Friday, February 20, 2009

Discover Croatia by sea

Croatia has captured the imagination of Australians with its blend of natural beauty, friendly people and culture steeped in history.

And now holidaymakers looking for the ultimate Croatia experience can sail the entire Adriatic shoreline with Sunsail Yacht Charters.

The world's leading sailing holiday company has just opened a fourth base, in Pula, meaning guests can now sail all the way from Pula in the north, down the coast to the Kornati archipelago, on to Kremik with its breathtaking forests and waterfalls and from there to the famous Medieval walled city of Dubrovnik.

With its gentle 5 to 20 knot winds, calm, clear waters, secluded beaches, quiet anchorages and 1,100 islands and islets to explore, Croatia offers idyllic sailing conditions.

"Croatia has become more and more popular with Australian holidaymakers," said Sunsail's marketing manager Kim Lehmann.

"We have gone from two bases - in Kremik and Dubrovnik - to four bases in the past few years with the opening of our flotilla base Sibenik and now Pula.

"Guests can choose to explore the waters surrounding just one or two bases, or they can take advantage of the fact Sunsail now has four bases and sail the entire length of the Adriatic shoreline.

"In fact, there is so much to see in these waters that some guests return again and again to explore somewhere new each time."

Sunsail's fleet of high-specification luxury yachts and catamarans cater for every kind of sailing experience and holiday.

Guests' comfort is as important as the safety and performance of the yachts, which can be hired with or without a skipper.

The best time to sail in Croatia is during the northern hemisphere summer, between April and October. For more information call 1800 803 988 or visit

Special introductory offer: 10% discount off yacht charter price for all new bookings to Pula during the 2009 season (subject to availability). Plus, if you've sailed with Sunsail before, you also qualify for a repeat charterer loyalty discount (available on direct bookings only).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Survey finds travelers looking for short breaks and cheaper alternatives in 2009

Despite economic turbulence worldwide, the Asia Pacific tourism industry has received a welcome boost from data contained in the Visa and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Asia Pacific Travel Intentions Survey ‘Determining Travel Preferences in 2009 and Beyond'1.

The survey found that of the 5,554 people surveyed, 36 percent said they did not expect to make any changes to their travel plans in the near future while 64 percent of respondents were reviewing their plans in the light of economic uncertainty.

Among those respondents reviewing their plans, 57 percent said they would still travel but would look for cheaper alternatives while 38 percent said they would travel within their own country instead. Only 36 percent said they would postpone their travel as a result of economic uncertainty.

Meranda Chan, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, and PATA Board Director, said: "While the global economic situation will impact tourism, it is unlikely to bring travel to a standstill. What our survey has shown is that travelers will be more creative in their selection of destinations."

Greg Duffell, President and CEO - PATA said: "The travel and tourism industry is a major employer in nearly every destination in Asia Pacific. Indeed, the top two global markets for travel and tourism employment are China (74.5 million jobs) and India (30.5 million jobs) with Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand also in the top 10. We must never understate the importance of working with the travel industry to shape promotions and offerings that suit travelers' desires for new and economically sensitive travel options - and it's vitally important that the industry delivers innovative and creative solutions to keep these people traveling."
Still traveling

Australians, British, Singaporeans, Indians, French and Americans were less likely than the average respondent to let economic concerns keep them from travelling.

Those in Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and China were more likely than the average to have their plans affected.

Travelers aged 45 and over were far more likely to keep their travel plans intact compared with those in younger age groups.

More than half of the frequent travelers2 and high spend3 travelers surveyed said their plans would not be affected by the economic downturn.
Revising plans

Of those travelers who said their plans would be affected, less expensive destinations or itineraries were more popular than average for those from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Chinese Taipei and China. Downsizing travel plans was also a popular option for frequent travelers surveyed, with 70 percent saying that they would seek less expensive alternatives such as a change in destination or itinerary.

Domestic travel was an option being considered by 38 percent of respondents, with more travelers from Japan, India, Chinese Taipei, the United States and China opting for local holidays. Women were more likely than men to select the domestic option; infrequent travelers were more likely to take the domestic travel route.
Postponing travel

Travelers surveyed who said they were planning to postpone travel in the near future were more likely than average to be from China, Chinese Taipei, the United States, Korea, India, Australia and Hong Kong. Men were also more likely than women to hold off on travel plans altogether based on economic uncertainties.

Chan said: "Considering the timing of this survey - when fuel prices were high and the global economy was already showing signs of a slowdown - the fact that travelers from Asia Pacific's key source marketplaces were looking to adapt by choosing less expensive holidays or traveling in their own country should be a comfort to the regional tourism industry."

"While things may have slowed down, this is the perfect time for travel professionals to target neighboring marketplaces and key demographic groups with attractive deals. The regional tourism industry can also use this opportunity to drive domestic travel, spurring local economies and helping to minimize the effects of the downturn in their domestic economies."

Superstitious Baggage Weighs Heavy On Travellers On Friday 13

A quarter of British travellers feel more anxious about travelling on Friday 13th than on any other day of the year, reveals new research by TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel community.

The TripAdvisor poll of 597 travellers reveals that superstitious “baggage” also weighs heavy with many Britons year-round. Over one in ten (11%) travellers always avoid sitting in seats or rows carrying the number 13, whilst 3% always request their favourite “lucky” seat.

A further 9% refuse to stay in hotel rooms or floors carrying the number 13 – whilst the number seven strikes fear in others, with one TripAdvisor traveller noting, “I do not like the number seven, any numbers including seven or any numbers that add up to seven. I will avoid these at all times. This includes my declining any hotel room involving the number seven.”

A superstitious 15% of British travellers carry a good luck talisman, with a piece of jewellery the most popular choice (37%), followed by a St Christopher medallion (18%) and a photograph of a loved one (3%).

Travel-related premonitions have led 8% of Britons to change their travel plans, whilst 5% pay closer attention to their horoscope on days when they are travelling.

“Whilst horse shoes and four-leafed clovers may do little to prevent service delays or overcrowded trains, it seems that many centuries-old superstitions continue to impact on a significant number of travellers today,” said Luke Fredberg, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

Planes, Trains and Superstitions: Travel Facts

• In February 2007, Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines added an additional circle to its logo – a ‘B’ formed of 13-circles – following a flurry of complaints from superstitious travellers.

• A number of airlines skip row 13, including Air France, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Continental.

• Many hotels omit a 13th floor – including Fairmont hotels in Acapulco, San Jose, Quebec City and Vancouver.

• The fear of the number ‘13’ is called triskaidekaphobia.

What rituals do you follow, in order to “safeguard” you on your travels? TripAdvisor travellers tell all...
“I must read every part of the flight safety card in detail without being disturbed or interrupted – and if interrupted, I must start reading it again.”

“I would never carry green luggage.”

“I always carry a pencil in my bag, so I can touch wood for luck.”

“I always touch the fuselage when boarding a flight.”

“I always wear the necklace I’m wearing in my passport photo.”

“On take-off, I grab either the armrests or the person sitting next to me – whether I know them or not, sweat a lot, swear and pray!”