Kangaroos don’t buy Bennett’s mind games

first_imgBennett made the statement after England’s narrow 20-18 semi-final win over Tonga but Kangaroos prop David Klemmer said those kind of mind games won’t engender any complacency in the Australian squad.Klemmer insisted Bennett would instil belief in the England squad that they could upset the host nation. “That’s just how Wayne is,” Klemmer said when asked about Bennett’s remarks.“He is probably trying to take the heat off England at the moment, but we know what they are capable of.“They have attacking strike across the park, big bodies and they are very passionate about representing their country. “Wayne Bennett is one of the greatest coaches in rugby league and he will probably have some sort of plan for us this week and he’ll be telling the England fellas how to beat Australia. We know we are up for an almighty fight.”Bench forward Wade Graham expects a better England performance than in the opening pool clash where Australia put the game to bed late to win 18-4.Graham said Bennett had “seen and done it all” and did not believe his defeatist remarks.“I don’t read too much into that,” Graham said.“We are expecting a better version of them and they are expecting a better version of us [than the first World Cup clash].“It was our first game together in the tournament when we met each other and both teams have no doubt improved in a lot of areas.”Klemmer said losing Josh Hodgson to a knee injury was “massive” for England but added that replacement James Roby would be up to the task.He knows the class of NRL stars James Graham and Sam Burgess in the forward pack only too well.“I versed them in that first game and it was tough in the middle. They are both fierce competitors and love playing for England so we will have to be on our game,” Klemmer said.“England had a bit of a scare against Tonga last week but they are a world class outfit.“That first Test against them was pretty tough and we knew the back end of the tournament we’d be versing them somewhere.”Meanwhile, Graham said the opportunity to play in a World Cup final was not on his radar at the start of 2017.“It has definitely gone beyond the goals I set at the start of the year,” he said.“After the Origin period there was a down part there with the loss [by NSW], and Origin takes a lot out of you physically and mentally.“Then my focus was on the Sharkies and we bowed out not where we wanted to.“To get an opportunity to be in this Australian squad and play as many games as I have, I am over the moon.“Mal names the team Tuesday and to potentially be in position to play a World Cup final is something I never would have dreamed of.”last_img read more

New research highlights what Chinese guests want from Australian hotel

first_imgNew research highlights what Chinese guests want from Australian hotelsThe sixth annual Chinese International Travel Monitor released by Hotels.com™ has revealed that Chinese travellers are spending a whopping 28 per cent of their income on average on international travel. They also intend to spend 10 per cent more on travel in the next 12 months, with Australia topping the list as the most desired destination in Asia-Pacific.Regardless of many key indicators showing signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy, this year’s CITM found spending on travel increased across all age brackets, with Chinese travellers spending US$3,600 in the last 12 months – more than a quarter of their income and an increase of 4 per cent compared with the previous year. 90s millennials are the biggest spenders, allocating 35 per cent of their income to travel.93 per cent of Australian hoteliers surveyed in the Hotels.com research said they accommodated Chinese travellers, with 55 per cent observing growth of the market over the last 12 months. According to the Hotels.com data, Australia was deemed the third most welcoming country to Chinese travellers, up one place from 2016.Despite this, the Hotels.com report revealed a gap in what Chinese guests want versus what hotels are providing, highlighting that, by making some adaptions to accommodate Chinese tourists, there is huge potential for Australian hotels to further tap into this market.While Australian hotels are focusing their efforts on social media and marketing programs in a bid to attract Chinese travellers, the investment in on-site services for Chinese guests has decreased according to the Hotels.com data, with only 5 per cent spending more than US$10,000.The report identified key areas where hotels could improve their services, according to Chinese travellers: Chinese payment facilities at hotels, such as UnionPay, rank second for consumers in importance, yet only 18 per cent of AU hotels currently offer these facilities. Indeed, only 15 per cent intend to offer them in the next 12 months. In-house Mandarin speaking staff was ranked number one by travellers but was low on the list for hoteliers, with only 16 per cent currently offering the service and 11 per cent planning to in the next 12 months.On-site Chinese restaurants were ranked fifth by travellers however only 3 per cent of hoteliers currently offer this service. Only 5 per cent intend to provide it in the next 12 months.Translated travel guides were ranked number four by travellers but are a low in priority for hoteliers; 14 per cent currently offer this and only 17 per cent plan to in future.Hotels.com Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, David Spasovic says both the perception of Australia as a welcoming destination, and willingness of accommodation providers to cater to Chinese travellers is critical to ensuring sustainability of the local tourism industry.“As Australia’s second largest inbound tourist market[1], there’s no doubt that Chinese travellers offer huge economic benefits to our country. It’s fantastic to see Australia continues to deliver quality and friendly hospitality and Hotels.com is proud to partner with accommodation providers who work hard to ensure Chinese travellers feel welcome in our beautiful country. Despite this, Australia has fallen two places since topping the wish list of countries to visit last year.“The CITM report notes that Chinese travellers have entered a new phase in their evolution and are demanding more of everything – more time travelling, more locations and more diverse experiences. With Tourism Australia estimating up to AU$13 billion in total expenditure by Chinese travellers by 2020[2], it’s vital that hoteliers adapt to these evolving needs and develop tailored hotel services that tap into their enormous spending power.”The rise of the ‘more generation’The Hotels.com survey reported all age groups traveling more often and for longer, with the number of trips and number of days per trip increasing in the past year from 3 to 4 and from 5 to 7 days, respectively. Chinese travellers are also visiting multiple cities per trip, with over 80 per cent saying they would not just stay in a single city.The average amount spent per day also increased – up 8 per cent from 2016 – with dining, sightseeing and rest and relaxation activities proving most popular. Interestingly, shopping took a dive from last year – dropping from 68 per cent in 2016 to 33 per cent in 2017, and indicating the increasing diversification of Chinese travel preferences.Independent travel, including backpacking, is well and truly in for this increasingly discerning, experience-hungry group of travellers, with 50 per cent saying they are interested in this type of travel. Only 37 per cent said they will take part in group tours in the future, according to the research.Source = Hotels.comlast_img read more