Cruising from Singapore
is steadily becoming one of the key activities Indian travelers consider when
planning their holiday itinerary in the Lion City. In 2016, Singapore reported
1.2 million cruise passengers with a double digit growth of 16 per cent as
compared to 2015, out of which 100,000 were from India, an increase of 29 per
cent over 2015 figures.
Recognizing the potential that the segment holds, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organized
the second edition of its India Cruise
Forum in Mumbai today which was attended by 120 people. The day-long forum
featured a thought provoking panel that touched on the challenges and
opportunities of Growing India’s Cruise Travel Market, led by GB Srithar, Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa (RD
SAMEA), STB with panelists Nalini
Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus
Destinations (GSA of Costa Cruise India), Naresh Rawal, Vice President Sales, Genting Cruise Lines – Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises, Suzanne Perreira, Senior Vice President Sales, Trade Relationships
and Communications, Thomas Cook India,
Anita Raja, Regional Manager – South
India, TIRUN Travel Marketing and Harshali Darpel, Senior Manager –
Western India, Cruise Professionals.
This was followed by an interactive workshop by Peter Kollar, Head of International
Training and Development at Cruise Lines
International Association, aimed at educating cruise sellers with the finer
techniques of selling Cruise and cruise holidays.
“India is a key source market for cruising out of Singapore.
STB will continue to work closely with in-market partners to raise awareness of
cruising as a great holiday option and sustain the growth of Singapore as a
cruising hub in South East Asia. According to a consumer survey conducted in
Mumbai, 34% of young Indian families are willing to spend INR 100,000 – 200,000
on a cruise holiday and 98% of the 500 travellers surveyed are open to a cruise
from Singapore. There are exciting opportunities ahead and we will continue to
partner with our travel trade and cruise partners to grow Singapore’s cruise
Industry and promote its strong destination appeal,” said Mr. G.B Srithar, RD SAMEA, STB.
Industry initiatives to strengthen Southeast Asia cruise
Also present at the event was Ms Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, STB, who touched on the
initiatives Singapore has put in place to ensure that the Lion City remains
prominent in the minds of the cruise community as an attractive cruise hub.
“The cruise forum is a valuable platform to reach out to
cruise trade partners in an important
market like India, and explore opportunities to work together to grow market
demand for cruising out of Singapore.
Through schemes such as the enhanced Cruise Development Fund (CDF), we supported travel agents and event
organisers in six successful charters in the past year, which brought in close
to 10,000 cruise passengers to Singapore and broadened the breadth and depth of
cruise offerings in Singapore through innovative programming onboard the
chartered sailings. As cruise brands increased their presence in Singapore, we
will continue to partner the industry to accelerate source market demand and
port development in the region.”
Beginning 3 December 2017, Singapore will be the home port
for the Genting Dream luxury liner
for a year-long deployment, while Royal
Caribbean International announced its longest-ever deployment in Singapore
from 2017 to 2019. For its 2017/18 season, it will have a total of 72 Singapore
sailings on Mariner of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
A prominent travel destination and maritime centre in Asia,
Singapore boasts unmatched air connectivity where cruise opportunities abound.
Singapore Cruise Centre’s and Marina Bay Cruise Centre’s Cruise-Fly services,
the region’s first sea-to-air baggage transfer service, allows a greater
flexibility in planning a travel itinerary in Singapore. Being the chair of the
ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism
(APCT) this year in India, STB will continue to push the boundaries in
establishing Southeast Asia as the cruise region of choice and encourage more
visitors to experience cruising here.