Royal Caribbean flags more Aussie growth

Royal Caribbean flags more Aussie growth
By admin

Royal Caribbean has reiterated the possibility of growing its fleet in Australia as it reported a record week of local sales.

Lisa Bauer, the Miami-based executive vice president global sales and marketing, said the market had more growth potential and revealed it would look to work through infrastructure challenges in order to expand operations.

She told media in Sydney yesterday that Australia was also a strategic market for its global operation.

"We see this market in two ways," she said. "One is developing cruising for the local market, the ability to home port here and to introduce people to cruising. Secondly, once they understand cruising, to travel to the rest of the world on our ships."

Australia complements its Asian – and worldwide – deployments and is a "great market in itself", she added.

"We have not announced anything, but we would like to have the opportunity to bring additional ships here. The market has a lot more potential," Bauer said.

She acknowledged that the greatest challenge to the sector's growth remained the "misconceptions that it is for the nearly dead, over fed and newly wed".

"Our challenge for cruising in general is trying to break down those barriers," she said, adding that the average age for its Royal Caribbean ships is 42.

"We partner exceptionally well with the travel agent community to try and get the message out that cruising is not the same with every brand," she continued. "We work hard with agents about matching the right customer with the right brand. That is very important."

As a former agent herself, Bauer said she had a "real appreciation" of how retailers have helped grow cruising and the Royal Caribbean brands.

Bauer's visit to Australia came as Royal Caribbean Australia managing director Gavin Smith said bookings last week came in at record levels.

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