Tyson Stelzer A Regular on Travel Writers Radio

Internationally acclaimed wine expert, wine author, TV host and speaker Tyson Stelzer, is the resident wine expert for the Travel Writers Radio Show.

Tyson is a member of the Professional Association of Lifestyle and Travel Writers (PALAT) and has been a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year titkle over a number of years.

Tyson Stelzer

He has 15 wine books to his name (including The Champagne Guide – the benchmark global reference to champagne), is a regular judge at wine shows; co-creator with UK wine writer Matthew Jukes of The Great Australian Red competition and host of the groundbreaking new television series, People of the Vines.

Tyson will cover everything from what life is really like when you ‘live in the vines’, to his latest wine discoveries and how the world of wine is evolving.

Executive Producer Graeme Kemlo says it is a privilege to have someone of Tyson’s calibre on the show.  “Our aim is not only to entertain and engage our listeners but to inform them through the most credible authoritative figures in the industry. Tyson has been described as ‘the next James Halliday’, a sure validation of where we have positioned our radio segment,”  Graeme said.



150 reasons to celebrate at Travel Writers Radio

This week Travel Writers Radio celebrates its 150th episode.   In a little over three years the show has amassed about 1000 interviews and more than 800 of them are now available to download at https:/soundcloud.com/travelwritersradio.

Travel Writers Radio is produced and presented by the Professional Association of Lifestyle and Travel Writers (PALAT) Travel Writers Radio is a weekly program covering the “flavours” of travel – food, beverages, wellness and lifestyle – plus all forms of travel and tourism experiences whether for business or leisure.  Travel and tourism is a vital economic activity for many countries and we are Australia’s only prime-time radio program covering the business events/MICE sector.  Importantly, we interview the people making a difference in our industry, people who love their jobs and happily share their stories, their interesting destinations or the serendipity of simply wandering the world.

Heard every Wednesday drive time ( from 5 pm to 7pm ) on J-AIR 87.8FM radio in Melbourne, Travel Writers Radio also broadcasts live via the Internet at http://www.j-air.com.au. We have iOS and Android smartphone apps and we have a podcast facility, now hosted on our own SoundCloud site – https:/soundcloud.com/travelwritersradio

As a PALAT member we invite you to contribute editorial content to the show. If you are a member of the travel industry we welcome your story suggestions on topics you believe would be of interest to our audience. Just email us – info@travelwritersradio.com.

PALAT members are professional journalists, authors, photographers, videographers and broadcasters – all storytellers working across a range of media from print to online.  If you fit one of these categories, or are studying a recognised tertiary degree course in any of these disciplines we welcome your inquiry about membership. We currently have members across Australasia, USA, and Europe. We’re a small but growing organisation with local experience and a global perspective of the benefits of travel to broaden the mind and enlighten both reporter and listener.


Travelling with a Twist – Health and Fitness Holidays

Samantha Lippiatt spent quite a few years in the ‘mainstream’ of the travel business; a few years she had this idea about health, wellness and travel so she went in search of an opportunity and found it with a business called Health and Fitness Travel.  Samantha is now an entrepreneur, healthy lifestyle advocate and co-founder of Australia’s first speciality wellness travel company Health and Fitness Travel. She has an unbridled enthusiasm for all things travel, health and fitness and is committed to providing healthy holidays options that not only enhance but change lives.

Peace and harmony
Peace and harmony

I caught up with Sam  – on the Travel Writers Show -on Melbourne’s J-Air just few days ago and asked her first:

How did you get into the Health and Fitness Travel Business?

I wanted to combine my passions for wellness and travel, originally I was looking to set up my own retreat and in doing so I noticed there was no platform on which to market these types of holidays even though my research showed it was becoming increasingly popular. My personal experience and market research showed me that travellers, particularly within the wellness sector, wanted a trustworthy, knowledgeable and localised contact to help guide them through their booking experience and to help them explore the many options on offer.

During my research I came across Health and Fitness Travel in the UK, the “experts in tailor-made healthy holidays”; and after studying them and their business model I knew I had to bring this business to Australia. It was immediately well received with many travellers calling in and telling us how they had been on the lookout for such a business and booking up their healthy holidays and it continues to gain popularity and followers month-on-month.

