Singapore has been named top cruise destination by industry experts for the second timein three years at the 10th Seatrade Cruise Awards held on 22nd September in Tenerife. This accolade is another feather in the cap for Singapore, which was voted as the top Asian port of call in the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards as well.
“We are flattered that Singapore has managed to retain the top spot in the minds of the cruise community as an attractive cruise hub,” said John Conceicao, Executive Director, International Relations & Market Planning & Oceania, Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
“It’s no doubt that Singapore’s superb air connectivity, world-class berthing facilities at both the Singapore Cruise Centre and Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore terminals, and proximity to the region’s myriad of cruise offerings have all jointly contributed to this win.”
Strengthening Singapore as a cruise hub
The award also caps off years of developmental work that STB, cruise lines and trade partners had collectively done to grow the cruise industry in Singapore. Some of the initiatives include forging more than 10 marketing partnerships with cruise lines and trade partners to drive cruise passenger numbers, training more than 800 travel agents from the UK and India with the help of CLIA Australasia, and widening Singapore’s reach to consumers through multiple media platforms. The Board also actively works with Singaporean trade partners to curate immersive and differentiated pre- or post-cruise experiences to enrich cruise visitors’ stay in Singapore.
Developing Southeast Asia as the cruising region of choice
Being the ASEAN lead co-ordinator for cruise development in Southeast Asia, Singapore also spearheaded initiatives such as the creation of the first Cruise Southeast Asian brand to promote the region in a unified voice, and developed tools such as a regional cruise port and attractions map to help cruise lines develop itineraries.
These efforts have proved fruitful, as Singapore experienced a 14 per cent year-on-year increase in cruise passenger throughput in 2015, and major cruise line Royal Caribbean International will have their longest-ever homeporting season in Singapore starting October 2016.
In Australia, the Board continues to work with various cruise travel partners not only to promote cruises that begin or end in Singapore, but also creating advertorials on Singapore in order to encourage longer stays pre- or post-cruise.
Added Conceicao: “Singapore and Southeast Asia are well-placed to ride the wave of growth for cruising in Asia, and the Board will continue to push the boundaries in establishing Southeast Asia as the cruise region of choice.”