India has a bright cruise future

The Singapore cruise industry has many a taker in India, as was evident at Singapore Tourism Board’s cruise forum in New Delhi. India is a key market for the Southeast Asian nation, and its tourism board aims to capitalise on the growing interest and establish Singapore as a hub for cruisers from India.

Nisha Verma

Singapore Tourism Board (STB), in association with TravTalk, recently organised a cruise forum themed ‘Growing Cruise Connections, Achieving Together’ in New Delhi, with travel trade partners, cruise liners, and professionals from the cruise industry in tow to discuss the opportunities and potential of Singapore as a hub for Indians looking for cruises.

The forum delved into the growing overseas cruise tour- ism from India via focused conversations and exchange of ideas. Addressing the gathering was GB Srithar, Regional Director (India, Middle East & South Asia), STB, who shared that STB was adopting a two-pronged marketing strategy for the Indian outbound cruise market. Firstly, it would raise awareness and promote cruising as a hassle-free holiday option for the Indian traveller. Secondly, it would look to establish Singapore as a favoured cruise holiday destination by presenting the varied tourism offerings.

Srithar said, “STB partners with stakeholders in the cruise industry to secure a vibrant pipeline of cruise ships and new cruise offerings in Singapore. Cruise holidays present an opportunity to explore the popular attractions, rejuvenated precincts, the growing café culture, innovative bars and restaurants, and go on a variety of interesting tours available in Singapore.”

Raymond Lim, Area Director, India (New Delhi), STB, said, “We organise these forums to help us connect with the travel trade and we offer different schemes to make sure that we remain relevant and competitive against other destinations. Such programmes can help the travel trade to promote Singapore better. The Cruise Development Fund gives marketing assistance to cruise companies or cruise agents who wish to sell Singapore and market it for cruising with pre and post-cruise programmes, which means staying in Singapore for overnights, and that’s what we are trying to encourage.”

Talking about the cruise forum, Jiali Wong, Regional Manager (Asia), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), said, “It was a fruitful session and there were a lot of good partners together. The topics discussed were interesting and everybody had a lot to say, which is great because we all know that India is a market with a lot of potential and currently has a very low market penetration for cruises.”

At the ‘Appreciation Dinner’ the same night, Srithar presented “Valued Tourism Partner”awards to representatives from key cruise lines operating out of Singapore and travel trade partners selling cruise holidays.

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