With an expected 4 million cruise passenger capacity by 2020 and growing demand from a rising middle class of consumers, Asia presents boundless opportunities for international cruise operators. However, the lack of awareness of cruising as an ideal vacation choice to explore Asia remains a huge barrier.
“Cruise operators must continue to meet the needs of a diverse range of consumers in Asia, especially with the growing interest in cruising from the rising middle class to multigenerational travelers and millennials,” said Mr Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises at the Global Cruise Tourism Conference 2015 held today in Langkawi.
This year’s conference theme was stretching the boundaries of cruise tourism in Asia, a rapidly evolving market which has grown at double-digit rates in the last two years according to research from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Speaking to government officials, corporate executives and experts from the cruise tourism industry, Mr Tawfik emphasized the need for tailored offerings that would meet Asian consumer preferences.
He also discussed the importance of greater travel agent education to drive the region’s cruise market more aggressively. Misconceptions of cruising prevail among those new to cruising, thus underscoring the need for enhanced marketing efforts that educate consumers on the value proposition of cruising.