What types of cars do you rent?

Car Hire Comparison UK: Most rental companies categorise the hire cars and broadly speaking, these are as follows: Mini, Economy, compact, Standard or Intermediate, Full Size, Luxury or Premium, Vans/Minivans (also referred to as MPV's or People Carriers), SUV's and, depending on the location, Exotic and/or Special Cars which may include such icons as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini and so on. The 'vans' or people carriers are typically available in derivatives from 5 seats through to nine seater. Some locations will also have soft tops (convertibles/cabriolets) available, from a sports car through to a family soft top or 4x4 with a removable, canvas top. Compare Car Hire.

The range is exhaustive and we invite you to look at the 'information' section for additional details on individual vehicles and specifications. Remember, that the extent of the range will be dependent on availability, location and country. 

Where can I get my rental car?

The good news is that 'Car Hire Assistant' has access to over 550 suppliers who, combined, have some 30,000 locations in 175 countries. Therefore, if you want to collect your rental car from a large city, small town, holiday resort, sea port or airport, there is an excellent chance that one of the rental companies we use will have an office near you. If you want to collect your hire car from one location and return it to another, this is also possible with some hire companies, although a premium is charged. Many of the companies we deal with also have kiosks or stations at major airports. 

Remember, our service is free, there are no hidden charges or booking surcharges. We search, so you can compare, not just the price of your rental car, but the options, types of vehicles, locations and service. Compare car hire prices with Car Hire Assistant, The UK  Car Hire Comparison Site - Compare Car Hire

Car Rentals made simple

Renting a car, van or people carrier (MPV) does not have to be a stressful experience. Using a car rental comparison site such as 'Car Hire Assistant' can save you  many hours attempting to find the cheapest deals and then trying to compare the hire options on a like for like basis. Moreover, the process of weeding out those rental operators that employ tactics of headline grabbing, low rental costs, only to hit the hirer with a huge list of extras, means you have to remain alert. Car Hire Assistant removes ambiguities with a guarantee of no hidden prices and a commitment to inclusive rental rates. Car options are laid out in a logical manner allowing the renter to compare 'apples with apples'. We also offer additional, complimentary services such as Car Hire Excess Insurance, Travel Insurance and Airport Transfers. Free service and no booking charges. The best comparison site for Cheap Car Hire

Car Rentals in Australia

Wide range of rental car available through Car Hire assiatnt, including soft tops, 4 wheel drive, economy cars and people carriers. With a lot of time, it is always possible to find some great deals for hire cars on the internet, however, we all need a little help sometimes and we don't all have the luxury of spare time. So, if you are looking for a great price on car hire in Australia, then the Car Hire Assistant website really is an excellent place to start and end your search. Car Hire Assistant is a car rental price comparison site specialising in hire cars, not just local rentals, but international car hire in any of one the 175 countries we cover around the world. Our rental operators have, between them, some 30,000 rental locations, thereby maximising your choice for a hire car at the location you want! With 550 suppliers, we are extremely confident that we can present you with the best prices, as well as a comprehensive range of options for your hire car in Australia. Of course, as a genuine price comparison site, we won't limit ourselves just to local suppliers, where available, we will also seek rental prices from many of the major international car rental companies, which includes; Europcar, National, Avis, Sixt, Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, Thrifty and Alamo. 

The Car Hire Assistant service is free to use and you will not even be charged a booking fee. The prices you are quoted will fully inclusive and completely transparent, therefore you do not need to be concerned about hidden charges, something we have all had experience of at one time or another. Perhaps you are thinking that it's all too good to be true? Well, not really, at Car Hire Assistant, we believe your rental price should include all necessities such as; Collision Damage Waiver, Third Party Liability Protection, Theft Waiver, Airport charges, Taxes and Credit Card Surcharges. We believe the search and the subsequent booking for your hire car in Australia with Car Hire Assistant should be a positive and rewarding experience, therefore, we will provide you with a wide range of options, unambiguous pricing, a great choice of vehicles and a simple, 3 stage booking process, without the need to re-enter information you have already provided for the search. 

And, don't be concerned that you may miss out on special offers that rental companies in Australia run from time to time, if there are any promotions, we will include this in your hire summary and highlight it as a Best Buy. We don't actively 'upsell' you, in fact, the lowest prices and special offers will (depending on the criteria you have set) usually be listed first!

