we have a great field that will be contesting the event.”


Home General 160 600
The Nelscott Reef Trials’ 24-man field is comprised of 15 surfers from the current 2014/2015 BWT rankings (6th – 20th), two local wildcards in Keith Galbraith and Jeremy Rasmussen, one BWT wildcard to be determined and six entrants from the #ProveIt Video Trials – Nic Vaughan (Palos Verdes, California), Jamie Sterling (North Shore, Hawaii), Derek Dunfee (San Diego, California), Trevor Carlson (Hermosa Beach, California), James Taylor (Cape Town, South Africa) and Mark Matthews (Maroubra, Australia).

The #ProveIt Video Trials were an open event with applicants submitting videos of their five biggest and heaviest waves from three venues with special consideration given for existing BWT venues as well as more recent footage. The Trials were judged by a panel of five including the Surfers’ Rep Greg Long, the reigning BWT Champ Grant Baker, Head Judge Kirk Tice, BWT Vice President Gary Linden and Commissioner Peter Mel.


Booking.com
The 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour will host two half seasons concentrating on the Northern and Southern Hemisphere swell cycles with venues in South Africa, Chile and Peru in the Southern Hemisphere leg and the Basque Country, Mexico and Maui in the Northern Hemisphere.

The 2015/2016 Big Wave Tour field will be made up of the Top 10 finishers from this season’s BWT rankings, six BWT wildcards, four local wildcards and the top four finishers from the Nelscott Reef Trials.

The Nelscott Reef Trials window runs from December 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com

About the World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.


Redefine Spring Break at Award-Winning Ani Villas Anguilla‏

January 12, 2015 on 5:15 pm | In Adventure Travel, Antigua Barbuda Anquilla, Beachbooker, Caribbean, Sports Travel, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowTen-bedroom beachfront vacation estate on this idyllic Caribbean island ideal for multi-generational family or friend getaways, with two fully serviced luxury villas and a host of world-class amenities and activities.

Anguilla, British West Indies – Plan the ultimate spring break at an exclusive, Caribbean oceanfront vacation estate where a full, private staff awaits—ready to pamper your family or group as you enjoy the island of Anguilla’s pristine natural beauty and endless recreational activities.
Ani Villas Anguilla is a strikingly scenic 10 bedroom estate with 2 villas fully staffed and serviced with private butlers, chef, housekeepers, concierge service and security to cater to the every need of families and groups looking for an unforgettable getaway.

“Our Anguilla estate is perfect for multi-generational travelers looking for a more exclusive and pampered private villa vacation experience,” said Ira Bloom, CEO of Ani Villas.

Both villas in the Ani Villas Anguilla estate are designed to showcase the dramatic cliff top setting and feature their own pools, hot tubs, kitchens, indoor and outdoor dining areas, lounges and decks, along with a tennis court and fully outfitted gym. Unique to the design of Ani Villas in Anguilla is the ability to combine the two fully outfitted and private villas on the estate for larger groups – sleeping up to 20 guests.


Home General 160 600
The 4-bedroom North Villa overlooks Little Bay – Anguilla’s most treasured hideaway for swimming and snorkeling. The master bedrooms and indoor and outdoor living spaces face the breathtaking western view down the Anguilla coastline and jaw-dropping sunset views. The North Villa also features a dramatic stair atrium with massive skylight and water feature, a rooftop lounge, pool deck and cliff-edge hot tub. With similar amenities, 6-bedroom South Villa is a fully accessible home with elevator, roll-in showers, pool lift, and other wheelchair-friendly features subtly incorporated into its design. Both villas offer an assortment of decks and covered areas for gathering as a group or to find your own private space.

Bloom notes that Ani Villas offers greater value when compared to booking multiple rooms at a hotel offering similar high-end luxury. “Not only do you enjoy more privacy and individualized service here,” Bloom said, “the economics and included amenities and activities favor us as the best choice.” Rates at Ani Villas include the full service team, all breakfasts, a private chef, all beverages, and an assortment of activities:

• Tennis – The in-house pro is available for unlimited tennis lessons during guests’ stay and can organize private, group, adult and children’s programs. An assortment of tennis rackets along with a ball machine are available at no additional fee.

• Stand-Up Paddle BoardingAni Villas has a “quiver” of stand up paddle boards (SUP’s), offering great exercise and a fantastic way to see Anguilla’s beaches and coastline from a different perspective, that can be delivered for guests’ use at any beach they wish.