Wellness tourism is a fast growing market segment – up so 35% over the last few years is that what you see in your business:

The local wellness tourism sector is growing every day with more and more Australians seeking better ways to take care of themselves and to improve their lifestyle. There is a growing segment of travellers who are even taking trips specifically focused on maintaining and improving their personal health and well-being. This is driving the growth of wellness tourism and we can’t wait to see Wellness Travel go mainstream.

What sort of holidays are people buying:

There is a big focus early in the year on fitness and overall healthy lifestyles to kick-start the New Year, and lots of de-stress and relaxation holidays booked for later in the year to give travellers something to look forward to as they move into another busy year.  A big trend we have identified is the Yoga fusion holiday where guests combine yoga with another interest such as Yoga and spa to de-stress, Yoga and Stand up Paddle-board for fitness and fun. There are others who want to explore the country in which they are travelling, so they look at our bespoke Discover Recover range.
One property in particular is very popular with Australian Travellers and a personal favourite of mine, Kamalaya in Koh Samui Thailand and I believe that is due to the wide range of programs on offer. From detox to fitness and even a program tailored especially around embracing major life change there is something on offer for every wellness traveller.

Tai Chi in the Mountains
Tai Chi in the Mountains

You have a great website; does that drive a lot of traffic:

We are really proud of our website, it is easy to navigate, provides the option to browse by destination, specific health and fitness holiday experiences or preferred time of year to travel. We also have a great blog attached to it with lots of wellness industry information and industry experts including personal trainers, sports instructors, nutritionists and yoga teachers, as well as local destination specialists will often share advice for our readers. This year we will be adding more functionality and creating a mobile friendly version as we know lots of our clients like to research on their lunch-break via their hand held devices.

You seem to have a very full range of holidays on offer:

Health and Fitness Travel provides clients with a huge range of bespoke active and wellness getaways worldwide; from fitness, to detox and de-stress programs through to comprehensive well-being spa and rejuvenation retreats, and we can tailor make the perfect health and fitness holidays to suit our clients goals and interests. We have even created our own exclusive range “Fusion Fitness” holidays that allows us to create a program unique to the traveller with many leading properties where this option did not exist before.

So whether people want to be active on holiday and learn a new activity such as kite-surfing, mountain biking, diving and tennis, or simply relax in a spa, meditate or participate in a yoga class, detox or fitness program, we’ll find the perfect health and fitness holiday for them.

Morning fitness with a view
Morning fitness with a view

Do you regularly have special offers available:

Yes we do – We promote all of our latest offers via the website, and as part of our negotiations we are often able to include special bonus inclusions exclusively for guests of Health and Fitness Travel.

Do you have a personal favourite H&F destination:

There are so many, we have a just partnered with a fantastic collective of luxury walks in Australia (Great walks of Australia) and I am about to join one to explore down in Tasmania and I am really looking forward to it.
Some of my all-time favourites very close to home are:

Aro Ha Retreat, perfect for a detox and fitness holiday located just outside of Queenstown, New Zealand offering an all-inclusive eco-friendly retreat where you begin and end your days with yoga and in-between explore the stunning scenery with sub-alpine hiking, my husband loved this property and we both felt so revitalised after our stay.  COMO Shambhala in Bali, is fantastic for a de-stress and relaxation holiday where you can focus on your total wellbeing, Guest teachers and practitioners fly in from all over the world to this spectacular wellness sanctuary. The spa is world class and the food is so healthy but delicious. What more could you ask for?
San went on to offer a couple of specials for our listeners on J-Air and they are in fact still available for any readers who wish to take advantage of them: To find out more go to the website: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com.au

Peter Watson

For those who want to read more about the global growth in wellness travel, there is a comprehensive report available on the Global Wellness Summit http://bit.ly/1641rVg

Blumenthal’s ‘The Fat Duck’ set for Migration to Melbourne


Melbourne has scored a major culinary coup with the announcement that esteemed chef Heston Blumenthal will shut the doors to his three Michelin starred restaurant, The Fat Duck in the UK, and reopen in the world’s most liveable city.

