Singapore Tourism Board (STB) India successfully concluded CruiseWorld India 2021, recording 300+ attendees. At the virtual event themed ‘Charting our Pathway to Cruise Recovery’, GB Srithar, Regional Director of India, Middle East and South Asia, STB, apprised the trade on initiatives taken by Singapore to make cruise travel safe and hassle free.
Laying the foundation for the recovery of cruises via the CruiseWorld India 2021 event, in partnership with Northstar Travel, GB Srithar said that with vaccination drives being rolled out across the world, travel and tourism will slowly and deliberately start to gain momentum. But, while there is no clarity yet on any kind of travel or international cruise travel restart to Singapore, the objective of the event was to enable the Indian travel trade to come together to exchange ideas and jointly configure a pathway to recovery of cruise travel to Singapore.
Extending his support to cruise stakeholders when required, Srithar updated attendees on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore. “Singapore has made some progress in its gradual and calibrated return to a certain degree of normalcy. We have entered the third phase of a safe Singapore transition since December 28, 2020. Our businesses are adhering to rigorous standards of safe management and hygiene, and many have been certified under Singapore Clean (SG Clean) — our national mark of excellence for safety and hygiene. Till date, over 29,000 premises including various tourism establishments have been certified,” he shared.
Preparedness for cruises
STB has developed the world’s first cruise safe certification programme, CruiseSafe, with stringent hygiene and safety measures throughout the passenger journey. “CruiseSafe incorporates global and local health standards, and it is mandatory for cruise lines to obtain certification in order to resume sailing from Singapore. The results have beenvery encouraging. More than 120,000 Singapore residents have set sail on approximately 90 sailings from Singapore on board World Dream and Quantum of the Seas. Since we started on this cruise pilot, we have no reported cases of COVID-19 spreading on board,” Srithar highlighted.
He also shared that STB has embarked on SingapoReimagine — an inclusive platform for the global and local communities to share ideas on how to revive tourism. “We are soon kicking off the ‘Reimagine Travel’ global conversations as a series of forums around the world to catalyse discussions on reshaping global travel. This year for cruise, we intend to deepen our trade engagement and connect better with our partner friends, as we journey towards recovery. India has traditionally been Singapore’s largest cruise market and the third largest market overall. When the time is right, we intend to work with you to bring more cruise visitors to Singapore, deliver fresh, innovative and safe cruise-plus-land-stay holiday experiences and keep India as our top source market for cruises,” Srithar asserted.
Finally, reiterating that they are not expecting a quick rebound of visitor arrivals to Singapore, Srithar said, “It will take a while for positive global sentiment to return.”