Royal Caribbean International has signed a first-ever multi-million dollar marketing collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) to promote cruising out of Singapore and, in turn, attract the cruise line’s largest number of overseas fly-cruise guests here.
The tripartite collaboration – which runs between 2015 and 2018 – is estimated to pull in over 170,000 overseas visitors to Singapore to sail on Royal Caribbean’s cruises over that period, resulting in a projected growth of over 50 per cent.
This will be done via a series of marketing campaigns, research studies and channel development activities, such as partnerships with the media and trade, in markets not only within Asia such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, but also beyond the region in Australia, Europe and North America.
Royal Caribbean also plans to increase its number of sailings from Singapore during this period to over 40 a year. Currently, the cruise line’s 3,807-guest Mariner of the Seas makes around 30 voyages annually. Her next Singapore season which will be the largest ever starting from this October, will feature more long cruises of seven to 15 nights, aimed at attracting more overseas fly-cruise guests.
Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Singapore and Southeast Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said: “Having deployed ships here regularly for the last seven years, Royal Caribbean now looks forward to its next phase of significant growth in Singapore. Our three-year deployment plan is our strongest commitment ever to this market and we see great potential in Singapore as a source market and regional cruise hub. We highly appreciate this collaboration which will be a tremendous support for our business goals in Singapore and Southeast Asia, as well as the strong efforts of the Singapore Government for being so proactive in driving the cruise business in the country.”
Projected to generate over $100 million in tourism receipts, the collaboration with Royal Caribbean contributes substantially to Singapore’s cruise industry, with an estimated compounded annual growth of 5 to 8 per cent in throughput over the next three to four years. With the cruise industry already generating more than $500 million in direct spending in 2013, this development promises a further injection of significant economic impact into Singapore.
What is equally important is the growing interest in cruising in Southeast Asia. With more than 25,000 islands, Southeast Asia is an ideal cruising destination for travellers seeking to discover multiple cultures and new experiences in a warm, tropical year-round climate. The region appeals particularly strongly to Asian travellers due to its close proximity to home, with eight in 10 who have never cruised before expressing interest to embark on a cruise vacation within Southeast Asia.
Said Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive (Business Development Group), Singapore Tourism Board: “The tripartite collaboration is a significant development not just for Singapore but also for Southeast Asia. We hope Royal Caribbean’s commitment will inspire new cruise itineraries around the region to offer more reasons for travellers to take to cruising, and also motivate our neighbouring ports and destinations to invest and realise fully the tremendous potential of the Asian cruise industry.”
Providing a link between Royal Caribbean International, Singapore and its regional neighbours is Changi Airport’s strong connectivity to 320 cities worldwide, along with some 6,700 weekly flights, giving Singapore a strategic advantage to effectively tap fly-cruise traffic from across the globe and serve as a cruise hub for Asia.