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Body blow for cruise tourism with the winding up of Genting Hong Kong’s brands

The cruise industry globally, and specifically in Asia has been dealt with a body blow with the winding up of Genting Hong Kong that owns the Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises brands. The company failed to secure funding to pay its debts after the insolvency of its shipbuilding subsidiary, MV Werften in Germany. Separately, Dream Cruises has also filed a winding-up application with the Bermuda Courts.

TravelBiz Monitor contacted India representatives and officials of Genting Cruise Lines, however, they refused to comment.

Cruising in Asia, with sailings out of Singapore was dominated by Genting Hong Kong. In fact, it was the Star brand that introduced the cruising concept in India in the mid-2000s with Mumbai sailings before terminating operations here after burning hands with high operational costs and expensive port charges. It, however, gained popularity in the Asian waters having made the fly-cruise concept an aspiration for Indians with the Star Cruises’ brand ships being home ported in Singapore. Having gained popularity among Asian travellers, so much so that India became its number one fly-cruise source market for the Star brand, Genting Hong Kong launched Dream Cruises as its up-scale brand with much fanfare couple of years ago.

The fallout of Genting’s closure will have immediate and direct impact locally as well as internationally with millions of job losses, curtailing or complete closure of dedicated cruise teams in travel agencies, already embattled with massive loss in business due to the two long years of pandemic.

Genting Hong Kong’s Chairman and CEO Lim Kok Thay resigned and its deputy CEO, Au Fook Yew also stepped down, the company informed in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week. Earlier this month, the company had warned that it faces potential cross-default amounting to USD 2.78 billion, following the insolvency of its German shipbuilding subsidiary, MV Werften, after it failed to secure funding for the completion of its Global One mega-liner.

Genting Hong Kong is part of a bigger conglomerate that also includes Genting Malaysia and Genting Singapore. Among its assets, the conglomerate owns the Resorts World leisure park chain, which includes those in Singapore, New York City, and the United Kingdom. It also has 30 casinos across the U.K. Genting also owns the Resorts World theme park in Manila, and Crystal Cruises line which offers a range of round trips from Miami, Antarctica and Barcelona.

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