Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN
Travel Marketing & India Representative, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
2016 went well for us both in terms of
volumes and revenue as we embraced
new markets and catered to the people
who have high aspiration in lives. 2017
will be an exciting year for us with respect
to maintaining this momentum and we
are in line with our projections for next
year. We have observed that the Indian
travellers have turned extremely modern
and experimental. Furthermore, the government is diligently working
at improving the ports and infrastructure and is serious to make cruise
tourism their business. The government announced to add the cruise ports
in India, which will help attract international guests. The tourism ministry
is working with other parts of the Indian government to develop cruise
facilities in the country. As we all know that the cruise business is cyclical,
we hope for a promising 2017.
VP – Sales, Star
I strongly believe 2017 should be a very
strong year for us at Genting Hong Kong
Group, we are gearing up to showcase a
wide variety of experiential offerings to
our friends in the travel trade and guests.
We have been witnessing an increase in
number of Indian guests on Star Cruises
from Tier II and III cities along with B towns,
longer itineraries to exotic destinations
and choosing higher category cabins are
the tending favourites for cruise travellers.
The excitement continues as Star Cruises announces two new builds
lined for 2020 and 2021. After a successful deployment of Dream Cruises
first vessel Genting Dream Ex Mumbai on October 29, 2016, we are gearing
up to launch their second vessel World Dream (launching late 2017) which
shall be home ported in Asia and would be delivering the highest level of
guest service and spacious comfort in the region. In this year both the new
mega ships focus will be to cater to the high-end guests each focusing on
2,000 crew for fewer than 3,400 passengers and the 46% space ratio with
showcasing luxury experience and a real asian heart-felt services.
Our new acquired Crystal Cruises is also topping the charts. In 2015,
Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history
of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of
cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Exclusive
Class Ocean Cruises – and reaching new heights with Crystal Luxury Air.
Crystal Cruises offers extensive itineraries traversing the globe, ranging
from five days to approximately 100-day World Cruises and regionally focused
Currently with three amazing cruise brands Genting Hong Kong is surely
looking forward to expand its portfolio to entice the Indian travellers.
Nishith Saxena, Founder & Director,
Cruise Tourism in India has had its ups and
downs in all these years, but if looked at
different segments, one can find that only
the outbound tourism has done well on a
sustainable basis. A substantial growth in
outbound tourism has been seen in last
10 years. With the deployment of new
technologies and the construction of new
ships, the cruise industry has been able
to meet the expectations of the travellers
so far, resulting in this stable growth and strong economic impact around
the world. And with the government finally focusing on cruise industry as
a serious business, and the private port operators planning to make the
necessary arrangements to be done to cater the passengers, the future of
cruise tourism seems bright.
Manoj Singh, Country Head – India,
Norwegian Cruise Line
In the last few years, cruising has grown at
a rapid pace among Indian travellers. We
are witnessing a good season this year and
will aggressively look at showcasing our
products. The cruise segment will continue
to grow multifold this year and we expect
strong bookings from Tier II cities as well.
Cruising is the only travel segment that
will continue to entice the Indian traveller
across segments, having realised its value for-
money proposition. Every player is bringing competitive products to
India and that will work in favour of the segment as a whole.
Kunal Sampat, GM - India, MSC Cruises
The cruising industry as a whole has been experiencing good growth in
Indian travellers. Trade partners have been gearing up and promoting
cruise holidays very aggressively. Cruise liners have been adding new
ships and increasing their inventory
in all regions. With more than 50 ships
expected to touch Indian shores in 2017,
new itineraries and changing travel
trends, we are quite optimistic about 2017.
Demonetisation effect will prevail in the
first quarter; however the slowdown in the
last quarter of 2016 can give a huge boost
to the upcoming summer season.
Nalini Gupta, Head, Costa Cruises
India & MD, Lotus Destinations
2017 commenced on a very positive note
for the Costa cruises India team as we
had Costa neoClassica doing sailings
between Mumbai and Maldives. We saw
very positive response from the Indian
market and encouraging support from
the government. Since Indians prefer
short cruise itinerary of 3/4 nights return
itineraries from Singapore, Dubai and
Europe and Costa cruises also has sailings
from all these ports, I think we are in the right place at the right time.
This year we will see our passenger mix from various segments of travel
ranging from families, honeymooners, senior citizens, corporate groups,
wedding charter, holiday charters.
Kishan Biyani, MD, ARK Travels
We are extremely optimistic for 2017 as
the year has started with a great promise.
Cruise vessels like Genting Dream, NCL
Star and ultra-luxury cruise ship, Regent
Voyager along with other cruise lines
making their way to Mumbai port in last
couple of months has further streamlined
and enhanced the cruise tourism
perspective for the year 2017. Larger ships
and varied itineraries is what the customer
is looking for and that is what is being
offered in 2017 in the South Asian region. MICE is already showing a
growth of 10% for the year. Diwali trends are also looking positive.
We have closed a charter sailing for February 8 on SuperStar Gemini ex
Singapore and are looking at blocking more charters for the year. The last
minute bookings for Asia for Star Cruises has increased this travel season
setting demand for January, February and March, while advance bookings
has sharply increased for April, May and June period.
Alaska and Mediterranean cruising, particularly with Norwegian Cruise
Lines are showing immense potential prompted by advance bookings
which has gone up by 25% as compared to same period last year. We have
already booked approx 300 passionate cruisers for May and June period for
Alaska and Mediterranean cruise vacations. All in all there is an upward
trend and we are extremely positive about it.
Dipti Adhia, Director, Discover the World - India
With the Indian travellers cruising since the last 20 years or more, they
have arrived at a point where they distinguish between cruise as an
attraction and cruising as a complete
vacation. There are now many more
players in the fray, but the ones to succeed,
will be those who can offer the product
and service which is out of the box. India
has just began its journey as an emerging
market for International cruising.
Pradeep Saboo, Partner, Guideline Travels LLP
In 2017, cruising shall once again continue
to be the fastest growing segment of the
tourism industry. The prime reason for this
growth is new megaships such as Genting
Dream (in 2016) and World Dream (in
2017) which have been homeported closer
to India. They cater to the luxury segment
of cruising in Asia which was absent till
date. A thriving Indian traveller is sure to
embrace this super value experience.
Joseph K. Jose, COO, Travel Tours
While there have been a series
of challenges in 2016, we feel the
outlook for 2017 is quite positive. While
there was uncertainty for over a month
post demonetisation, the enquiries have
picked up and summer of 2017 looks quite
good for outbound travellers from India.
Vineet Shrivastav, Director, Yorker Holidays
Cruise travel definitely provides a
unique experience for travellers as they
can get experience of various on board
entertainments. Cruise travel is in big
demand for corporate travellers as they all
their leisure wants i.e. entertainment, food
and activities are fulfilled at one place. People
are also choosing cruise for destination
weddings and religious gurus are also using
cruises for their spiritual teachings. Overall,
Cruise travel segment is expected to achieve
new heights in 2017.
Prashant Binnany, Director, Discovery
The forecast for Cruise travel for 2017 looks
good from both retail as well as corporate
point of view. With a lot of exploration
cruises coming into the market and a
push towards providing more superior
cabins, the demand for the Cruise travel is