It doesn't really matter which part of Australia you are visiting, or where you want to collect your hire car, from an airport, train station, city location, holiday resort or railway station. There really is every possibility that we will be able to accommodate your wishes. and minimise any hassle; allowing you to spend your well-earned vacation time relaxing and exploring Australia, rather than finding the nearest car rental office. Special note: If you would like to look at some things to do in Australia, such as Tours, Attractions, Dinner/Cruises etc., we can also help you there. Take a look at our section for Tours, Excrusions, Attractions and other Things to do

Wide range of rental car available through Car Hire assiatnt, including soft tops, 4 wheel drive, economy cars and people carriers. At Car Hire Assistant, we truly believe that it is important to be completely open about everything. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to highlight the fact that the laws and regulations differ in every country and this, would of course, include Australia. Similarly, some hire terms can vary between rental operators, albeit in a relatively minor way, therefore we ensure that the terms and conditions are made available to you to enable you to truly compare your options. The terms and conditions of the specific rental company you opt to use will be sent to you on confirmation of the rental car. If you are not collecting your rental car from the airport in Australia, you may want to consider using our free qute service for Airport and Hotel Transfer Services. Available options include private transfers, shuttle buses, meet and greet services (not all locations) and minibus transfers. 

We offer a wide range of vehicles in Australia, however, the complete range will ultimately be determined by the local operators, your preferred rental location and availability (early booking is advised at peak periods). The vehicle types will include economy and compact models, family cars estate cars (station wagons), multi-purpose vehicles (also referred to as MPV's, people carriers and vans), top marques isuch as Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Range Rover and so on, as well as four wheel drive vehicles including Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV's) or 4 wheel drive cars. In some larger locations or cities, we may also be able to offer you the choice of sports cars or high value prestige cars (Porsche, Ferrari, McClaren, Bentley, Audi, Aston Martin and so on).

Ultimately, the success or failure of Car Hire Assistant will be based almost entirely upon offering our customers the very best car rental packages, in terms of price, what is included within the price, vehicle range, convenience (in terms of rental location) and the ease with which our customers can use this site. Therefore, we always strive achieve these things in a tangible and meaningful way, because we never forget that we are working on your behalf. We are confident, that if you are happy with our service, your will book your rental car through us and, hopefully, return again and again in the future. We hope you will be delighted with our service and opt to book your rental car in Australia through Car Hire Assistant. One final thing, if you are departing from a UK airport, we offer a price comparison service for airport parking at 23 airports in the UK. You can compare the full range of parking options, from long-term, on-site parking, through to a full meet and greet service. 

Australia – The Land Down Under is a Top Vacation Spot

Oh, Australia, the land of koala bears, wallabies, and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Are you planning a trip to this enchanting place? You will discover that it has a lot to offer to you, along with the some really interesting facts.

When you are planning to visit Australia, before you choose your car hire in Australia and book your flight, you should know that one of the best times to go is during the summer months of June, July, and August. Even though this is summer for North America and Europe, this is winter for Australia and it will help you to avoid some of the sweltering months of summer. However, if visiting a place such as Cairns, which is in the north, it's important to note that the weather is either going to be hot & wet (October- March) or arid & dry (April – September), so you should pack accordingly.

Here are some of the interesting facts that few people know about Australia.

  • Australia is a haven for those who love bugs and creepy crawlies. There are 1,500 spider species, more than 6,000 fly species, around 4,000 ant species, and around 350 termite species.
  • It is home to the biggest population of single hump wild camels
  • It is home to over 100,000,000 sheep
  • It only has 20,000,000 people
  • It is home to the biggest cattle ranch in the world, which is 30,026 km, which is close to the size of Belgium.
  • 90% of the people in Australia are living upon the coast
  • They have some interesting names for people who live in certain areas. Queensland are banana benders, Westerners are sand gropers, and New South Wales residents are cockroaches.
  • Australia's Alps, called Snowy Mountains, get more snowfall than Switzerland.

Now that we know of some of the interesting and unusual facts about Australia, let's look at the top things to do in Australia.

Great Barrier Reef

No visit to Australia would be complete without a visit to this amazing wonder. Two very popular things to do at the site of the reef are to scuba dive and snorkel. It's home to many different species of fish and it's the largest organism in the world. if you are uncomfortable with actually snorkeling or scuba diving in the area, it's also possible to go and see it on a boat.