• Bicycle Riding – Guests may choose from a collection of bikes for all ages – ride the dirt trails by the villas to explore some hidden beaches or the staff can truck the bikes to further points on the island for more rugged trail riding

• Snorkeling – The villas come equipped with a collection of masks, fins and snorkels that can be delivered to any beach upon request – or guests can walk the trail down to Little Bay, one of Anguilla’s most remarkable spots, or nearby Limestone Bay.


While not included in Ani Villas rates, a collection of professionals are on call to provide additional services such as spa, massage and personal exercise training. Guests are also welcome to use the estate’s Calloway Club sets for a round at the scenic Cuisinart Greg Norman Championship course. Your concierge can also charter a boat tour of several smaller islands surrounding Anguilla, a scuba excursions to explore fascinating shipwreck dive site just off the island’s shore, or horseback riding on one of Anguilla’s sprawling white-sand beaches.

The winner of Condé Nast Johansen’s Best Villa Award for Excellence in 2013 & 2014, Ani Villas Anguilla is the first in a collection of remarkable vacation estates in some of the world’s most exotic locations. Ani Villas will premier two additional tropical island estates—one on Thailand’s Koh Yao Noi, and the other on the central south coast of Sri Lanka—in early 2015.

During your stay, admire some of the works from the students of Ani Art Academies, a non-profit program supported by Ani Villas that provides a free multi-year oil painting and drawing education. The program fosters a group of up-and-coming artists around the world, whose pieces are displayed at Ani Villas properties as well as within galleries in New York and Pennsylvania
For more information, e-mail dreams@anivillas.com or visit www.anivillas.com

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TURTLE BAY RESORT GETS STOKED

December 11, 2014 on 2:46 pm | In Beachbooker, Hawaiian Islands, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowIconic surf resort on Oahu’s North Shore is the first in Hawaii to be awarded STOKE Certified’s ‘Sustainable’ designation

Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore recently joined an elite group of surf resorts that have taken on the challenge of sustainability with STOKE Certified—the world’s first sustainability certification program to focus exclusively on surf and snow resorts.

STOKE Certified undertook an intensive onsite evaluation of Turtle Bay Resort against 142 criteria and 326 sustainability indicators resulting in a compliance score of 83%. This easily surpassed the minimum requirements for certification enabling Turtle Bay Resort to become the second surf resort in the world, and the first in Hawaii, to be awarded STOKE’s designation of ‘Sustainable’ certification.

Turtle Bay Resort guests can rest and surf easy knowing that their vacation is supporting community development projects, environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and the enhancement of marine ecosystems as well as surf resources, and that they are getting the best surf guiding and safety services available anywhere.

Scott McCormack, Vice President of Real Estate for Turtle Bay Resort, stated, “It’s an honor to be awarded this prestigious designation, resulting from our continued commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. Over the past year we’ve collaborated with STOKE to further our master plan for the benefit of all guests who seek a resort experience that is in keeping with the spirit of the North Shore.”


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Co-founder of STOKE Certified Carl Kish said “Last year STOKE Certified worked with Turtle Bay Resort to develop a ‘roadmap to sustainability’. This year we are delighted to have been able to document and verify a vast array of sustainability initiatives. From working with local schools, the elderly, sporting groups, and Hawaiian cultural festivals, to supporting local agricultural programs, establishing permanent conservation easements, designing sustainable renovations like the installation of green roofing, and renewable energy initiatives including a massive rooftop solar array”.

Director of the Center for Surf Research and STOKE Certified Co-founder Dr. Jess Ponting added “Through these and many other small practices that have a big cumulative impact, Turtle Bay Resort has become a legitimate sustainability leader.”

Turtle Bay Resort is the only destination resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore – Mecca of the surfing world. Situated on 852 acres, it offers outdoor enthusiasts four and a half miles of shoreline and 12 miles of hiking trails to enjoy and explore. This is in addition to 36 holes of championship golf and a wide array of ocean and land activities.

For a detailed list of Turtle Bay Resort’s best practices with photographs, visit their STOKE Certified profile here: http://stokecertified.com/members/turtle-bay-resort.

About STOKE Certified
Founded by Carl Kish and Dr. Jess Ponting, STOKE (Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation) Certified is the world’s first sustainability certification program specific to surf and ski tourism. In addition to verifying the legitimacy of sustainability claims by operators and providing transparency for the public through its certification program, STOKE offers additional services for operators to enhance their sustainability management system including consulting, marketing, and project management services. STOKE has member properties in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands and the Coral Coast, the Mentawai Islands, Costa Rica, Liberia, Panama, the Telo Islands, the Philippines, and Hawaii. For more information, go to http://stokecertified.com/.


