In 2016, Singapore reported 1.2 million cruise passengers with a double-digit growth of 16% over 2015, out of which 100,000 were from India, an increase of 29% when compared to 2015 figures.
Recognising the potential in the segment, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organised the second edition of its India Cruise Forum in Mumbai. The day-long forum featured a 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.
The panel 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.
“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 Rs 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 Srithar.
Also present at the event was Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, STB, who touched on the initiatives Singapore has put in place to ensure that Lion City remains 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 on-board 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,” Chang said.