Outback Tour

The outback is more than just a restaurant where you can get a great steak dinner – it's a place in Australia. One of the best ways to see the outback is through driving along Gibb River Road. This is a 660 km drive in the western part of Australia, and it goes from Derby all the way to Kununurra. Sometimes the road is impassable through the rainy season. However, if you are going during the right time you are going to see some amazing sights.

Australia is a great vacation spot and it's well worth the long flight. When you go to Australia, you will discover a world that you have never known. Don't forget that you can book your car hire in Australia with Car Hire Assistant, including all the main cities such as; Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Hobart, Newcastle, Darwin, Townsville, as well as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and all the major airports in Australia.

Planning your Trip

Things always seem to go better when they are carefully planned and flying to another destination is no exception. Plan well and all things being equal, you should have an uneventful trip with less stress. Here are the top tips:

Before you leave

  • Ensure that you have your airline tickets, vouchers for hotel bookings, car rental and/or airport shuttle transfers, your passport, visa (if required), money, credit cards and travellers cheques. If you are renting a car at your destination, make sure you have your driver's licence (paper and photo) and, if necessary, an international drivers permit. These items should all be kept in your hand luggage.
  • Familiarise yourself with the 'banned item' list, these change from time to time, but it is important to know what can go in your hand luggage, what must go in the hold and what you simply cannot take with you.
  • Avoid wrapping items such as gifts or presents because these may be opened by security at your departing or destination airport.
  • If you are taking essential medicines, ensure that that they are in their original packaging and, if they are prescription drugs, try and get a letter from your doctor confirming that these have been prescribed for you. Also remember, that is some countries, certain drugs are banned, even if you have been prescribed them by your doctor. If in doubt, check with the airline and/or embassy.
  • Make sure that you choose comfortable clothing, especially if it is a long journey, also be cognisant of the weather at your destination, which may influence your choice of clothes.
  • Check the weight of your luggage. Most airlines have a strict policy on exceeding baggage limits and airport surcharges can be very expensive. In addition, some airlines will not allow you to pay in excess at checkin, which could lead to delays and inconvenience.

Heading for the airport

  • Always remember to allow plenty of time to arrive at the airport. As a general rule, if you are taking an international flight, you should aim to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure. For local or domestic flights, at least one hour.
  • Make sure you know what terminal you are departing from, some airports are very large and the distance between the terminal buildings can be considerable.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the airport. Road maintenance often happens at night, and this can occasionally lead to unexpected road closures, so check before you travel and allow ample time for your journey. If you are travelling during the day, then traffic may become your curse, once again, check on travel information sites and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
  • If you are driving to the airport yourself, it is advisable to book your airport parking in advance. Many websites no offer this service and it can be much cheaper than attempting to find parking on arrival.
  • If you are using public transport to get to the airport, then make sure you have booked advance tickets and also, that there are no planned maintenance (in respect of railways) or anticipated road works in the case of coach travel.
  • If you are travelling by hire car and intend to leave it at the airport, make sure the rental company has facilities to allow you to drop it off. Not all car rental companies have airport facilities, many are located just outside.

On arrival at the airport terminal

  • Since 2001, airport security has been tightened considerably and, on occasion, additional security measures are employed at very short notice. As a consequence, the amount of time taken to go through airport security has lengthened considerably and it can also be unpredictable, especially if additional measures have been introduced.
  • Make sure you are familiar with what you can take through security, particularly in relation to banned items and liquids. Remember, even if you have purchased something at the airport (such as drinks), you may not be able to take it through security and/or on the airline.
  • You must keep your baggage with you at all times. In part because of the security issues at airports, but also because it will almost certainly contain your essential travel documents and you would not want to lose them or have them stolen. You should never look after the belongings of other people or agree to carry anything onto the aircraft on their behalf.
  • Once you are through passport control and security, make sure you keep a close eye on the 'departure boards', many airport no longer make verbal announcements and you need to know which gate number your flight is departing from. Also consider the amount of time it takes to get from where you are to the gate, some airport are very large, such as Heathrow and it can take up to 30 minutes to get to the gate.

