Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sydney to be home to third superliner

arnival Australia is cashing in on Sydney’s growing demand for cruise holidays, announcing on Monday that a third superliner will call the city home before the end of 2010.

The cruise company said that the 63,500-tonne Pacific Pearl would use Sydney as its home port, joining Carnival Australia’s two other superliners.

Chief Executive Ann Sherry said the decision was based on the buoyancy of Sydney’s cruise market.

“[The market] has so much potential as the entry point for the rest of the country that it makes good sense - both from a business perspective as well as delivering economic value - to base the ship in this city”

However, she expressed concerned that the growth of cruising in Australia would be stunted due to the lack of adequate ports in Sydney – ‘the gateway’ to the country.

“The sight of a third superliner making Sydney its home will be yet another visual reminder to governments that cruising is an industry that should be better supported at a time when the rest of tourism is flat”

Carnival Australia forecasts that cruise shipping will bring in $1 billion in economic benefit for 2009, with the figure in the next three to four years to increase to $3 billion.

Statistics released by the International Cruise Council of Australasia earlier this month showed a 26 per cent hike in the number of Australian cruise passengers for 2008 compared to the previous year.

Youngsters view travel as ‘life experience’

Australians between the ages 18 and 35 believe travelling to new places gives them an advantage with would-be employers, according to results from a new research commissioned by Contiki Holidays.

Contiki’s annual Travel Trends Research this year focussed on the impact of travelling overseas on careers, and included views from over 500 Aussies who participated in compiling the “Skilled Set” with most never having been on a trip with the operator.

“Travel is not just play anymore; it sharpens their skills and broadens their career horizons,” Managing Director Contiki Holidays, Tammy Marshall said.

Almost 97 per cent of those surveyed believed travel gave them additional skills to help their career or life in general, with 76 per cent believing those skills was a better understanding of different customs and cultures. 71 per cent believed they would gain better awareness of world issues.

Meanwhile, 76 per cent thought they would develop people skills whilst on the road, something they viewed as unattainable in the workplace, and 58 per cent said they would gain the ability to budget. 51 per cent said they would develop stronger problem solving/decision making skills.

“The research revealed career prospects and the strong connections with that and where they go as well as where they’ve been,” Ms Marshall said.

Developing skills to better deal with different personalities in the workplace also ranked highly with 63 per cent believing travel helped sharpen skills, while over half (55 per cent) believed it helps make them a better employee.

“The positive response 18 to 35s have toward taking holidays in relation to their professional and personal lives indicate the days where young people had to make a choice between scaling the glove or climbing the career ladder are long gone. Today’s generation believe it is an essential part of both their professional and personal development,” Ms Marshall said.

Research also showed 1.7 million 18 to 35 year old Australians have a desire and intend to travel in the next three to four years, with 1.1 million currently saving to travel.

The new Italian star rating standards

One-star hotels: reception must be open at least 12 hours a day; cleaning of rooms at least once a day; minimum size of double rooms 14 square meters; change of sheets once a week.

Two-star hotels: must have an elevator; change of sheets at least twice a week.

Three-star hotels: must have a bar service, receptionists must speak at least one foreign language; the reception must be open at least 16 hours a day; personnel must wear a uniform; each room must have internet services and private bath.

Four-star hotels: in addition to daily cleaning, the room must be re-set in the afternoon and sheet and towels must be changed daily; must offer laundry services to clients; must have parking for at least 50% of the rooms; double rooms of at least 15 square meters and bathroom of at least 4 square meters.

Five-star hotels: reception must be open 24 hours a day and must offer at least 3 foreign language capabilities; single rooms must be of at least 9 square meters and double of at least 16 square meters.