A former recipient of ‘The Best Restaurant in the World’, The Fat Duck will close for the Christmas break and relocate for six months to Crown Towers in January 2015, with an opening date marked for February.

This will be Blumenthal’s first international venture, which was met with cheers from the audience when he made the announcement at a media conference earlier this week.

“This is not a pop-up restaurant. This is not a chef coming over to do a few weeks in someone else’s restaurant. We are going to pick up The Fat Duck, the whole team, and fly them over,” he said.

“It will probably be the furthest migration that any duck, let alone a big fat duck, has made.”

The Fat Duck will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015 and is in need of a major renovation. This coupled with the fact that Blumenthal has a long-held desire to open a restaurant in Australia made the choice to migrate to Melbourne an easy one.

“I just couldn’t bear the thought of closing for an extended period. When we first started conversations with Crown I saw the potential of the situation and really began to hope. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

“The restaurant scene (in Melbourne) is fantastic, the diversity exciting, and the produce incredible, but better than all of that, the people are just great fun. I love how Australian people celebrate good food; there is such a love of everything from coffee shops to gourmet restaurants and everything in between.”

And foodies fear not. At the end of the six-month period, The Fact Duck will not leave a Heston-sized hole; in its place will be a permanent fixture – Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

Dinner in Melbourne will be the fifth jewel in Blumenthal’s crown, with other establishments including its namesake in London, The Perfectionists’ Café at Heathrow Airport and The Hinds Head, The Crown at Bray and The Fact Duck all in Bray in the UK.

Crown Resorts Chairman, James Packer said, “To attract an internationally renowned chef and innovator of Heston’s calibre is a reflection on Melbourne’s culinary reputation and Crown’s commitment to dining excellence.

“The relocation of the coveted restaurant will be a big boost for local tourism, attracting interstate and international guests to Melbourne so they can experience a once in a lifetime dining opportunity.”

Melbourne Minute – The City’s Best Meatballs

Move over hamburgers and other meaty treats – make way for the meatball! The humble meatball has been revolutionised and is popping up all over Melbourne in various guises.

The Meatball & Wine Bar in Richmond and the city is, without a doubt, Melbourne’s meatball mecca. It’s what the ‘G is to footy and the Espy is to live music.

Over in South Melbourne there’s a brand new hole-in-the-wall cafe, Mama’s Meatballs, dedicated to these round morsels of goodness, or for traditional Italian meatballs try Rosetta at Crown or Rossini in Malvern.

In Abbotsford, you’ll find the best homemade pork balls at Jinda Thai, while The Meatball Company takes their mobile kitchen all over town and is sure to pop up at a festival near you.

Finally, head to The Fresh Pasta Shop at the Prahran Market for the best Thai Chicken and Cambodian Beef Meatballs, or pop into Stocked in Hawksburn Village for some tempting takeaways.

And that’s Melbourne’s best meatballs for the Melbourne Minute.

You can read the full article at The Urban List Melbourne.

Walking Saigon

“You want cheap ride Saigon River”, is what the Rickshaw man is shouting, although it takes me a few minutes to work it out properly, his lack of front teeth and his very fractured English make him a tad hard to understand.  But I do get it in the end.  In fact cheap rides to the Saigon River seem like the special of the morning because it was what I am constantly being offered on my early morning walk through the streets, towards (yes – you guessed it) the Saigon River.

It is overcast, a bit misty, already quite warm, even at six thirty on a Monday morning, but not yet oppressive, that will, no doubt, come later.  I thought I might, just might, beat the Rickshaw boys by being out this early.  I really thought that I might escape the constant barrage of offers, suggestions and questions about where I am from; but no, silly me, of course they are there out and about touting for business as good self-employed workers should, they were clearly taught, as I was, that “the early bird catches the worm.”Mind you, this worm has not been caught, well not yet anyway, because walking is the thing and the actual destination does not matter.  

