Singapore reports 25% rise in Indian cruise tourists

Singapore-based cruise companies are reporting strong growth in footfall of Indian tourists, with some 1,27,000 of them having sailed on luxury liners last year, up 25 percent from 2016.

Singapore-based cruise companies are reporting strong growth in footfall of Indian tourists, with some 1,27,000 of them having sailed on luxury liners last year, up 25 percent from 2016.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said the company believes the Indian market “has potential to grow at double-digit rates”.

“We are seeing an increasing number of Indian tourists booking fly-cruise packages to Singapore as the island is a regional hub and port… From Singapore, the tourists are able to visit a number of other countries depending on the cruise package they have booked,” the spokesperson said.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said the number of Indian guests taking its cruises has increased by 10 percent to 20 percent yearly, especially after the arrival of its Voyager Class ships to South-east Asia in 2013. Indian tourists like the convenience of packing for one trip but being able to travel to several countries at one time, the spokesperson added.

Other industry players are also adapting to Indian tourists, who are the third-largest group of visitors to Singapore. A Regent Singapore spokesperson said the hotel has seen an annual increase of 1 percent to 2 percent for guests from India.

“We do understand that some of them may have strict dietary requirements and, therefore, we have menus available to cater to those needs,” said the spokesperson.

Dr. Ram Mohan Panda, 68, on his first visit to Singapore along with his wife, Dr Shail Bala Panda, 65, and 20 others from Odisha, said “I like Singapore. It feels very global here, but we can buy many Indian items too.”

Dr. Taheb Khan, 75, from Goa, made a return visit to Singapore with six family members.

“Singapore is very safe and the people are very good,” said Dr Khan, who visited Singapore first in 2002 for a conference.

Sheikh Mustak, 60, a businessman, said, “We have been to many places, but this is the best and cleanest city of all.”

About seven in 10 travellers from India and China are holidaymakers who are typically attracted to the sights and sounds of Singapore, according to Singapore Tourism Board (STB). In 2017, international visitor arrivals in Singapore increased by 6.2 percent to 17.4 million, with those from India posting the highest growth rate of 16 percent, according to STB.

Indian tourist visitors increased by 15 percent to 6,60,000 between January and June 2017, as per the STB data. For this year, Singapore is estimating international visitor arrivals of 17.6 to 18.1 million, an increase of 1 percent to 4 percent.

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