GoPro World Longboard Championships Open With Style in China

December 4, 2014 on 12:32 pm | In Asia, China, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off




WANNING, Hainan/CHINA  – The world’s best surfers on traditional nine foot plus boards have arrived in Hainan Island for the annual GoPro World Longboard Championships, China hosted by Wanning (WLC). The field includes 34 surfers in both the men’s and women’s divisions with surfers from over 12 countries in attendance. Tonight the athletes and officials were treated to an explosive opening ceremony and competition is expected to start tomorrow morning.

Kelia Moniz (HAW), reigning two-time ASP World Longboard Champion has been in China for a few days to get a feel for the waves, the water and her boards. Moniz is eyeing her third straight Title, but insists she’s here to surf to her best and have fun and modestly talked up the other athletes in the draw.

“Of course winning three in a row has entered my mind!” Moniz said. “We only have one event to decide the Champion and everyone wants to win, but for me I’m just looking forward to having fun and surfing. I don’t do any events besides this one and I come here and see cute new faces and then think — ‘oh you really surf good too.’ Then there’s the girls I see every year and all the girls are better and more focussed to take the win.”

Harley Ingleby (AUS), 2009 ASP World Longboard Champion was voted by his peers to be the Longboard Tour’s Surfer’s Representative and has worked closely with the ASP to make this event happen this year.

Goddess Swimwear from Today Show“It’s a great location here and now with this event locked in for three years we can start looking at potentially adding another event or two to our tour which would be unreal,” Ingleby said. “I finished third last year and I’m hoping to go two spots better this year and get another Title.”

Taylor Jensen (USA) won back-to-back ASP World Longboard Titles in 2011 and 2012, but finished 9th last year after he was eliminated in a tough back and forth Round 5 battle against 2010 World Longboard Champion Duane Desoto (HAW). Jensen is fresh off a win at the Taiwan Open of Surfing LQS and is hoping his good form could see him win another Title.

“I’ve been here a few more days than the rest of the guys and gotten acclimated and my daughter isn’t jet lagged anymore which helps me get some more sleep,” Jensen said. “I had one day of good surf before everyone else arrived which was a help too. Winning the Taiwan Open a couple of weeks ago was good preparation, especially since it was a left that’s really similar to the break here — that really helped me get ready for this event because I don’t get to go left very often.”

Chloe Calmon (BRA) finished equal 5th place at last year’s event after being eliminated by eventual runner-up Chelsea Williams (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. Calmon has come to China two weeks early to prepare for this year’s event and is fit and fired up for the event to commence.

“It’s always good to be back in China!” Calmon said. “I’ve been here for two weeks, I always like to come early to a contest to get rid of the jet lag and get used to the waves. Last year was an incredible event — I improved so much and I’ve just tried to do the same strategy this year and hope that I can keep improving.”

Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop OnlineDarci Liu (CHN) is one of Hainan’s most renowned surfers and this year is competing in her fourth WLC in China. Liu has hinted that this could potentially be her last ever event as she’s stepping aside for other local talented surfers to have some opportunities at the elite level.

“This is my fourth time competing in this event and I feel so happy and blessed for everything that surfing and this event has done for my life!” Liu said. “I see so many talented girl surfers from Hainan and China coming up in the ocean and I truly feel that they deserve an opportunity. My Mom is here this year to watch me compete for the first time which is very exciting for me.”

The GoPro World Longboard Championships China, hosted by Wanning will run from Dec 5 – 12. News, live scores, results, images and video highlights available via – this link.

These are hand-out images from the Association of Surfing Professionals LLC (ASP) and all images are royalty free for editorial use only. No commercial rights granted are granted to these images in any way. The copyright is owned by ASP. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Will Hayden-Smith – ASP Australasia Media Officer


Eat, Pray, Surf in Bali With Wyndham Ambassador Layne Beachley

November 21, 2014 on 8:10 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Beachbooker, Indonesia, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAs the ambassador for hospitality giant, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, Layne Beachley has been helping employees embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle, and now the general public have a chance to learn Layne’s vitality secrets too.

The seven-time world surfing champion is inviting guests on a week-long ‘Eat, Pray, Surf’ escape to beautiful Bali, which she will host alongside her INXS rocker husband, Kirk Pengilly.

As the most successful female surfer of all time, Layne knows what it takes to stay in peak condition, both physically and mentally, and has enthralled crowds around the world with her inspirational lectures.

“Bali is the perfect backdrop for this workshop, which incorporates a focus on healthy eating and exercise, as well as pampering and spiritual experiences to really rejuvenate the mind, body and soul,” Ms Beachley said.