On the plane

  • If you are going on a long journey, then try to relax and get some sleep. For shorter journeys you may want to read a book, watch a movie or listen to music on your MP3 player. So make sure you have packed laptops, tablets and/or music players into your hand luggage.
  • It is advisable not to eat too much on long haul flights, because this can lead to an inability to sleep or indigestion. Move around the aircraft as much as you can to keep your circulation working. If you have flight socks, then consider using them.
  • Avoid too much alcohol, but drink plenty of other beverages to avoid dehydration.
  • Even if you are a seasoned traveller, it is worthwhile spending a few minutes to decide exactly what you need from your hire car. 
  • When considering the type of vehicle you wish to hire, consider the passengers and the luggage. Hiring a Suzuki jeep for 4 people with luggage could really be a problem. All too often hirers count the seats, but not the luggage.
  • If you are going on holiday and want to relax consider carefully whether you want a manual or automatic gearbox. 
  • Most cars have air conditioning as standard, but some of the economy vehicles may not, therefore if this is important to you, check carefully before you book and upgrade to the next model if necessary.
  • If you are not familiar with the country you are travelling to, then you need to think ahead. Planning the journey from your arrival airport to your destination is often overlooked. Do you need a local map, SatNav or will you take written directions? There is nothing worse than arriving at the airport in the middle of the night and getting lost! 
  • Do you need booster seats, child seats or a ski rack? These are often available from the hire companies at an additional charge, but they have to be booked in advance.  
  • Will you be the only driver? Some rental companies will allow a second driver at no additional charge (or for a small fee), but this needs to be booked in advance.
  • It is recommended that you remove the identiying tag from the car key ring and keep it in a safe place until the termination of your hire to avoid highlighting that you are a tourist and using a rental car. 
  • One Way Hires or dropping the car off at a different location can be convenient, but expensive. Most car hire companies allow this option, but it is worth checking the difference between these options and returning the car to the airport terminal. 
  • Check the terms of your hire carefully. Some rental companies will supply the car with a full tank of petrol and will expect you to return it with a full tank. If you don’t, then there could be additional charges levied and the cost of fuel may not be the most competitive. If your car is not provided with a full tank of petrol then you should plan to stop as early as possible refuel. 
  • Before you accept the car, make sure you check the condition carefully, noting any damage, including scratches, dents, tyres or windscreen damage. You should ensure that these are written on the handover form to avoid any arguments when the vehicle is returned. Also remember that, as the driver, you are responsible for ensuring that the hire car meets local road and traffic regulations, this includes, but is not limited to tyres, lights, wipers and brakes. If you are not happy, reject the vehicle and ask for an alternative. 
  • Above all, familiarise yourself with the car before you drive. Being in a different country with an unfamiliar car can be stressful. Take your time.
  • Rules of the road and more specifically traffic laws and regulations vary enormously between different countries. Therefore, whilst your drivers licence may be valid, your appreciation of local driving laws may not. To avoid frustration, fines, arrest or accidents, all travellers would be well advised to familiarise themselves with the local driving regulations before they embark on their journey. Many European countries also impose 'on the spot' fines for offences such as speeding. Also worth noting is that the car hire company will hold you personally liable for any fines incurred whilst you are using the vehicle, for example, parking fines

The top 20 tourist destinations around the world for British nationals are as follows; 1. Spain 17m, 2. France 14m, 3. USA 6.5m, 4. Ireland 3.579m, 5. Italy 3.5m, 6. Greece 3m, 7. Germany 2.372m, 8. Portugal 2.254m, 9. Turkey 1.920m, 10. Cyprus 1.3m, 11. China (including Hong Kong) 1.212m, 12. Egypt 1.202m, 13. UAE 1.1m, 14. Thailand 812k, 15. India 734k, 16. Australia 670k, 17. Canada 650k, 18. South Africa 451k, 19. New Zealand 300k, 20. Pakistan 285k.

The coveted, top 10 most visited countries in the world are; 1. France 75.5m, 2. United States 50.9m, 3. Spain 48.2m, 4. Italy 41.2m, 5. China 31.2m, 6. United Kingdom 25.2m, 7. Russia 21.2m, 8. Mexico 20.6m, 9. Canada 20.4m and 10. Germany 19m.

According to SkiHorizon, the top winter ski resorts were Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy. The French preferred, Val Thorens, Les Deux, Avoriaz, Les Arcs 1800, Les Menuires, The village of Les Coches, Saint Sorlin d'Arves, Risoul, Tignes Val Claret and Plagne Bellecote. For the British, it was; Morzine, Les Arcs, Saas Fee, Serre Chevalier, Avoriaz, La Plagne, St. Anton, Megeve, Puy St. Vincent and Alpe D'Huez. Whilst the Dutch opted for Risoul, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Saint Sorlin 'dArves, Menuires, Les Deaux Alpes, Avoriaz, SFL, Arca and Oz.

