Australia has its first dedicated limousine airport desk with the official opening last night of Royale Limousines’ Premium Customer Service Centre at Sydney International Airport, inside the Arrivals Hall at Terminal 1.
Passengers can now transfer seamlessly from Royale Limousines’ desk inside the terminal to a 10-bay undercover parking area outside Terminal 1.
“Already, there has been a 10% growth in enquiries since the desk’s soft opening in December 2013,” said Royale Limousines Managing Director, John Bartolotta. “It has exceeded our expectations. Consumers are becoming more aware of how reliable and affordable a limousine transfer can be.”
“Markets using the desk are inbound tourists wanting to get to their hotel, as well as tourists booking a chauffeured car on an hourly basis for a scenic tour. Families and groups are another market, who usually enquire about people-movers which can seat 6-12 people. Those are very cost-effective on a per-person basis. Then you have the corporate traveller simply needing to get to their meeting on time,” Mr Bartolotta said.
Chinese Inbound Demand Swells
The new desk coincides with a spike in demand for luxury transfers among high-end inbound visitors to Australia, especially from China.
Royale Limousines has seen a 20% increase in demand from Chinese travellers during Chinese New Year 2014 over 2013. Chinese travellers are booking limousine travel for scenic day tours (to such locations as the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley, and Sydney’s famous beaches), shopping tours and casino visits – even for real estate inspections.
The company has installed two x 55” screens behind its airport desk. This provides a medium for multilingual ‘Welcome’ signs. The company already has Asian ground staff and chauffeurs.
Growth in Luxury Cruise Ship Transfers
The number of cruise ship passengers requesting limousine transfers to their hotel on arrival in Sydney is “off the dial”, said Mr Bartolotta.
“In January, we had 80 limousine transfers off a single cruise ship.”
The growth in passengers’ limousine expenditure is not connected to the increase in cruise ships to Australian ports in the last few years, Mr Bartolotta said. Even last year, the number of passengers requesting limousine travel was only moderate.
“All of a sudden, high-end visitors to Australia are starting to spend,” he said.
Most want short transfers from the ship at Circular Quay or White Bay to their CBD hotel, almost all stipulating a European sedan.
“Our presence at Sydney Airport is an indication of how important the luxury segment of the tourism market is to the Australian economy,” said Mr Bartolotta.
“The opening of the Royale Limousines desk is the culmination of a five-year process working with Sydney Airport to develop the best way to service the needs of high-end individual and group travellers transiting through Australia’s busiest airport,” said Mr Bartolotta.
Sydney Airport’s master plan will significantly improve the airport experience for passengers, which are forecast to increase from almost 38 million in 2013 to 74 million in 2033. The plan will improve the door-to-door passenger experience, including through enhanced ground transport access. Read more at the airport’s website here.
“One of Sydney Airport’s distinct advantages is its proximity to the CBD and world-class attractions such as Bondi Beach and the Sydney Opera House,” Sydney Airport’s General Manager of Parking and Ground Transport, Craig Norton, said. “We welcome Royale Limousines’ decision to open a dedicated desk at T1 to provide customers with a high-end and convenient option for their travel in Sydney.”