The square near the Ben Tanh Market
Traffic in the square near the Ben Tanh Market

I do not know about you but I like watching cities wake up, they are all different, and they all rub the sleep out of their eyes in their own special way.  Saigon sort of drifts into consciousness, it does not explode at a frantic pace like New York; it does not stretch, yawn and belch like Cairo and it certainly does burst into life with the very British bustle of London.  Saigon wakens slowly, sluggishly a little bit like the Saigon River that drifts slowly past but with a purpose and with a lot of people moving about.

The big event of the morning appears to be breakfast on the street, everywhere there are locals partaking of Tea, Coffee; both the hot and the iced versions or some other concoction that looks suspiciously like beer but I am sure is not, whilst squatted on small stools, or just on their heels Asian style (how do they do that by the way, and seem so comfortable); or sitting in doorways or even just standing around.  The drinks are very personal with each person having their own little pot or cafetiere in which they brew their own drink.  Then they serve themselves in their own cup, mug or glass; so they are not served as in a Melbourne coffee shop and it is much more like a home brew.  The food is a bun of some sort stuffed with a variety of fillings – or fruit.  It is all consumed at an unhurried pace before the business of the day begins.

As I walk things sprung to life all around me, lottery ticket sellers are everywhere, spruiking their wares at the workers, cigarette and postcard sellers are out and about pushing their products, working men head to work in an unhurried but purposeful way, while a few “working girls” (out late) hurry home, maybe they have to get ready to work their day job.  The traffic increases as I approach the river, the noise level also, as the car horns start up their almost endless cacophony, a noise level that will last all day.

Just step out - don't blink - just go
Just step out – don’t blink – just go

The traffic around the river is getting busy, cars, bikes, rickshaws, pushbikes and even hand pushed barrows all compete for space along the main road and I need to cross through it all to get to my (self-imposed) destination, the river.  So with total confidence I step off to cross the street, a Rickshaw Man (the one with no teeth) immediately jumps out between me and the traffic, to protect me (completely unneeded) is what he wants me to think but more to impress me is what I guess.

 Just a word about Rickshaw Man; he has been following me now for the 30 plus minutes that I have been walking and a single word springs to my mind: “sequencing”!  Matthew Reilly in his first book “The Contest” used the word “sequencing” to explain how the strange collection of creatures who were all involved in the contest could follow one another before the battle officially began.  They could not touch one another but they could follow; he called if “sequencing”.  It adequately describes Rickshaw Mans behaviour.

River reached I walk along the waterfront heading away from my hotel for 10 more minutes then I will turn and walk across town going home via a different route.  He is still sequencing me, his efforts to get me on board increase and they are becoming tiresome and wearying.  As I turn for home I reach into my Billy Connelly book of quotations and use his (and my) favourite expression for “Go Away!”  The two word expression, of which the second word is “off”, has the desired effect, he understands it, mutters something in Vietnamese, I suspect not dissimilar to what I have just said and goes; but we are fated to meet later in the morning; but that indeed is another story.

Slow moving traffic on the river
Slow moving traffic on the river

Through the increasing traffic and increasing numbers of people I walk, at a leisurely pace back to my hotel, the Sheraton Saigon, when I finally arrive the girl on the door greets my like a long lost friend, “enjoy your walk sir” is her question; “most of it” is my answer, “ but Rickshaw Man was a bit of a pain”.  She does not get it, of course, and just smiles sweetly and welcomes me into the blissful cool and relative quiet of the hotel lobby.

Walking Saigon first thing in the morning is great fun, quite educational and a good way to start to your day, just try to stay away from Rickshaw Man!   If that fails then perhaps put my Billy Connelly vocabulary, or your own personal equivalent of it to work first off; it might not be PC but it will get you some peace, for a while!

So its over to you – Tell us about waking up in your favourite city – and your experience – just reply here with a contact and we will get back to you or send us an SMS to 0479 355 566 – and we just may call and talk to you on the Travel Writers Show

Melbourne Minute – The City’s Best Salads


Eating out while on a diet cleanse can be torture, so I’ve found Melbourne’s best salads, which will leave you feeling guilt free and sufficiently sated.

Richmond’s Pillar of Salt has the best super food salad, while Coburg’s Little Deer Tracks has the best vego option.

For Mexican madness, head to Fonda in Richmond or Windsor, or for the most variety pop into Cooper and Milla’s in Armadale or Hawksburn.