Although France leads the league table in terms of visitor numbers, the top spot in terms of revenue earned from tourism goes to America (World Tourism Organisation figures for 2010) of $103.5bn. 2. Spain $52.5bn, 3. France 46.3bn, 4. China $45.8bn, 5. Italy 38.8bn, 6. Germany $34.7bn, 7. United Kingdom $30.4bn, 8. Australia $30.1 bn, 9. Hong Kong (China) 23bn and 10. Turkey $20.8bn.

The worlds safest roads based on the estimated number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 of population are; 1. Netherlands(49), 2. Sweden (53), 3. Norway (56), 4. United Kingdom (57), 5. Switzerland (69), 6. Germany (71), 7. Finland (72), 8. Denmark (74) 9. Japan (75) and 10. Iceland (79).

The top selling cars in Europe in 2011 are; 1. VW Golf, 2. Ford Fiesta, 3. W Polo, 4. Opel Corsa, 5. Renault Clio, 6. OFord Focus, 7. Opel Astra, 8. Peugeot 207, 9. Fiat Punt0, 10. Renault Megane, 11. VW Passat, 12. Nissa Qashqai, 13. Fiat Panda, 14. Citroen C3 and 15. Skoda Octavia.


The Hertz Corporation, the world’s biggest general use car hire brand, has launched a portable Wi-Fi service in Australia in a first for the country’s car hire industry. Hertz has released pocket-sized 3G units for rent to allow hirers to connect to the internet from anywhere in Australia for a small fraction of the cost of mobile roaming or hotel internet charges.

The launch builds on the success of the company’s mobile Wi-Fi program in New Zealand, UK, Spain and the Canary Islands.

The portable WiFi units can be hired from Hertz’s airport locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Cairns. The rechargeable Wi-Fi units offer secure, high speed internet coverage for up to 5 hours and provide a useful daily data limit of 150 megabytes, allowing business and leisure travellers, both domestic and international, to remain connected throughout their journey in Australia. Units come with a USB cable for convenient recharging.

For business travellers, the mobile Wi-Fi units allow email connections and ongoing contact with the office, customers or family at home, as well as permitting synchronous interconnection of up to 5 devices including laptop computers, smart phones and tablets. The Wi-Fi units make it effortless for recreational travellers to keep in touch with friends and family, offering the capability to upload photos or videos or to communicate via Skype, while also allowing for multiple users to connect at the same time.

Priced at just AUD$12.00 per day plus tax, the new units can minimise global roaming data charges by up to 90 per cent, whilst lowering by up to half the daily charges which apply for internet access in hotel rooms. Telephone calling fees can be reduced substantially by using Skype through the mobile Wi-Fi connection, while social media or online news can be used easily without substantial data charges.

Hertz has partnered with technology company IDataRoam International Limited to offer the mobile Wi-Fi service, which is already being used successfully in New Zealand. Hertz customers can simply buy extra data volume online from IDataRoam if required.

Compare your car hire in Australia with Car Hire Assistant. We compare car rental prices from up to 800 rental firms, sporting 30,000 locations in 175 countries. Our service is free and we add nothing to the rental charge.

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New statistics released today indicate that the Brits’ love for Australia is as solid as ever, given 50% of holiday makers to Australia have visited before. A boomerang appearance that implies the myth of Australia being a once in a lifetime experience does not necessarily ring true.

A massive 62% of UK leisure visitors to Australia are returning visitors, of which 40% are on holiday and 60% are seeing friends or relatives. Evidently the close social ties the UK has with Australia are still solid and Australia doesn’t disappoint on arrival.

Rodney Harrex, Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for the UK & Northern Europe, wants to motivate Brits who haven’t been to Australia before to make this the year they take a trip. He comments, “These figures show that when Brits get to Australia they’re not disappointed – it’s a really positive sign that Sydney harbour, the Great Barrier Reef – all of the places you’ve heard about and hundreds that you haven’t – live up to and often surpass expectations. My message is – what are you waiting for? There’s a cliché that a visit to Australia is a once in a lifetime trip but these figures show that’s not true in reality – Australia is somewhere British holiday makers keep going back to.”

With Australia playing host to a range of world class events including the British & Irish Lions Rugby Tour to Australia in June 2013 (which only comes round once every 12 years) and another Ashes tour at the end of next year, there are an abundance of good reasons to start considering a getaway.

