Go back to the enewsletter Australian travellers c

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAustralian travellers can’t get enough of Oceania Cruises, with the local market soaring to now sit as the cruise line’s second largest source. And it’s the cuisine served onboard that is luring a large slice of new and returning guests, according to Oceania Cruises’ Vice President of Sales Australia and New Zealand, Steve McLaughlin.“I think we are leaning very heavily on that brand pillar of food,” McLaughlin told LATTE this week at an event in Sydney coinciding with the imminent arrival of Insignia to Australian waters after exiting a dry-dock in Singapore today.McLaughlin said food writers are increasingly inspiring Aussies to experience the Oceania product.“We’re actually not even in the Travel section of the Sydney Morning Herald some weeks. Some weeks we’re actually in the Food section, so we are appealing to a much broader audience. People may not have been looking for a cruise and they’ve accidentally come across our company,” he said.Oceania Cruises’ audience demographic is an average age of 59 – depending on the length of voyage and the destination – an age that is “coming down”, McLaughlin told LATTE.The biggest market share for the company is “definitely” NSW, followed then by Queensland and Victoria.In the past 18 months, Australia has jumped to the number two global market, overtaking the UK, which slipped to number three. Australian sales are only bettered by North America.“Very interestingly high is the significant number from New Zealand. They are Oceania’s fourth largest market in the world, not bad for a destination with a population less than Sydney.“So there’s some very interesting twists to where we find our customers, and actually one of the big pointers goes back to people love the culinary experience and Oceania’s very laid back experience. There’s no dressing up…”McLaughlin said the fly/cruise market for Oceania out of Australia to the Baltics and Mediterranean is enormous, accounting for between 63-65% of sales. “That’s a huge chunk of our business and so that is what we are focused on and do particularly well. And our repeat factor there is huge.”“We are also very successful selling back-to-back, and back-to-back-to-back voyages as there’s no repeat ports,” he explained.“Most Australians and Kiwis will go to Europe for certainly a month, sometimes two, sometimes three. They are escaping the cold weather. They go up there and have a great time.”McLaughlin said Australian frontline sellers are also very well versed on promoting and booking connecting sailings.“We’ve got the travel agents trained very well now to do the McDonald’s of the 1980s – to say “Would you like fries with that?” What we’ve got them now saying is “Did you realise where the ship will be on the voyage before, or that the ship goes onto Athens after you disembark? Have you been to that region at all?”“And for agents booking back-to-back-to-back voyages for two travellers counts as six people. That really helps our revenue and agents with commission.”Guests who book back-to-back cruises also receive special value-add on their second and third voyage.Further, McLaughlin noted that Oceania’s 180-night World Cruise have been very successful with Australian cruisers.“Our numbers that are going on it from Australia, on the full world cruise, are going through the roof. Prices are starting at just shy of $400 per person per day with absolutely everything included. So really, it’s not out of the ballpark for a lot of people.”Every year, between 200-400 passengers take the World Cruise. A significant figure when the ships have a capacity of around 650 guests.With the $150 million OceaniaNEXT revitalisation program scheduled and underway across Oceania Cruises’ four R-Class ships, and two O-Class ships, it begs the question, are more ships on the horizon?McLaughlin’s response? “We always have a burning desire to have more.”Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Labour says it will back call for second Brexit referendum

first_imgWith just over a month until Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking changes to her exit deal in order to break an impasse in parliament.Labour’s decision could damage her hopes of winning support for a revised deal in a vote she has promised by March 12, by attracting those who would have backed her agreement to avoid a no-deal exit but who prefer a second referendum.Parliament is due to debate and vote on Wednesday on the next steps in Britain’s tortuous departure from the EU, and lawmakers are set to put down proposals, or amendments, which could include demanding the exit deal is put to a public vote.Labour said it would put forward an amendment calling on the government to adopt its Brexit proposals, which include a permanent customs union with the EU and close alignment with the bloc’s single market.“If Parliament rejects our plan, then Labour will deliver on the promise we made at our annual conference and support a public vote,” Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said on Twitter.Parliament is not expected to back Labour’s Brexit plan.Labour said it would support a bid by its lawmaker Yvette Cooper to give parliament the legal power to force May to delay Brexit by seeking an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.“We are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory (Conservative) Brexit being forced on the country,” Labour leader Corbyn was due to tell a meeting of his lawmakers on Monday, his office said.“One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent no deal.”NO TURNING BACKThat amendment may not come at this week’s vote in parliament however.A proposal by Labour lawmakers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson that May’s deal be put to the public in another referendum will not be put forward for a vote in parliament until May brings her agreement back for approval.“There’s no turning back for Jeremy now,” Kyle said.Corbyn has been under pressure for some time to support a second referendum. Last week, eight referendum-supporting lawmakers quit the Labour Party, in part owing to frustration over his failure to back another vote.The prospect of holding a second vote poses a dilemma for Corbyn; while many of the party’s members and supporters fervently back a so-called People’s Vote, others simply want Britain to leave the EU as soon as possible.Reaction from lawmakers in the meeting on Monday was split.It remains unclear whether there is a majority in parliament in favour of holding another public vote and Labour lawmaker Stephen Kinnock said while he was pleased parliament would get a chance to express its view, he also had concerns.Real concessions needed at US-NK summit -Markey“I still have deep reservations about the idea of having another referendum. I think it’s going to be deeply divisive,” he said.Britons voted by 52-48 percent in favour of leaving the EU in a referendum in 2016.The Remain Labour campaign group, which wants to stop Brexit, said the announcement was “a significant step forward”.“A second referendum was only ever possible with the votes of Labour Members of Parliament and we are now on the verge of making this happen,” founder Andrew Lewin said in a statement.“We are not complacent, but we are closer tonight to a People’s Vote than we have ever been.” LONDON (Reuters) – Labour Party said on Monday it would back calls for a second referendum on Brexit if parliament rejects its alternative plan for leaving the European Union. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, speaks on the campaign trail in Warrington April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yatescenter_img London best pest control last_img read more