Attendees will be treated to surfing lessons, a personal mentoring session and inspirational lectures with Layne, a shopping tour of Seminyak, as well as cooking classes and a weekly healthy eating plan which will be led by both Layne and Kirk.

This action-packed itinerary is balanced with five invigorating pamper sessions, plus a water cleansing ceremony and blessing at a holy waterfall, as well as a visit to a Balinese medicine man.

“It was only through improving my physical and emotional health that I was able to conquer chronic fatigue 18 years ago, and I have embraced this lifestyle ever since. Kirk and I are passionate about sharing our everyday lifestyle tips, including what we eat, how we stay active and how we maintain a positive mindset,” she added.

For more information contact info@eatpraylive.com.au  or visit www.eatpraylive.com.au


Restaurant Australia Digs in Down Under

November 21, 2014 on 7:50 am | In Australia, Dine Drink, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, South Australia, Surfing Resorts, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowEven Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his angry rush to throw a cold shoulder to the other world leaders at the G20 Summit (Nov. 15 and 16 in Brisbane) by leaving early was composed enough to stay for dinner, before leaving. These days, the people that know Australian cooking never miss a chance to stay for dinner.

In its long quest to locate the spark that will ignite international travelers to finally act on their bucket list desires to visit down under, Tourism Australia (TA) has been serving up the quality of Australian food in its Restaurant Australian promotional campaign. Since it launched early this year, the Restaurant Australia campaign has been showcasing the country’s food and wine experiences, bringing together stories of the country’s people, produce and places.

The Invite the World to Dinner event took place on Nov. 14 in the capital of Tasmania, Hobart. It brought together scores of international food and wine writers, celebrity chefs and TV personalities coming to dine with such Aussie foodies as Maggie Beer, Matt Preston and Matt Moran to sample a menu created by Restaurant Australia Head Chefs Ben Shewry, Peter Gilmore and Neil Perry AM.

It was the climax event of TA’s Restaurant Australia campaign, and TA estimates the VIP guests had an influence reach of 400 million. That’s a lot of hungry travelers. The event took place at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. Food and wine offer a strong travel component not only at the table but in visiting wineries, artisanal food producers, food festivals and more.

“What our chefs pulled together and the setting in which the meal was served was nothing short of breathtaking and has truly demonstrated the exceptional quality and unique produce we have on offer here in Australia,” said John O’Sullivan, managing director Tourism Australia. “We hope all of our guests head home with the taste of Australia still firmly imprinted on their palate, and we look forward to them sharing their experiences with their many followers.” These culinary VIPS also toured the country to experience more than a thousand of Australia’s best food and wine offerings in every state and territory.

Surveys by TA of Americans who have travelled in Australia ranked the country as the #1 destination for food and wine, surpassing even France and Italy. It’s the kind of ranking Australia’s been topping a lot lately. In September, for instance, Sydney was named World Festival & Event City for the fifth consecutive year by the International Festivals & Events Association.

As for those other VIPS at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, the event not only attracted heads of state, but also dignitaries from the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. Some 4,000 high-clout visitors and, maybe even more importantly, the press coverage from 3,000 international media showcased Brisbane as more than a holiday hub for domestic Australian travelers.

Who Is Down Under?

One of the core urgencies for TA is to send a message that Australia is not an edge of the world destination. The country is very much in the middle of things politically and culturally. This makes the promotion of events even more important because events bring leaders to the destination, and people follow leaders.

The new $1.1 billion International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has already confirmed 17 events for 2017 and beyond. Meanwhile, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will be extended to keep up with the increasing demand for event space. The expansion is looking to include additional exhibition and banquet space, smaller meeting rooms, new plenary options and an exciting new indoor-outdoor networking and entertainment space.

“Securing major events has been a priority for Destination NSW, the government’s tourism and major events agency, as we work towards achieving our goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020,” said Destination New South Wales (DNSW) CEO, Sandra Chipchase. In 2014, aggressively sought out and put on such high profile events as the 2014 Opening Series of Major League Baseball, the National Rugby League Grand Final Week, Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, owned and managed by Destination NSW.

The TA has for several years now been doing more to integrate travel marketing with food and wine marketing. More than a decade ago they even made an important wine marketing executive, Ken Boundy, the head of TA. This year TA brought together some 200 partners in food and wine to promote the quality of its culinary product in the “There’s nothing like Australia” campaign. Recent studies done in 2012 showed that highlighting the country’s best food and wine tourism experiences increased consumer motivation to travel to Australia by 30 percent.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com

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