Tony Carty, Managing Director of Travelbag added: “This is a really positive sign for Australia and our stores see many customers that have repeat booked holidays out there. For those who have been before, it’s about getting off the beaten track and discovering a new side to Australia – with such a large country to work your way around, there’s no limit to the options. As an Australia specialist, our job is to make planning a trip achievable and help tailor an itinerary to our customers’ needs. Events like Australia Day on 26 January, the British & Irish Lions Tour and Sydney New Year’s Eve are coming up in store enquiries so our job is to use those events to trigger bookings – clearly the flight is worth it!”

A variety of new tourism products are serving to ensure returning Brits have an abundance of new experiences to pick from. In the last six months since March 2012 over 75 new hotels and boutique properties have launched, together with more than 100 restaurants, bars and cafés and over 85 new tours.

Compare car hire in Australia with Car Hire Assistant, the car rental price comparison site. Car Hire Assistant provides rental cars in Australia, including most  airports and cities in Australia and 174 other countries worldwide. In addition to using local operators, Car Hire Assistant also seek prices from well known car rental companies such as Thrifty, Avis, Hertz, SIXT, Europcar, National and Budget. Car Hire Assistant adds nothing to the price of the rental car, allowing customers to find the best deals from a range of suppliers.

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Virgin Australia today announced major enhancements for guests flying from Australia’s East Coast to Perth, offering more internationally configured wide-bodied aircraft, increased frequencies and inclusive catering.

With Virgin Australia’s fifth Airbus A330 aircraft entering into service on 21 September 2012, the airline will operate these internationally configured aircraft on all services between Melbourne and Perth. Airbus A330 aircraft will also continue to service three out of four daily services on the Sydney to Perth route.

In addition, the Brisbane-Perth route will benefit from increased frequencies, moving to three weekday services operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with Virgin Australia’s new Business Class cabin.

Virgin Australia also announced today that from 26 September 2012, all guests in the Economy Class cabin on trans-continental flights2 will be offered a fully inclusive hot meal and beverages throughout the flight3 and inflight entertainment4, regardless of the fare type purchased.

Virgin Australia Group Executive Alliances, Network and Yield Merren McArthur said: “Enhancing the travel experience from the East Coast to Perth is an important part of our strategy to become the airline of choice in Australia.

“We have listened to our guests and we understand that consistency of product and services, a competitive schedule and inclusive catering and entertainment make a real difference on these longer journeys.

“Consistent with our focus on offering a seamless and comfortable travel experience between the East Coast and Perth, we recently expanded our Perth lounge to double the seat capacity”, Ms McArthur said.

Car Hire Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. Price Comparison Site, Car Hire Assistant compares prices on car rental in Australia, including all major seaports, railway stations, airports and cities. The booking search engine used on the Car Hire Assistant website can interrogate up to 550 suppliers based in 175 countries. 

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News that China’s largest international carrier, China Southern Airlines, is to commence new flights to Cairns – its fifth port in Australia – could trigger a ‘tourism Renaissance’ for Tropical North Queensland.

China’s largest international airline will operate three new weekly flights to Cairns and increase its existing four-per-week service to Brisbane to a daily operation. The new services will commence in December, ahead of the busy Chinese New Year holiday period.

China Southern is the second Chinese carrier in a month to announce new air services to Cairns, with China Eastern having also confirmed new direct flights from Shanghai.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, believes the latest success in securing additional Chinese air capacity will help local tourism operators capitalise on Cairns’ growing number of Chinese visitor arrivals, which increased 39 per cent last year.

“Cairns and Tropical North Queensland have done it tough these last few years with floods, Yasi and a drop off in visitors from some of their traditional Western markets, but we’re definitely seeing positive signs of a fight back, signalling what we all hope is a Renaissance for the region’s tourism industry,” Mr McEvoy said.

“With Chinese visitors to Cairns up nearly 40 per cent last year, the appeal is clearly there and, now, with this significant injection of air capacity, so is the improvement in air access we need from Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable overseas market.”

Mr McEvoy paid special tribute to Cairns International Airport, together with the regional, state and federal tourism authorities, for their combined efforts in securing flights from two of China’s largest airlines

China Southern is the leading carrier on the China-Australia route, carrying 22 per cent of all Chinese tourists into Australia during 2011. In just over two years, the airline has nearly quadrupled capacity to Australia, opening up direct access between China and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

Mr McEvoy said increasing aviation capacity between China and Australia was critical to enable the Australian tourism industry to further benefit from the fast growing markets of Asia, and move the industry closer to its 2020 goal of doubling overnight tourism to up to A$140 billion annually by the end of the decade.

