A Signature Media Publication

Beyond a Holiday…


Australia and Beyond Holidays is launching in the Middle East, although a relatively new inbound company in Australia its management team and ownership is by individuals who have been in the inbound tourism business for many years with significant experience. Managing Director Simon Bernardi is a former Managing Director of Qantas Holidays globally which at the time was Australia’s largest Holiday Company. General Manager Leon Ellas has had extensive experience with Qantas Holidays including a number of years leading the UK operation in London and Europe. Leon was more recently General Manager of Tour East Australia.


AABH is Australia’s premier inbound travel provider with products such as:

  • Tailor made itineraries
  • Series and school groups
  • Day touring
  • Online FIT system with global product
  • We are experts in Australian itineraries.

Since launching the company their focus has been  on series groups and tailor made itineraries, predominantly from South East Asia and China. In the last year, the company completed over 500 series groups for more than 12,000 customers. With the appointment of Mr. Ellas, the company will now grow its focus on Western and Middle East markets. Leon has had extensive experience in these markets over the years and has a keen understanding of products required and valued by travelers from these regions. Across Borders was chosen by Australia and Beyond Holidays due to their experience and “reach” across the Middle Eastern markets. They are an established professional team throughout the region with an excellent successful track record. Across Borders is the appropriate partner to have in the Middle East because of their highly professional team and their undisputed knowledge of the travel trade in the areas they service.

The visitor statistics from the region to Australia have shown a growth of 5% versus the previous year and Australia and Beyond Holidays see the opportunity to provide additional reasons and itineraries for visitors from the Middle East to visit Australia by developing new itineraries, in Queensland in particular. Australia and Beyond Holidays are also keen to work with the trade in the Middle East by making available their online booking system. The system allows agents to book Hotels, Cars, Transfers and Activities globally in the one system.

The system has a focus on Australia with over 160 hotels in Sydney alone. In addition to Australia products, they also have available globally large allocations in the Far East and South Pacific in particular. Most products have dedicated allocations of inventory ensuring that customers can get access during peak times. Products include both “dynamic” and “static” rates and can be booked via the online portal at  www.aabh.com.au or we are also able to provide API / XML connections. Mr. Ellas tells us what he thinks about the exciting times ahead in 2018.

How has the year panned out for Australia & Beyond in 2018 so far?

The year is going well with clients coming to Australia and the South Pacific. Inbound Tourism is at an all-time high, with capacity into Australia with low airfares.  There has been an abundance of tourists visiting  Australia.

Could you elaborate on your partnership with Across Borders for UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain & Kuwait?

Australia and Beyond Holidays wanted to partner with a well-respected representation company and Across Borders with their experience and “reach” across the Middle Eastern markets was an obvious choice. They have an established professional team throughout the region with an excellent successful track record. We know that this is an excellent fit for both companies.

What according to you is the potential of the region for Australia & Beyond Holidays?

There is huge potential to grow the market even more and for people to experience not just the east coast of Australia but also other parts of Australia such as South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. With major Middle Eastern Carriers, now flying to many Australia cities there is no better time to visit Australia.

What key aspects of the Company’s programs would you like to highlight for the region?

That Australia and Beyond Holidays are able to tailor the client’s requirements. Such as private van transfers, many different apartment and hotel styles to choose from. Safe destination and the weather is extremely pleasant.

What according to you are the key attractions of the destination?

The Australian wildlife and natural beauty such as the Blue Mountains, the Great Barrier Reef, Philip Island just to make a few. There are also Theme Parks on the Gold Coast, many different styles of apartments in all cities. An excellent variety of cuisines to cater for all tastes.

Australia is not a new market to the region, however, the distance is quite a hurdle, how do you see overcoming this issue?

With many flights from the region, passengers have an option of a stopover in Asia or a direct flight into Australia. The destination is considered  safe, value for money, weather is perfect as it’s during the peak summer months in the Middle East.

Would there be any specific programs that would be launched for this region?

F.I.T offering

AABH is excited to launch in the Middle Eastern markets and is developing a number of itineraries including food options to enable customers to potentially stay longer and see some parts of Australia not widely known to the Middle East.