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EXPERT OPINION

ANNIE CHANG DIRECTOR, CRUISE – SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

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ruise tourism in Asia taps into the appeal of various destinations in the region, stringing together varied itineraries in one sailing. Visitors need to pack and unpack only once. It is an ideal vacation. Strong interest from key cruise source markets, such as India and Indonesia, are driving the growth in this industry. Singapore has also benefited from this growth as it is the natural starting point for visitors to explore other destinations in Southeast Asia by sea. We have worked with cruise industry partners to secure a vibrant pipeline of cruise ships and new

cruise offerings. This includes the yearround deployment of Genting Dream from 2017 to 2020, which is expected to bring in 600,000 overseas visitors and more than S$250 million in tourism receipts. Cruising has also grown due to its regional appeal. Southeast Asia possesses natural attributes such as warm weather, calm waters, more than 25,000 islands (compared to the Caribbean’s 7,000), and nearly 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites. As lead coordinator for ASEAN cruise development, Singapore has been working together with fellow ASEAN states to raise our value proposition as a cruise destination. We have developed the Cruise Southeast Asia Brand to further entrench us as a cruising region of choice. For instance, at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019, the regional ministers reiterated their commitment to the Joint Declaration on Cruise Tourism to develop Southeast Asia into a vibrant cruising destination. The region’s collective efforts have continued at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference and Exhibition in April

2019, where five countries representing Southeast Asia co-located their exhibition booths under the Cruise Southeast Asia brand for the fifth time. We have sought to raise travel trade capabilities to drive economic yield. STB announced a three-year strategic partnership with CLIA to continue growing cruising efforts in Southeast Asia. One of its key thrusts is reaching out to regional travel agents and training them to sell cruises in Southeast Asia. This is important as the bulk of cruise sales continue to be made through travel agents. 2018 was a strong year for cruise in Singapore − passenger throughput rose 35 per cent year-on-year to about 1.87 million. We will continue to ensure sustainable growth in 2019, through partnering cruise agents and local industry stakeholders in developing compelling pre/ post cruise offerings. With a strong growth trajectory, STB also regularly monitors the evolving cruise landscape to ensure that our cruise infrastructure is adequate to support the growing pipeline of ships.

Training regional travel agents to sell cruises in Southeast Asia is important as the bulk of cruise sales continue to be made through travel agents.

JIALI WONG REGIONAL MANAGER – ASIA CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

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sia again showed impressive results in 2017 with a record high of 4.052 million cruise passengers reported in the latest figures released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). At 20.6 per cent, the 2017 year-on-year growth is more than three times the global growth (6.3 per cent), way ahead of markets such as North America (5 per cent) and Australia (4.4 per cent).

Asia is now the third-largest cruise region in the world, accounting for about 15 per cent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017. Where are the Asia passengers coming from? Mainland China maintained its top position as the key source market, accounting for almost 60 per cent of all Asian passengers, followed by Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Most registered impressive double-digit year-on-year increase with markets such as Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia all having more than 20 per cent growth. This continued upward trend in growth from most Asian markets confirms that Asia holds immense potential as a source of passengers for cruise lines and destinations. And this favourable outlook spells opportunities for businesses. While the 2018 figures have not been announced, it is projected to see similar

performance as 2017 with the planned cruise calls on par with 2017. Singapore reported a 35 per cent year-on-year increase in their total passenger throughput in 2018, buoyed by the year-round deployment of Genting Dream and extended sailings from Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. These figures present a favourable view for Asia and the positive impact to the economy in Asia is evident. The outlook for Asia remains upbeat, as many cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including new cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers. Asian travellers also increasingly recognise that cruising is an effortless, relaxing and excellent value for money holiday. With the comparatively low population penetration rate, the opportunities for travel agents and destinations to leverage in this region are tremendous. ASIA CRUISE DIRECTORY 2019

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Profile for Big Splash Media

Asia Cruise Directory 2019  

Welcome to the 2019 edition of the Asia Cruise Directory - everything the industry needs to inspire new passengers and increase the populari...

Asia Cruise Directory 2019  

Welcome to the 2019 edition of the Asia Cruise Directory - everything the industry needs to inspire new passengers and increase the populari...