The dramatic growth in Australian ocean cruise passenger numbers slowed dramatically during 2017, growing 4.4%, compared with compared with 21% in 2016, according to figures released today by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia. More than 1.34 million Australians took an ocean cruise in 2017, said CLIA Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz. More
Vivid Sydney – the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas – starts this Friday. More
The Thai Government has announced Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi will be off-limits to tourists from June 1 to September 30 so that a proper assessment of the impact heavy tourism has had on the iconic destination, famous as the setting of ‘The Beach‘, a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, can be carried out. Boats will not be allowed to enter Maya Bay or drop anchor nearby in a move that follows the sensational closure of Boracay in the Philippines and signals a regional shift in attitude toward over-tourism and the potential damage it is inflicting on destinations.
– Sydney, October 24, 2018 –
Travel IQ is a new one-day conference that celebrates the business of travel with the people who live it every day: entrepreneurs, owners, directors, investors and managers. More
Airbnb’s regional boss Sam McDonagh read a well-written speech, packed with broad concepts and catchy phrases but short on detail, to a gathering of industry leaders at the TTF Outlook conference in Sydney yesterday.
In his address, McDonagh propagated the argument that industry commentators are promoting a “false choice between the sharing economy and traditional operators, between disruptors and the disrupted, and yes – between Airbnb and hotels.” More
I love a good chart and this one tickled my fancy. It shows international travel by Australians is flat-lining in much the same way it did during the Global Financial Crisis 10 years ago. More
Agoda, the original Asian OTA, has gone rogue on pricing. Multiple hoteliers say Agoda regularly sells unauthorized static wholesale rates through the site, undercutting them on price without any regard for contracts.
Other times the feeling is Agoda takes a contracted rate and shaves its margin to push the price below competitor and hotel pricing. More
Iconic travel publisher Lonely Planet is on the market and CEO Daniel Houghton is leaving the company, Skift reports. Lonely Planet is owned by NC2 , which bought it from BBC Worldwide in March 2013 for GBP51.2 million. BBC lost a bundle on Lonely Planet, which it acquired from founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler back in 2007. See Skift story.
A bullish Cebu Pacific Air, the Philippines’ largest airline, is forecasting passenger growth of 12% for 2018 despite the controversial closure of key destination Boracay for six months from April 26. Cebu says the dramatic increase – which compares to 3% total growth through 2017 – will be driven by its rapidly expanding international network with markets such as Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong, Narita, Taipei and Incheon performing strongly and new routes planned. More
Losing Flight Centre as a client will cost the Travelport GDS around $US36 million a year based on its first quarter results, which revealed “Travel Commerce Platform revenue decreased in (i) Asia Pacific by $9 million, or 6%, primarily due to the loss of a large travel agency in the Pacific region.” That would be Flight Centre, which has shifted its airline business to the Sabre, which looks after the retail giant in Australasia and North America, Amadeus has picked up Europe.
Just 3% of commercial pilots are women but Virgin Australia is doing its bit to right the imbalance, aiming for an equal male/female intake in its 2018 Pilot Cadetship program.
“In what’s typically a male dominated area of the industry, we’re encouraging more females to consider aviation as a career and apply for this program,” said Virgin Australia Group Executive People, Lucinda Gemmell.
“Globally, just 3% per cent of pilots are women. More
Visitors numbers to Antarctica, one of the world’s most desirable, remote and expensive destinations, have risen sharply with a 16% year on year increase for the 2017/18 cruising season when a total of 51,707 tourists made the long journey south.
Total visits have risen 38% since 2013/14. The United States remains by far the biggest market with 33% market share, followed by China 16%, Australia 11%, Germany/UK 7%. More
Luxury property rental platform onefinestay has finally launched in Australia, adding 22 Sydney properties to its global portfolio, soon to be followed by 20 in Melbourne and 10 in Noosa. New Zealand is coming online in June, starting with Auckland, Wanaka and Queenstown. The company has employed Vara Glover (Australia) and Daniel Holwerda (NZ) to accelerate regional growth. onefinestay now has more than 10,000 properties.