Car Hire Australia. Car Rental Price Comparison Site, Car Hire Assistant compares prices of rental operators in Australia, China and 173 other countries.

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After a four-year absence Qantas, Australia’s premium airline, has announced that it will resume daily services between Sydney and the Gold Coast in order to meet the growing demand for leisure and business travel in the region.

Following continual analysis of the network, from late October Qantas will commence three daily return services between the Gold Coast and Sydney using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Tommy Davies manager, international marketing (UK, Ireland & Europe) of Gold Coast Tourism Corporation commented: “We’re delighted to see Qantas returning to the Gold Coast, providing greater choice for our domestic and international visitors alike in terms of a business class offering as well as greater connectivity with Qantas’ international network.”

With the massive development of south-east Queensland, the Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth-largest city and a fast-growing premium travel market.

Those travelling on the reinstated route will have plenty to look forward to as Qantas will be the only domestic airline operating out of the Gold Coast to serve a meal as standard and offer checked in baggage for all passengers as part of the fare – regardless of the time of travel or class.

To celebrate the announcement, Qantas transported one of its fleet’s next generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the Gold Coast.

The aircraft feature state-of-the-art, touch screen in-flight entertainment from Panasonic for all passengers, and a seating designed by Marc Newson.

Qantas was founded in Queensland in 1920 and the Qantas Group employs more than 5000 in the state. The announcement of daily services being resumed on the route clearly illustrates the airlines connection with the state has never been stronger.

Car Hire Assistant compare Car Hire Gold Coast and beyond in Australia, covering all major airports, cities, train stations and holiday resorts. Complete car hire comparison service with optional car hire excess insurance product available independently of the rental operator and offering substantial savings.

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Leading businessman Professor Clive Palmer has announced plans for a massive redevelopment of Palmer Coolum Resort which will generate 9,000 jobs for the Sunshine Coast and elevate the region to be one of the world’s top tourism destinations. Professor Palmer today released concept plans for a new Sunshine Coast International Airport, a new beachfront hotel and retail development, convention centre, casino, theme park, water park, aviary and aquarium at the Coolum site.

“This will boost the resort’s workforce to more than 2500 staff when operating,” he said. The new airport will be capable of taking A380s and 747 Jumbo jets from Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo directly to the Sunshine Coast. We estimate this project and its flow on effects could generate more than 9,000 jobs for the Sunshine Coast region during construction.

“Hawaii and other Pacific nations have taken all the real tourism growth out of the Australian and Queensland economies. We have not been able to compete with the beachfront development at Waikiki in Hawaii or with Fiji and other destinations because of restrictions. As a consequence of this, Queensland jobs and families have suffered as have our children’s future and the state’s revenue. It’s time we made a change and reclaimed the state’s mantle as Australia’s and the world’s premium tourist destination.”

Professor Palmer said the project when completed will help make the Sunshine Coast one of the most popular tourism regions in the world.

“I believe there is a strong willingness from people on the Sunshine Coast for a major job creating project like this to happen,” he said. There haven’t been any major tourism developments in Queensland since the 1970s and 1980s and we are looking to raise the bar again with this project.”

Professor Palmer said a key to the Coolum project’s success would be the proposed expansion of the nearby Sunshine Coast Airport to allow for more flights from Asia.

“This will significantly boost the region’s capacity to accommodate both domestic and international visitors and it will create enormous interest in a country such as China and its growing tourism market. The Sunshine Coast is a magnificent region and the gateway to Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef. We want to make it one of the great tourism destinations on the planet.”

Professor Palmer plans to link the revamped airport to the resort with a proposed new monorail system.

“We also plan to operate an ocean-going hovercraft service with capacity for up to 400 people from the Brisbane CBD to Coolum,” he said. This will enable people to get to the resort from Brisbane quickly. They can stay at the resort or they can just come up on the night and enjoy an amazing dining experience before going back to Brisbane.”

Professor Palmer said the new beachfront hotels will offer a thousand rooms and will include a rooftop entertainment area with ocean views.

He said the other proposals were for a high rollers casino, an aquarium offering an “unforgettable experience”, an aviary to accommodate multiple species of native Australian birds in a sustainable environment, a beachside water park and a theme park.

