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Asia is the most exciting region for the cruise shipping industry with year-on-year growth in passenger numbers of more than 20% since 2007. In the next three years the number of Asians expected to take a cruise will double.
To harness this growth the major lines are deploying larger and larger ships in the region, while Asian port cities are vying with one another for ever more impressive cruise facilities.
Asia Cruise News, part of Singapore-headquartered Asia Shipping Media, has reporters in place from Dubai to Tokyo to cover this exciting, fast emerging area. Contained on the site are daily news stories drawn from our network of 18 journalists as well as more in depth features in our In Focus section. A hard copy cruise annual publication is also envisaged as part of the Asia Cruise News portfolio of products.
Sam Chambers assesses the market potential of the world’s second largest population
While this site has focused heavily on cruise hotspots in Southeast and East Asia plus the Middle East since it was founded a couple of months ago, there has been little news coming out of India. As a source market it is exciting, but as a destination its infrastructure limitations are rather severe.
Indian cruise passengers are set to jump in the coming years, but India is not yet ready to attract many cruise calls. That was the message from Gavin Smith, regional vice president – Asia Pacific for Royal Caribbean, who was speaking at a press event in the Indian capital last month.
Smith estimated Indian cruise passengers could jump from the current 100,000 a year to 300,000 in the coming five years.
Despite the growth Smith said that the current size of the local market would not make it viable for cruise ship operators to call at Indian ports. “Local deployment can come only with growth. Once that growth is achieved, ship operators will have the confidence to put a ship here,” he said.
Speaking to Asia Cruise News, a spokesperson for Star Cruises, said the company has seen a double-digit growth for Indian guests in recent years.
“India represents a good market source with great potential due to its population’s size, increasingly strong mass market, middle-income mass affluent Indians, HNWIs with high spending power,” the Star source said.
Meanwhile, another Royal Caribbean spokesperson conceded to Asia Cruise News that cruising is still a very new vacat ... More>>