Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cruise tourism expects 35% growth next year

Cruise toursim
Cruise tourism
From Grayline Halong's Blog - October 2012

Indonesia expects robust growth in cruise tourism next year with 300 calls already scheduled to visit the country’s ports, bringing some 160,000 passengers, a senior official said Wednesday.

The calls might still increase until the end of this year, Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry’s Meeting, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibition (MICE) director, Rizky Handayani, said.

“Cruise calls to Indonesia have been increasing over the past several years. It shows that we are a good market and a great destination, and surely have strong potential to grow further in this sector,” Rizky said on the sidelines of the ministry’s marketing coordinating meeting in Jakarta.

The expected number of tourists the cruise ships would bring next year — 160,000, would be a 35 percent increase from this year, which has received 200 cruise ship calls with 118,800 passengers visiting the country through the end of this year. Last year, the figure stood at 178 calls, bringing 112,000 passengers.

She said about 40 percent of cruise liners would visit Bali, 35 percent to West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara, 13 percent to Java, and the rest would go to Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Maluku and Papua.

“Smaller cruise liners that only bring around 400 people usually visit exotic places in Maluku, Papua and Sulawesi,” she said.

The ministry has recently set up a task force consisting of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, Transportation Ministry, state-owned port operator Pelindo, state- run shipping company Pelni, oil and gas company Pertamina, local governments, the Customs and Excise Office, and the Immigration Office, in hopes of bringing in more cruise liners and luxury yachts to Indonesia.

The task force has identified 10 ports across the country, such as Surabaya, East Java; Semarang, Central Java; Bali; Makassar; and Pare Pare in South Sulawesi, which would be developed to enable larger cruise ships to dock in the ports.

“We are working hard to finish the development of each port as soon as possible. We expect to finish the development of Benoa, one of the favorite cruise destinations, next year,” she said. Benoa is set to have a dedicated cruise terminal in the future. With all the developments taking place in every port, she was optimistic that Indonesia would be able to attract 600,000 passengers in 2016.

She also said that Indonesia had been participating in the world’s largest cruise exhibition, Cruise Shipping Miami, in the US, to promote cruise destinations across the archipelago.

Previously, Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that Indonesia would collaborate with ASEAN countries through joint destinations so that the country could work together in joint packages such as from Singapore – Malaka – Aceh’s Weh Islet, or from Phuket Island in Thailand to Bali, and so on.

As of today, Indonesia has 70 points that can be entered by different types of cruise ships.

Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, is an exciting cruise market due to strong economic growth in the region.

Christine Duffy, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association, described Asia as a gateway to tomorrow’s cruise marketplace, during the second annual Cruise Shipping Asia Pacific in Singapore last month.

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