Πέμπτη, 27 Ιουλίου 2017
As per Cobh, a small settlement in Ireland has won for the second consecutive time ‘Western Europe’s top cruise destination’ title respectively. The Cork stopover has been nominated as number two cruise destination in ‘British isles and Western Europe’, according to the Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.
This award was given on the basis of reviews posted to CruiseCritic.com; named the best cruise destinations for 2017 across 15 regions worldwide.
In Western Europe, Amsterdam claimed the top spot jointly with Cobh defeating Lisbon, Guernsey’s St. Peter Port and Greenock (Glasgow) to maintain their second position respectively.
For 2017, Budapest was ranked overall best cruise destination whereas Dubrovnik and Villefranche took the Eastern and Western Mediterranean awards, respectively.
To much surprise, Dublin, the biggest cruise destination of Ireland did not feature in the list.
To quote Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager with the Port of Cork, “Obviously we’re delighted. This is hugely rewarding, because we’ve put a lot of time and effort into promoting the south of Ireland through Cork.”
If we look back, in the year 1912, Cobh was the last port of call in terms of RMS Titanic.
To quote McCarthy, “It’s not a big city, so people feel very comfortable. There’s time to stop and chat, and the passengers really appreciate that bit of Irish friendliness and banter.”
To quote jlmack70, one Cruise Critic member, “Love this port. This little town is amazing. We visited the Titanic museum, cathedral and a few gift shops. The people were warm and friendly and made me feel like I had lived there myself.”
Recently, Hernaldo Zuniga, Nicaraguan singer accompanies his whole family to trekking through the thick forests and misty volcanoes based in northwestern Rwanda. They were actually in search of mountain gorillas in this journey.
He narrated his experience and depicted their meet with the critically endangered primates as “an almost spiritual”. They further illustrated that it was one of the main reasons of stopping at Rwanda on a safari trip to Kenya, and a tour of South Africa.
However, Rwanda is no more satisfied in being a whirlwind stop for any travelers’ itinerary. At present, the country is working hard to expand its world appeal beyond its famous gorillas and tapering its niche market to the wealthy of visitors across the globe.
Zuniga considers himself to be lucky that his family secured the permits to witness the gorillas from close proximity before it becomes double the cost to $1,500 (1,300 euros) per person in May.
“I think that is going to be a drawback for many people. It is just going to be an elite group of people who can pay that,” said Zuniga, a famous star in Latin America. This increase in price for the government of Rwanda is a careful strategy to improve initiations of conservation at the same time placing itself as a luxury tourist destination.
To quote Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive of the Rwanda Development Board, “The idea behind (the increase) is that it is an exclusive experience which also needs to be limited in numbers. Our tourism is very much based on natural resources and we are very serious about conservation.”
According to advocacy groups, the latest Senate Appropriation Bill introduced will increase the cap on the airport passenger facility charge (PFC) from $4.50 per flight to $8.50.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the bill on Thursday. The $60 billion FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriation Act passed out of subcommittee on Tuesday.
The bill is still not declared on congressional website but the trade group Airlines for America (A4A) mentioned that the “airport sources” say that the PFC cap will be raised to $8.50.
The bill intends to provide greater flexibility for airports to make necessary improvements.
The proposal to increase the PFC cap was lauded by the Airports Council International- North America (ACI-NA) and the US Travel Association. It further mentioned that the increases will cater to the needs of rehabilitation projects and with growth in passenger and cargo traffic. The US airports require $100 billion in infrastructure work in the coming five years, the organisation mentioned.
The proposal was opposed by A4A that it was akin to the tax increase on US travellers of $3.2 billion and the airports are full of cash.
THUD would increase 2018 fiscal year funding for the FAA by $563 million up from the enacted 2017 level of $16.33 billion as per the Senate appropriation.
It will provide $1.1 billion for implementation of the NextGen GPS-based air traffic control (ATC) system. The privitaization of ATC is rejected and is under consideration in the House and President Donald Trump supported it.
The last PFC cap was raised by Congress and was assessed at the discretion of individual airports in the year 2000.
Brand new super luxury passenger vessel, Majestic Princess, made her maiden call at the Boustead Cruise Centre, Port Klang, bringing some 3,560 passengers from 41 countries and 1,350 crew members to Malaysian shores.
The cruise ship was on its “Silk Road Sea Route,” a 49-day journey from Rome to Shanghai. During the voyage, she visited a total of 22 ports including Athens, Dubai, Cochin, Singapore, and Xiamen before arriving in Shanghai, her new homeport in China, in July. In Malaysia, she berthed at Port Klang and Penang.
Over the last few years, Malaysia has seen an encouraging number of cruise ships calling at the various country’s ports. In fact, Malaysia has welcomed guests on Cunard Line’s ultra-luxury Queen Mary II and Queen Victoria ocean liners, the UK’s Arcadia cruise liners, as well as passenger vessels such as Costa Allegra, Diamond Princess, Pacific Sun and Europa, among others.
Between January and May 2017, a total of 253 international cruise ships called at the country’s 11 ports indicating an increase of 9.48% compared to the same period in 2016. For the same period, the country received 405,554 cruise passengers compared to 330,473 passengers, signifying an increase of 18.51%.
Affordable exchange rates, modern infrastructure and facilities, warm weather, friendly people, a politically stable government, and numerous tourist attractions that are easily accessible from the ports make Malaysia the ideal stopover for cruise line operators.
Malaysia’s cruise terminals such as Langkawi, Penang, Port Klang and Melaka are located close to local attractions, offering cruise passengers the experience of a big-city atmosphere and easy access to ecotourism attractions, beaches, authentic culture and exotic cuisine. Food is a major attraction in Penang and passengers can not only sample the famous variety of cuisine but also enjoy cooking lessons during shore excursions. Meanwhile, the Kota Kinabalu port in Borneo is a gateway to the natural beauties of the rainforest and orangutan watching which are popular among many segments of the cruise market.
Meanwhile Malaysian ports are fully-equipped with extensive and state-of-the-art facilities, offering convenient berthing spots for cruise ships from all over the world.
It’s all part of the Malaysian Government’s recognition of tourism as a key economic area for the country’s growth, with cruise tourism being one of 12 focus areas for development over the next eight years.
Already, initiatives have been put in place – the government has set up the Malaysia Cruise Council (MCC), which is the governing body over all the major ports in Malaysia. The MCC is made up of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Ministry of Transport, and various representatives from the public and private sectors, and is the single body that coordinates efforts towards making Malaysia a cruise-friendly destination.
Another initiative to capitalise on a growing international cruise passenger market is the development of a Straits Riviera “cruise playground” comprising six primary ports and other secondary ports in Malaysia.
ASEAN member states have also recognised the potential of cruise as a driver of tourism growth for the region. At this year’s ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore, ASEAN Ministers came to an agreement to develop cruise tourism in the region, and committed to develop a Joint Declaration on Cruise Tourism that would set out principles to spur port and destination development in the region.
Globally, in the past ten years, the cruise passenger market has grown at an average of 14% annually. By 2035, 4.5 million cruise passengers are expected to sail through Southeast Asia.