“The theme park has been designated for an 80 acre area and our options include family oriented attractions,” he said. “We also plan to build a convention centre which can host 5,000 people and have underground parking for up to 3,000 cars.”

Professor Palmer said the redevelopment plans featured a significant boost to the retail and dining offerings currently available at the Palmer Coolum Resort.

“We want people at Noosa to come here to shop and eat. The new resort will boast international retail brands and a wide spectrum of food and entertainment experiences.”

Professor Palmer said the development proposals would be put to the Sunshine Coast community for consideration.

“We will spend the next six months seeing if the community wants the Sunshine Coast to lead the world,” he said. “The construction phase would take approximately three years.”

The post Car Hire Sunshine Coast – Clive Palmer plans Sunshine Coast world tourist Mecca appeared first on Car Hire Assistant - News Portal.


Europcar, a leading car rental firm in Europe, has recognised its best performing franchisees at ITB in Berlin.

Franchisees were nominated within five categories:  “Best Performer”, “Technical Solutions”, “Customer Satisfaction”, “Commercial Vehicles” and “Best Newcomer”. This is the first time Europcar has rewarded its international franchisees’ network with dedicated trophies”.

2013 winners were:

Best Performer : Europcar Zambia:  Grant GATCHELL, General Director Customer Satisfaction: Europcar Switzerland: Carlos SARDINHA, General Manager Technical Solutions: Europcar Oman: Nitin SAPRE, General Manager Best Newcomer: Europcar Chile: Cristian PEREZ MOORE, General Manager Commercial Vehicles: Europcar Denmark: Poul TVEDE, General Manager

“We are very proud to reward our best franchisees for the first time. It is essential for Europcar that its franchisees’ network gets further integrated and recognised within our group. We have created our new Awards to highlight the best performances and share the best practices. Our franchisees give the Europcar brand a worldwide presence and high visibility, but also a great diversity to...


Car Hire Assistant, the car rental price comparison site has changed the website address for its Car Hire Excess insurance. With immediate effect, the new address will be: www.carhireassistant.travelexcess.com.

A spokesman for Car Hire Assistant apologised for the inconvenience, but assured users that the excellent offers previously available for these independent car hire excess insurance policies shall remain.

Car Hire Assistant providers hirers with the opportunity to take out an independent ‘pay and claim’ insurance police to cover the insurance excess imposed by car rental firms. Taking out an independent policy can save hirers a small fortune, when compared to the ‘daily’ charges imposed by most rental companies.


Heathrow passengers are the first in the world to use an revolutionary technology as component of the airport’s drive to further enhance the passenger experience. Terminal 1 passengers are being asked to participate in a 2 month ‘self-boarding’ trial in collaboration with South African Airways, which makes use of biometric data to help them board their flights quicker and more efficiently.

Once passengers arrive at the ‘self-boarding’ gate, they pass through an automatic electronic barrier which takes an infrared scan of their face. This data is verified against the biometric data that was taken at the check-in stage. When the 2 sets of data scans are successfully met, the barrier opens and the passenger can pass through and board their flight. The technology means that a passenger’s identification only needs to be checked by airline staff once during the whole departure process, minimising the amount of time it takes for passengers...


Dubai International has broken another monthly record by receiving, for the first time, more than 5.5 million passengers in a single month. According to the traffic report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic rose by 14.6 per cent to 5,559,760 in January 2013, up from 4,852,139 for the same period in 2012.

It is also acknowledged that most markets improved in January through a combination of holiday traffic and visitors to the ever popular Dubai Shopping Festival. In addition, flight links continue to be widened between Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Emirates, flydubai, Nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines all adding new flights in 2012.

For example in the course of the year Emirates added new flights to Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh while flydubai expanded its network to include Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Taif, Yanbu and Tabuk. Saudi Arabian Airlines, also introduced flights from Medina and Riyadh to Dubai and low-cost airline Nasair introduced links...


South African Airways Extreme Fares campaign has seen exceptional 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with income up 70 per cent year-on-year across some channels. The unprecedented improvement in January bookings comes after the recent launch of South African Airways’ focused winter adventure travel marketing campaign.

This witnessed the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his 4 part TV series Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure, which was broadcast on Channel 5 and exhibited South Africa’s ultimate experiences throughout January. The country was also in the limelight last month on the BBC as a consequence of David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated interest which SAA were able to expolit.

Jon Danks head of UK&I marketing & communications, SAA said: “The integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows.

“Our tie up with Charley and Channel 5 presented...


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