Huge potential in booming fly-cruise industry
Second partnership between Royal Caribbean, Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group to bring in $26 million
With Monday's announcement of a second marketing tie-up between cruise operator Royal Caribbean International, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Changi Airport Group (CAG), the fly-cruise market here appears to be growing steadily.
The partnership will promote cruising out of Singapore on Royal Caribbean's ships Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seasand is projected to bring in over $26 million in tourism dollars this year.
Royal Caribbean said last year, more than 50 per cent of its guests on sailings from Singapore were fly-cruise guests from overseas. Its managing director for Asia-Pacific, Mr Sean Treacy, said Singapore is an ideal port due to its "great connectivity and beautiful weather and its strategic location".
He said: "Singapore is only a few hours away from large populations such as India and China."
Mr Treacy added that 4 per cent of Australians cruise, the highest in the world, but less than 1 per cent of Asians do.
"Taking population size into consideration, we are just scratching the surface. There is huge potential in the region."
The first partnership between Royal Caribbean, STB and CAG has been in place since August 2015 to market Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seasand is projected to bring in over 170,000 fly-cruise visitors and $100 million in tourism receipts to the Republic over three years.
The ships will make Singapore their home port for the next three years, with 72 sailings lined up for its 2017/2018 season, up from 64 sailings from the previous season.
Other cruise operators said they have also seen an increase in fly-cruise passengers.
Princess Cruises entered a similar partnership with STB and CAG in 2014 before making Singapore a home port that year.
Its South-east Asia director, Mr Farriek Tawfik,told The New Paper: "Since then, we have seen a high percentage of overseas guests who fly to Singapore to board our cruises as they find the itineraries sailing out of Singapore new and exotic."
According to him, 50 per cent of passengers aboard the short-haul sailings and 70 per cent of passengers on long-haul sailings are not from Asia.
He said: "The concept of flying into Singapore to cruise further taps on the huge potential of cruising in South-east Asia, as guests can fly in earlier before the cruise or stay in Singapore for post-cruise holidays."
STB cruise director Annie Chang said Singapore has seen a growth in cruise tourist passenger arrivals, growing 16 per cent to about 1.2 million last year.
She said: "The fly-cruise industry in Singapore cannot be sustained by a domestic market. We have seen a steady trajectory in overseas passengers and are sure it will continue to grow."