CruiseThe one-day conference paved the way for local agents and international industry experts to dive into cruise trends, pressing issues and discussions for the betterment of the industry.

CruiseWorld Indonesia opens with record attendee numbers

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The second edition of CruiseWorld Indonesia welcomed close to 200 attendees, many of whom are local agents who wanted to hear more from Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International, as well as key representatives from Cruise Lines International Australasia (CLIA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.

Many local agents had signed up to hear more from major cruise players Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International, as well as key representatives from Cruise Lines International Australasia (CLIA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.

The second edition of CruiseWorld Indonesia, organised by Travel Weekly Asia, today welcomed close to 200 attendees, this year’s turnout exceeding 2018’s numbers by nearly 50%.

Many local agents had signed up to hear more from major cruise players Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International, as well as key representatives from Cruise Lines International Australasia (CLIA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.

For first-timer to the event, Lily Junus from Savir Travel, attending the conference was a natural step since the company has already been getting constant enquiries from both families and corporate groups over the past few years. “I heard Tara Tours and Panaroma [JTB Tours] are doing very well and [we] want a slice of the pie too”.

According to CLIA, Asian cruisers hit a record high of 4.2 million in 2018, “with Indonesia coming in within the top five source markets cruising to Singapore,” said Raymond Lim, STB area director of Indonesia. These numbers look set to surge even higher, since both Indonesia and Singapore are looking at growing new tourism destinations, including Belitung, an island on the east coast of Sumatra.

“If we want cruises to sail from Singapore to Bali, we need one stop in between or else the journey becomes too long,” said Rizki Handayani, deputy minister for marketing, Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia. Pushing Belitung as a good stopover choice, she also indicated calls for investors as the island still doesn’t have a port for big ships to call at yet.

In turn, Lim expressed his wish for local agents to see the value in promoting destinations together with a cruise experience – since a stopover will definitely aid in profit margins. The STB area director of Indonesia also proposed for cruise products to go online, making it more accessible for the masses and ultimately, helping to negate the “myth that cruising is for the rich”.

Agents were also actively listening in at the other two panel sessions – speaking on the Outlook on Indonesia’s Cruise Tourism as well as Understanding the Indonesian Cruise Traveller: What sells and what’s new?

Speaking on behalf of local travel agents was Hellen Xu of Panorama JTB Tours Indonesia, indicating that “for customers who might not want to cruise a second time, it’s a challenge to keep creating bigger ships and different itineraries,” said the chief executive officer. However, she also indicated opportunities beyond Jakarta, urging cruise companies to look into second- and third-tier cities like Surabaya and Yogyakarta.

Another point raised to help local agents came from Bernard Akili of Smailing Tour Group, the chief marketing officer sharing that they needed “guidance and advice from cruise lines… since we might not have the information to quickly create proposals when customers ask for things like team building and sustainability”.

Both major cruise players who were present – Michael Goh, senior vice president of international sales for Genting Cruise Lines; and Josh Wen, head of sales Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean International – gamely received all feedback from the floor, while also calling for Indonesian agents to begin pushing cruise itineraries as one of travellers’ holiday options.

Currently, four cruise lines ply Indonesia’s waters: Genting Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, and Costa Cruises, according to STB’s Lim.

Speaking on various regulations the Indonesian government has implemented to make it easier for cruisers to travel to the archipelago, Handayani hopes “we can work with Singapore to have more itineraries on Indonesian waters”.

For the full report on the event, look out for the July/August’19 issue of Travel Weekly Asia.


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