What, in your opinion, is the USP of your Cruise Line (owned or represented)? How important is the Indian market for the Business of your Cruise Ship?
The USP for different ships for different itineraries is different. In Asia where Singapore is the biggest half, the size of the ship, the quality and most important for them is food since these are short cruises for two, three or four nights. For a short cruise, it is the port of call, undoubtedly the entertainment and food are important. Indians are the biggest fan-followers of how Indian food is available on the cruise because the segment which is travelling is still between the age group of 35 to 60 years where the food still plays an important role. When we talk about the Indian market in Cruising, it is one of the most upcoming markets in the world. We are not as big as the U.S. and the European markets but we are the upcoming market for the cruising industry.
What strategies is your company implementing to drive growth in the cruise tourism sector, and how are these strategies adapting to the changing travel trends and customer preferences?
Being a B2B player we are doing a lot of Roadshows, education on the Roadshows for our travel partners. The principal companies are doing marketing through social media to create awareness among travellers. We have seen a change that putting advertisements in print media has also helped to create a great marketing campaign for the European and American cruises. The numbers have gone high, particularly for the Norwegian Cruise Line campaign.
Are the Cruise Tourism numbers back to what it was in 2019?
Yes, we are already at the 2019 levels if you look at the first six months of this year. We have touched on the 2019 numbers as far as the cruising industry is concerned.
What innovative technological features or platforms is your company implementing to enhance customer experiences both pre-cruise and onboard?
Technology plays a big role and we have already brought in DeckPro four years down the line to bring in most of our Cruise Liners into our system so that it becomes really easy for the travel agent to book online. Even if a customer is sitting in front of him, he can share the quotes within 2-3 minutes for any Cruise Liner in any part of the world which helps in growing this business. From a consumer’s point of view, the new tech-savvy generation goes directly onto the Cruise Line’s website and makes their booking through the principal site. The cruise lines also say that their online sales are getting higher every year.
What percentage of the Cruise Tourism business that you handle comprises repeat clientele?
From a corporate point, we have a couple of corporates from the last eight years, every year we are getting one or the other cruise for those corporates but for the FIT segment there are no repeaters of the same cruise but if they have chosen Singapore once they would opt for a U.S. or a European cruise.
Is there any more information that you would like to share with us?
The travel industry is still rocking as it was before 2019 and there is still a lot to go ahead. People would be worried about the TCS but if you explain properly to the customer, TCS is not a cost it is just an advance tax paid by the consumer.