Royal Caribbean reported third quarter financial results today and the big “star” of the results was the onboard spending, with a 7% increase overall. So what is Royal Caribbean’s secret? They think it’s all about the revitalization program.
During the financial results conference call, Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty pointed to a few key factors that are part of the fleet-wide renovations to why the company is seeing better guest spending onboard their ships.
Unlimited alcohol packages
“We benefited from new onboard venues introduced as a result of our revitalizations, and we saw further strength in spending from our U.S. customers, which helped generate improvement in gaming, beverage, specialty dining and shore excursions,” Liberty said during the conference call.Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein elaborated on how the company is looking to get more onboard spending, “So as I believe we mentioned earlier, gaming, beverage, shore excursions, retail and also some of the smaller revenue streams, internet has been doing well for us, which we wanted to see because we made a significant investment in, I think, 7 or 8x more bandwidth to the ships this year, and that seems to be paying off.
So a number of the investments that we have already made, we would expect to continue to pay dividends and revenue growth into 2014 and beyond. And we continue to look under every stone for onboard revenue opportunities that don’t conflict with the satisfaction of the product offering.”Basically, guests are spending more money in all these aspects and most of these venues are areas of the cruise ships that get upgraded or added as part of the revitalization program. When each ship is refurbished, more restaurants are added and wifi is spread out to more areas across the ship. Add to that the new drink packages and Royal Caribbean is offering its guests more opportunities to spend money.
Cruise ships docked in Bermuda permitted to open casinos at night
By Tom Stieghorst
Ministers in Bermuda approved legislation allowing cruise ships to open their casinos during the evening while still docked.
In exchange, the government will get a license fee for ships that carry more than 2,000 passengers.
Casinos could only open between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and only for passengers, not for residents of Bermuda.
Proponents argued that most cruise ship passengers are back on the ship after 9 p.m., so the casinos do not compete with local attractions. They also argued that the change will help keep Bermuda competitive with other cruise ports.
Opponents said local bars and restaurants will suffer as fewer people leave the ship in the evening, and that the decision should have been put off until after a promised referendum on gaming in Bermuda.
Adopting an omnichannel strategy is critical, says Cook’s Green
Implementing an omnichannel strategy is critical for success in today’s market, according to Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green.Speaking at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast, Green said one of her first priorities when she started at the business in July last year was to integrate the websites with the rest of the business.
She said: “For reasons best known to this environment the web part of Thomas Cook and other major tour operators was completely separate.
“It had separate targets and none of the rest of the organisation worked with them – why would they, they had absolutely conflicting interests.
“The only time Thomas Cook sold anything effectively on the web was when no-one else wanted to. It was the most dysfunctional thing.
“On week 14 we said we’re going to emancipate all of you guys from the OTA and we’re going to develop the web channels in region then have this centre of excellence.”
Green said the high street was still important, despite the company’s plans to close 195 shops, but had to be used effectively with other channels.
She told delegates: “There has to be change and agility within an omnichannel environment. The web is important, but an omnichannel environment is critical.
“Retail as it was isn’t going to be with us any longer. In the UK the high street has a very important role, perhaps not to the level that Thomas Cook had penetration but on that we’ve made our plans very clear.
“It is staggering to me that Thomas Cook was the first company in the UK travel environment to put all products through all channels at the same price on the web last November. Other industries did that ten years ago.”