Cruise Industry Shows Rapid Growth in Southeast Asia

by Nicole Quaste

Mar 7, 2018
eFlyer Lead

The tourism industry in Southeast Asia shows signs of rapid development — never more evident than at the 37th Asean Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last month. Data collected from 2017 and shared at the meeting revealed 125 million international tourists in 2017 — a growth of 8.4 per cent from 2016.

One of the primary areas of focus at the forum was the region’s growing demand for cruise travel. The Cruise Line International Association‘s most recent Asia Cruise Trends report revealed staggering statistics. The number of ships deployed in Asia grew 53 per cent since 2013, with passenger capacity nearly tripling from 1.5 million to 4.2 million. Sailings in and through Asia increased 142 per cent from 861 cruises and voyages in 2013 to 2,086 in 2017. Southeast Asia alone contributed close to 20 per cent of Asia’s overall cruise passengers.

In response to the rising demand in Southeast Asia, the Singapore Tourism Board and CLIA announced a three-year partnership intended to boost the cruise industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The partnership includes travel agent training, marketing efforts, port development and the exchanging of technology and other best practices.

“As Southeast Asia’s cruise industry is still in a nascent stage of growth, this partnership draws on CLIA’s expertise, networks and platforms, as well as STB’s strong understanding of regional travel trade and market nuances, to shape and spur growth in this region,” said Lionel Yeo, chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

Cruise lines featuring new Southeast Asia itineraries include Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.

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