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Flight Centre hosts VIP ‘Suitcase Party’ at Shangri-La London

Flight Centre hosts VIP ‘Suitcase Party’ at Shangri-La London Helen and John French were among the winners at the Flight Centre event in London

Flight Centre has hosted an exclusive ‘Suitcase Party’ last night at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard.

Organised in partnership with Destination New South Wales and Qantas, the invite-only event welcomed 100 VIP guests and loyal customers enjoy an evening of glamour complete with a Champagne reception and stunning views of the London skyline.

As part of the celebrations, those attending the event were offered the chance to win a holiday to a top-secret, long-haul destination.

However, there was just one catch: each guest was required to arrive with their suitcase packed in preparation to jet off that very same night!

Following much anticipation over the surprise destination, four lucky guests and their partners were chosen to win an incredible holiday each to New South Wales, Australia.

Flying with Qantas, the couples were whisked to London Heathrow before heading across to the other side of the world to experience an unforgettable ten night ‘Journey’ discovering Australia’s most spectacular State.

Commenting on the campaign, Chris Galanty, managing director of Flight Centre UK, said: “We were thrilled to host this fantastic event in partnership with Destination New South Wales and Qantas; it has been an honour to reward our customers for their ongoing loyalty and support.

“We are proud of our Australian heritage and we’re committed to delivering the best air fares and amazing travel experiences so that our customers can truly enjoy all that Australia, and in particular New South Wales, has to offer.”

Since opening its first store in Sydney in 1981, Flight Centre has grown to become one of the world’s leading Australian travel experts.

As accredited ‘Aussie Specialists’ in the UK, Flight Centre’s experienced consultants know Australia like no other travel company.

Offering an unrivalled selection of great value deals and a wealth of local expertise, Flight Centre is the most competitive and knowledgeable leader in Australian travel.

Destination NSW chief executive Sandra Chipchase said: “This event provided a great opportunity for us to showcase beautiful Sydney and New South Wales to UK visitors.

“We particularly look forward to welcoming the lucky winners to our fabulous city during Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.”

The UK is a primary tourism market for NSW. 

Results from the International Visitor Survey for the year ending September 2014, show that 340,984 visitors from the UK travelled to NSW and stayed on average 25 nights.

Eric Jelinek, Qantas regional general manager for the UK and Europe commented: “We were delighted to partner with Flight Centre and Destination New South Wales on this exciting event.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to support UK tour operators and showcase Australia to the world, so this was the perfect opportunity.

“We wish the lucky winners a fantastic trip to this beautiful destination and we hope they enjoy the delicious cuisine, superb wine and exceptional service on their Qantas flight.”

Take a look below for some highlights of the night:

Over 100 VIPs were invited to the exclusive Flight Centre event

Mick Heitzinger, product director at Flight Centre, offers his opening remarks

From left to right: Flight Centre’s Alan Durbin joins Isabella Byerley; Richard Keam; Paul Hawes, regional manager UK at Destination New South Wales; and Siobhan Burke of Destination New South Wales

Hayley and Stephen Smith step up to collect their prize

From left to right: Rick Guichelaar of Qantas; Paul Hawes; winners Peter and Alexandra Cawdrey; and Mick Heitzinger; and Chris Anderson, also of Qantas

From left to right: Rick Guichelaar of Qantas; Paul Hawes; winners Hayley and Stephen Smith; Mick Heitzinger; and Chris Anderson

From left to right: Rick Guichelaar; Paul Hawes; winners Jennifer and Ken Morgan; Mick Heitzinger; and Chris Anderson

Winners Jennifer and Ken Morgan