“Recent Surge in Asia’s Cruise Sector is Only Just Beginning”: Cruise Lines International Association

FORT LAUDERDALE, February 24 (Asia Cruise News): Asia is widely viewed as the world’s most exciting region for cruise shipping, but the growth seen is merely a precursor to an explosion in interest in the sector, according to the president and ceo of the world’s most powerful cruise association.

Christine Duffy heads up the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines and travel agents before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications.

Duffy told Asia Cruise News in an exclusive interview: “The recent surge in Asia’s cruise sector is only just beginning.”

CLIA-member cruise lines are adding itineraries, customising onboard amenities and upgrading cruise facilities. Duffy said.

In the region, port infrastructure enhancements are driving growth and attracting more cruise operators to the Asian market, says Duffy, who’s been in her association role for the past three years.

Asia also is a leader in international tourism growth and accelerating operations in exotic itineraries. Examples include increased deployment in Asia – predicted to attract 3.7m passengers per year by 2017 – and double that by 2020 with Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand among the market leaders, according to Duffy.

A key issue for Asians boarding a cruiseship are whether amenities onboard have been tailored for them.

“Some lines are going the extra step to given an Asian experience onboard,” Duffy told Asia Cruise News. One example, she cited, is Crystal Cruises, which as a Japanese-owned company, with a growing Asian clientele, is striving to make its Asian guests feel at home onboard. The line offers a daily Asian breakfast, Chinese comfort food for lunch, and Nobu’s Silk Road and the Sushi Bar for dinner (Nobu’s only restaurant at sea). Crystal has also doubled its number of Asian itineraries this year, with 40 new shore excursions.

The head of CLIA also spoke to our sister site, Maritime CEO, where she outlined prospects for the global cruise industry in 2014.

News Source: Asia Cruise News

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