The smoked chicken salad at Charlie Dumpling in Prahran is the city’s best new comer, but for the best value in town you can’t go past the vermicelli noodle salad at VPR Vietnamese Street Food in Southbank’s Freshwater Place.

If you’re hanging for high end then head to The European on Spring Street for the nicoise salad, or if you’re hungry and in a hurry then Crisp is your go to in two city locations.

And that’s Melbourne’s best salads all wrapped up for the Melbourne Minute.

To read the full article vist The Urban List, Melbourne.

Rebecca Elliott

Travel Writers radio show supplementary information posted here

MELBOURNE – The Travel Writers radio show, an initiative of IFWTWA’s Australasia division premiered today on J-AIR and featured:

Belmond logo09

An interview with Andrea Filippi, Sales Director for the former Orient Express hotels (now http://www.belmond.com) on why the company changed its iconic name;

Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau (www.mcb.c om.au) on the importance of business events to Melbourne and to the leisure market; a segment of great tips for cruising the world’s seas; plus details on upcoming elements of the show, designed to entertain, inform and inspire.

Listeners to J-AIR on the internet (and shortly on on Melbourne’s 87.8 FM) will have access to extra information about the show and its food wine and travel segments, including photos, grahpics, links to products, places and ideas.  In addition there will be a link to our podcast of the show each week:
Feel free to share the links and the blog address – https://foodwinetraveltips.wordpress.com.
We welcome your comments, suggestions, story ideas – J-AIR studio SMS 0497 355 566 – to Peter Watson or Graeme Kemlo on Wednesdays at 1 pm – 2pm Melbourne time.  View from Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Melbourne – home to new travel writers radio show

The Travel Writers radio show features the global members of IFWTWA – the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association – reporting from around Australia and around the world on food wine and travel.

– Graeme Kemlo

IFWTWA Australasia launches Travel Writers radio show

ifwtwaAUST-smlsqThe International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), a global network of journalists who cover the hospitality and lifestyle fields, today launched the Travel Writers radio show, an initiative of IFWTWA’s Australasia division.
The program will be heard on Melbourne’s newest FM station J-AIR and via the Internet to a mobile and a global audience (www.j-air.com.au).  J-AIR is a community-based broadcaster with a narrowcast commercial FM licence to transmit for 10 km around Caulfield to a potential audience of almost one million people.  J-AIR has been broadcasting via the Internet for 18 months, but its FM signal is expected to be live later this month at 87.8 FM. The Travel Writers radio show airs Wednesdays at 1pm (AEST), hosted by industry veterans, Graeme Kemlo and Peter Watson.
Announcing the move, IFWTWA Australasia chair, Graeme Kemlo, said the program covering both leisure and business travel topics as well as culinary and wine tourism.
“It is designed to entertain, inform and inspire”.  It features IFWTWA members from across its global membership base reporting the latest travel news, interviews, travel tips, reviews of destinations, food, wine and unique experiences for travellers around the world, or around the corner in Australia’s cities and regions.
“We have a wonderful network of experienced travellers who cover the globe in words and pictures and will provide first-hand accounts of their adventures.  It will be a collaborative effort co-ordinated from Melbourne with reporting by members across Australia, South East Asia, the South Pacific, United States, Canada and Europe,” Graeme said.
“The ‘wireless’, as we once described it, is a wonderful medium that allows a listener to dream of exotic locations and aspirational experiences.  So, alongside the expertise of our writers in food, wine and travel – many have their own columns, travel apps, books, websites and blogs – we’ll supplement their radio reportage with information and images posted to the IFWTWA website (www.ifwtwa.org) and the blog – foodwinetraveltips,” he said.
Peter Watson, who spent many years as a senior executive in the Australian travel industry, said the program was also designed to lift the veil on the industry for travel consumers and would cover topics such as: should you book everything on the Net; how far out should you buy an air ticket/ hotel/cruise; how (not) to get an upgrade; travel health; the best travel technology; how to identify and avoid travel scams; should you believe online hotel reviews; and how to choose from the myriad of travel money options.

Here’s a link to the podcast of the first episode –

– Graeme Kemlo

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