Innovation luring Aussies out to sea: RCI

Innovation luring Aussies out to sea: RCI
By admin

The lack of innovation in Australian land-based tourism is seeing cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean prosper in the local market, according to its local boss.

Regional vice president Asia Pacific, Gavin Smith, described local tourism attractions on offer as "pretty basic" compared with their North American counterparts.

"There's not a lot of cutting edge investment going that's going into land-based tourism infrastructure in Australia," he told media.

"So I think we're doubly impactful because of the innovation we bring to the amenity offering on board a ship."

Las Vegas and Orlando were held up as examples of US attractions which have created substantial amenities targeted at tourists – the likes of which have not yet been seen in the Australian market.

"The North American mindset is very competitive because you've got such capable shoreside heavily amenity-based offerings which really the Australian market hasn't had exposure to," Smith said.

While Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel has in the order of 3,309 rooms, a water park and a 12,000 seat auditorium, the largest hotel in Sydney has a substantially smaller offering.

"So Voyager with around 1500 rooms is by far the largest hotel and largest restaurant in town," he said.

Cruises have traditionally been seen as "sedentary" compared with the other nature-based attractions on offer in Australia such as the beaches and Uluru, but Smith said the advent of cruise ships like Voyager, which features a rock climbing wall and ice skating rink, is changing that perception.

"That's part of the excitement about the Royal cruising brand because we're doing stuff nobody else has done," he said.

Meanwhile, Royal's president and chief executive, Adam Goldstein, said such innovations meant additional fees on board for services such as speciality restaurants, private instruction and vow renewal have to be implemented.

"We want the ticket purchase to encompass tremendous value but we need to have a user fee in the equation otherwise a lot of the things we have on board wouldn't be on offer," he said.

Goldstein promised the features aboard new ship Quantum which will launch in November 2014, will be among the "most exciting" ever offered by the cruise line, with more to be announced down the line.

However, he admitted that the sense of excitement around the new vessel, which will be Royal's first new ship in a number of years, had been somewhat muted by its size although it will still be the third biggest cruise ship ever built.

"Although we tried not to obssess about her size when we were designing her, everyone else was obssessing about her size," he said.

"But most would agree that nobody else goes to the lengths we go to to build new ships."

Latest News

  • Aviation

Senior management at Air India expected to keep jobs after Vistara merger

The Tata group is likely to retain the senior management of full-service airline Air India after its merger with Vistara, according to an Economic Times report. The report said Campbell Wilson will continue as CEO of Air India, while Nipun Aggarwal be chief commercial and transformation officer of the merged entity, while Sanjay Sharma will […]

  • Food & Beverage

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport launches Asian-Australian fusion menu

The newly refurbished PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport unveils a new Asian-Australian fusion menu for the onsite all-day dining Airo Restaurant. The menu debuts alongside the restaurant’s refurbishment and offers travellers a delicious selection while enjoying comfortable and stylish surroundings. It was created by PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport’s executive chef Jee Whan Lee with the goal of bringing […]

  • Cruise

HX names Alex McNeil as inaugural chief expedition officer

HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions) has announced that Alex McNeil will take on the newly created position of Chief Expedition Officer (CXO). This new C-suite role underscores HX’s commitment to immersive adventure travel, enhancing its legacy of almost 130 years in expeditions. As CXO, McNeil will oversee all aspects of HX’s global itinerary and expedition experience. His […]

  • Aviation
  • Technology

SITA wins Heathrow Airport’s confidence with contract extension for network infrastructure solutions

Global leader in air transport technology, SITA, signed a five-year extension with Heathrow Airport to support its vast and growing network infrastructure. The agreement sees SITA providing a wide range of network, telecommunications, and connectivity services, while introducing innovative new solutions to business operating within Heathrow. SITA has built a strong relationship with Heathrow since […]

  • Destinations
  • Events
  • Exhibitions

South Eveleigh announces winter series for August

Australia’s premier technology precinct, South Eveleigh, celebrates winter with a month-long series of community-focused and immersive experiences from 5 to 31 August 2024. The winter series programs aim to fuse entertainment, technology, education, food and beverage, and social responsibility. Portfolio manager for Mirvac, Jamie Toko, said the engaging four-week series will showcase South Eveleigh as […]

  • Events

Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street partners with Royal Botanic Gardens’ Lightscape show

The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street has announced a partnership with the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and its dazzling light show, Lightscape. The partnership looks to take guests to experience the light, nature, and wonder of the stunning display with a special hotel package. Lightscape promises to transform the Botanic Gardens after dark with […]

  • Hotels

The Rox Hobart offers premier venue for chic and intimate wedding celebrations

Known for providing boutique accommodations that offer a uniquely Tasmanian immersion, The Rox invites couples to experience its intimate charm for small wedding celebrations. The Rox Penthouse boasts 211sqm of self-contained opulence that features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to six guests. It also has indoor and outdoor spaces, including a rooftop […]

  • Travel Agents

New class of emerging leaders starts ATEC’s 2024 ELITE program

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has launched its 8th Emerging Leaders of Inbound Tourism Excellence (ELITE) program, the latest round to begin a journey to join more than 170 graduates. This year’s cohort of 30 comes from across all states and territories and represents the largest group since the program’s inception in 2015. “ATEC […]