AccorHotels has agreed to buy Swiss accommodation group Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, which operates more than 80 properties in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, for 560 million Swiss Francs. It’s the latest acquisition among many for AccorHotels, which over the past three years has bought FHRHI Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel), luxury home rental business onefinestay, Australia’s Mantra Group and several technology and digital marketing companies.
There’s been a bitter backlash from Adelaide’s advertising community over a decision by the South Australian Tourism Commission to go outside state borders and award its coveted creative advertising contract, worth almost $5m, to Melbourne agency TBWA.
The account is the most lucrative in South Australia (think about that) and had been held for the past 20 years by local outfit KWP, who made the final round of the tender process but were ultimately overlooked – a move that’s been branded an “absolute disgrace” by the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club. More
AccorHotels is one of the world’s largest accommodation companies with more than 4500 properties under management, many of them hotels. But that’s not how Accor sees itself. In a recent release announcing a deeper relationship with Chinese OTA Ctrip, the company’s brand positioning declared that AccorHotels is a “world-leading lifestyle and travel and digital innovator”. Not a hotelier. Interesting.
Known for its private though provocative nature, Airbnb is becoming increasingly willing to share data as it moves further into the tourism mainstream. For the sake of having a reference point, here are the 2017 Australian statistics Airbnb recently made public: More
There’s a technology and aggregation arms race on in the tours and activities sector. First to fire a shot was Booking Holdings, which announced the purchase FareHarbor last Thursday. Following day, TripAdvisor said it’s buying Bokun which, like FareHarbor, also provides booking, admin and distribution technology to tours and activities operators. More
In further confirmation that the tours and activities sector is hot, hot, hot, industry giant Booking Holdings is buying the sector’s largest online booking and reservation management platform, FareHarbor, which has more than 5000 clients and 200 employees. “We see an immense opportunity to leverage this technology to bring more local experiences online,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com, adding that FareHarbor will operate as an “independent business”.
Tourists continue to steer clear of the Gold Coast theme parks with Village Roadshow reporting a slump in business, saying it may lose up to $10 million for the financial year.
Just a couple of months ago Village had forecast an underlying profit of between $12 million to $17 million.
How could things go so wrong, so quickly?
Village says tourists have stayed away due to bad weather and competition from the Commonwealth Games. More
Marriott International, the world’s largest hotelier, is merging its three loyalty schemes, introducing “one set of unified benefits” across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs. More
Hoteliers, stand aside. New stats from Tourism Research Australia show it’s not a question of if but when your mantle as the top provider of accommodation to international tourists will be passed to the thousands of Aussie individuals and businesses who are marketing their short-term rental play through the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway. More
New research claims that 42.5% of Australian adults still book international holidays through their local travel agents, vastly in excess of the reputed 15.5% who head to the web to do the deed with an online travel agent. But what of the other 42%? Regrettably, the Roy Morgan Travel Agent Report media release does not say. You have to assume these are the people who are booking direct, no doubt using the web.
SeaLink Travel Group, which recently diversified from shipping into accommodation, has further spread its wings by investing $3.2 million in UWAI, a new Chinese travel marketing app part-owned by Chairman Andrew McEvoy while also becoming its largest customer.
UWAI markets local travel businesses to Chinese tourists. Its name translates as “travel overseas” in Mandarin and has been successfully trialled in South Australia, where 1500 businesses have signed up.
“We believe it will appeal to the fast-growing Chinese free independent traveller segment which is an increasingly important More
Marriott International says it will employ 19,000 new staff in Asia Pacific by the end of this year.
That’s around 500 a week – demonstrating the value (in terms of employment at least) hotels bring their local communities.
The new staff will be employed in 80 new hotels due to open by late December More
The supply of new rooms in Sydney during March increased 5% – the biggest growth spurt since the 2000 Olympics – however local hotels were still able to increase room rates despite a marginal fall in occupancy due to continuing strong demand. STR reports Sydney’s average March room rate exceeded $250, occupancy was 89% while RevPAR rose 0.8% to $226.
It’s an unfortunate fact that Manus Island north of Papua New Guinea has a horrible reputation defined by an exceptionally controversial offshore detention centre for refugees.
Commissioned and paid for by the Australian Government, four asylum seekers have died while there’s been endless negative news stories based around alleged abuse of human rights.