Royal Caribbean International has entered into a new multimillion-dollar marketing partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group (CAG) to promote fly-cruises.
The five-year tripartite collaboration is expected to bring some 623,000 international fly-cruise visitors to Singapore, and generate over S$430 million (US$315.6 million) in tourism receipts between end-2019 and 2024.
Angie Stephen, managing director Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises, is confident that the partnership will ‚Äúextend beyond five years‚ÄĚ. She told TTGmice: ‚ÄúThis is because of the success that we‚Äôve seen over the past 11 years. Cruising, and the awareness of cruising, is just getting started in Asia. I am very optimistic about the growth of cruising, (which is further) buoyed by a rising middle class.‚ÄĚ
When asked if this partnership was targeting MICE or leisure, Stephen said: “Both. MICE is doing quite well, and from South-east Asia, MICE is one of our largest segments during the months outside of peak holiday family groups. MICE buyers are looking for new things to offer their clients, and cruises are new. It also makes things easier for the organiser to have one point of contact, and a whole team to help with the arrangements.”
The collaboration will be focused on key regional markets including China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as longhaul markets like Australia, the UK, and the US.
The partnership is also expected to generate at least 60 per cent higher tourism receipts compared to the previous partnerships combined. The first partnership ran from 2015 till 2018 to market Mariner of the Seas, followed by another three-year partnership launched in 2017 to promote Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Both partnerships generated a total of S$260 million in tourism dollars.
This announcement is in tandem with the cruise line‚Äôs five-year Quantum Class ship deployment in Singapore. To kick off the partnership, Quantum of the Seas has arrived fresh from her multimillion-dollar refurbishment for her six-month homeporting season in the city state ‚Äď Royal Caribbean‚Äôs longest ever Singapore deployment for a Quantum Class ship ‚Äď which is expected to carry some 150,000 overseas and local guests.
Royal Caribbean also announced new amenities onboard the refurbished Quantum of the Seas, including an escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag, which can be incorporated into corporate teambuilding programmes.
To introduce the ship and its events capability to the MICE community, Royal Caribbean Cruises worked with TTGmice to host an onboard showcase for Singapore-based event planners on Monday. The intimate event was attended by more than 80 buyers who experienced a fun ice-breaker, took a ship tour, and enjoyed a lunch party in a private venue.
Aside from being a significant generator of economic benefits, South-east Asia’s cruise tourism sports a positive outlook, as the sector is expected to post growth of between 4.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent per annum to reach 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2035.
To support fly-cruises, a fast-growing passenger segment, CAG launched a seamless intermodal transfer service for passengers flying into Singapore and sailing out on cruise lines and ferries.
Passengers who take up this service will have their bags delivered from their arriving flights to their departing ship and enjoy facilities of the Changi Lounge located in Jewel Changi Airport, before being transferred to the cruise terminal. From December 1, 2019, Royal Caribbean guests sailing out of Singapore from China will be able to enjoy this seamless transfer service as part of the new fly-cruise travel packages.