Thursday, March 15, 2012

A world of unique, luxurious and cost-free retreats

Global house sitting website enabling Australians a smart way to travel and homeowners peace of mind

As holiday accommodation becomes increasingly expensive, house sitting is the savvy way for Australians to enjoy an affordable retreat either at home or overseas. This travel and lifestyle concept is for those who want to travel outside the traditional box and enjoy new options not to mention all the extra benefits housesitting offers. is a global house sitting website available to Australians offering two options; a great way to luxuriously travel world-wide while saving thousands of dollars on accommodation costs and being free from the confines of hotels and pre-planned itineraries. For Australian homeowners, it allows them to list their homes for free and review the profiles of hundreds of potential house sitters to care for their homes and pets when going away.

This unrivaled service has allowed many to enjoy house sitting opportunities in the United Kingdom and Europe as well as in over 50 other countries, including Australia. Whether looking for long term travel affordability or a week’s holiday, offers many new luxurious retreats, free of charge, around the globe, every day. offers historic mansions in France, thatched cottages in English villages to Georgian London homes, villas in Tuscany, Spain and Portugal, house boats in Amsterdam, and homes close to many ski resorts.

Once registered, a daily update of the latest house sits worldwide are emailed to members. It’s really only one click and you could be on your way to a new adventure and a lifestyle of travel.

For Australians seeking a solution for their home and pet care while they travel, provides comprehensive information about potential sitters. Homeowners can review the detailed profiles of ideal sitters keen to look after homes and pets, free of charge, by viewing online references, specific pet care experience, ratings from past house sitting assignments, police checks, photos and video profiles.

Kristine and Geoff McCarroll from Sydney, NSW, said “We joined and immediately secured one month on the island of Mallorca looking after a very large villa. It was not difficult to secure another in Spain in another beautiful home. We loved everything about our assignment; the country lifestyle with the comfort of the huge villas and with use of the host’s car, we are discovering the local markets and festivals too”.

House sitting is a savvy way to travel. It offers people the opportunity to experience a region living like a local rather than just staying in another hotel. It not only saves on accommodation costs but restaurant bills - and having your own kitchen offers the chance to visit local food markets and cook fresh regional produce. House sitting offers the chance to properly immerse within a local community, learn a language, get off the beaten track, and enjoy far more unique experiences than you’d usually find in any travel guidebook. It also offers the chance to ‘test’ living in another country if you are considering buying or moving overseas, or just to affordably travel the world looking after, and staying in decadent homes.

Australians are renowned travellers with family ties and connections around the world however, it may not always be convenient to stay with relatives therefore can be the perfect solution and a good suggestion to mention if you have friends coming to visit for a longer period of time.

Detailed information for both house sitters and homeowners looking for a sitter is easily navigated via the website at It’s full of tips and answers all questions that may be asked. is offering Australian homeowners free full membership to list their home for house sitting assignments (just enter the promotional code ‘Aus’ during the registration process.)

From just $29 Australians can join as a house sitter and save thousands on accommodation costs either in their own country or anywhere else in the world.

Vivid Sydney 2012 Lights up Australia's Harbour City

International artists and creatives are set to descend on Sydney with the announcement of the fourth annual Vivid Sydney program that will transform the city into a canvas of light, music and ideas from 25 May - 11 June.

The largest creative industries festival in the southern hemisphere, featuring live music performances at Sydney Opera House, creative industry events and large scale light installations around the harbour foreshore, Vivid Sydney was recently ranked as one of the world's top ten ideas festivals by The Guardian newspaper in the UK.

Developed by Destination NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government, Vivid showcases Sydney as the creative industries hub of the Asia Pacific, with over 500,000 visitors and Sydneysiders expected to attend the free and ticketed events this year.

In 2012 award-winning German light collective, URBANSCEEN will design the centrepiece of Vivid Sydney, the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails.

Announced today, Vivid Sydney 2012 includes 50 interactive and immersive light art sculptures, illuminated skyscrapers and large scale 3D mapping projections around the iconic Sydney Harbour foreshore. From huge 3D projections to giant glowing dandelions, fibre optic sea grass and animatronic dancing lamps, Vivid features light art works from Germany, France, Poland, Hong Kong, Scotland, USA, Brazil, Singapore and New Zealand to display with Australian works.

Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House features an astounding line-up of local and international artists including opening night act - the critically acclaimed English artist Florence + The Machine who will perform with the Ceremonial Orchestra, taking over the Concert Hall.

Vivid Ideas will explore new innovations and foster business connections with more than 100 industry and business events. Key note speakers include Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy and UK fashion talent, Henry Holland, from House of Holland.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said visitors and creative industry practitioners from across the world are invited to come to Sydney to experience Vivid.

"Vivid Sydney is an opportunity to see Australia's harbour city transformed in a new and exciting way through light, music and ideas," she said

The full Vivid Sydney program is available at
Sydney 2012 renders are available at


Shahpura, 65 km from Jaipur, a proposed greenfield airport on the Jaipur-Delhi highway.
New CAPA-SITA report highlights technology and innovation as catalysts to growth in the industry

A new report published today by CAPA – Centre for Aviation and air transport IT specialist SITA forecasts that India will become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020 and examines whether the country has the right investment, infrastructure and regulatory system to enable this growth. Technology and innovative practices will play a key role in meeting the challenge of growth but the report finds that IT is not always considered a tool of strategic importance.

The joint CAPA-SITA Report on Innovation and Technology: Opportunities for Transformation in Indian Aviation builds on a previous report produced in 2010. It provides an update on the IT landscape in India’s air transport industry, and also highlights some of the challenges in deploying innovative technology across the industry. The report incorporates the perspectives of the key stakeholders in the industry and makes some predictions for the future.

Indian aviation has changed hugely since 2000 when just one carrier flew overseas - today there are seven; passenger traffic has increased from 42 million to 150 million; and the country’s fleet has grown from 119 aircraft to 437. The low cost sector has grown massively and now represents 70 percent of the market. The CAPA-SITA report predicts that by 2020, 452 million passengers will fly each year and there will be 1,030 aircraft in the fleet. This will make India the world’s third largest aviation market.

Indian aviation has seen financial turbulence in recent years, but investment is vital if the industry is to meet the challenges of growth. Total investment in the Indian air transport industry since 2000 is estimated at US$27 billion and is expected to reach US$120 billion by 2020, of which US$80 billion will be spent on new aircraft. To meet the demands of air transport in 2020, up to US$2 billion will need to be spent on air traffic control and more than US$1.5 billion on upgrading security. According to the report, airline IT spend as a percentage of revenue ranges from one to three percent with 70 percent of those surveyed expecting their IT spend to increase. The key drivers for investment are operational efficiency; enhancing the customer experience; and cost reductions. Mobility is a key focus with 90 percent of respondents expecting to increase investment in this area.

Dr. Nasim Zaidi, Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, said: “The huge growth in air traffic presents a number of challenges. To address these, investment in infrastructure and skills will be needed. Perhaps even more importantly, technological innovation will be required to bring efficiency and speed to the sector. The initiative by SITA and CAPA to prepare this report on the state of technology adoption and innovation in Indian aviation today, and the outlook for the future is appreciated and will be helpful for the Indian air transport Industry. “

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Country Director – India and Subcontinent SITA, said: “India is poised to emerge as the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020. This level of growth is inevitably accompanied by significant challenges and innovation will play an important part in addressing these to support the growing demands of India’s aviation. SITA has been a catalyst for innovation in the Indian air transport community for over 60 years. We have been instrumental in bringing new technology to India and today, we are involved in all aspects of air transport in the country. We are once again proud to be working with CAPA to produce this valuable report on the state of the industry. As the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, we look forward to continuing to work with the Indian aviation community and the Government to drive innovation during this exciting period of transformation and change.”

Since the 2010 report, deployment of technology has been slow due to financial constraints but there has been increased deployment of key IT solutions including websites for sales; implementation of Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) in airports; Common Use Self Service (CUSS); baggage reconciliation systems; flight information display systems; and others. Over the next few years the report forecasts an increase in mobility solutions including mobile check-in; biometric identification systems; increasing use of the Cloud and social media applications amongst other developments.

Kapil Kaul, CEO CAPA India, said: “Technology today has the potential to become far more pervasive and to transform the operations of airlines, airports, service providers and border control. The aviation industry can leverage technology not only to deliver functionality and cost efficiencies, but to drive enhanced passenger experiences, new commercial revenue streams and improved security. In this report we set out to understand whether India’s aviation industry is positioned to grasp these opportunities, and to present a roadmap for the future.”

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