Cruise industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaysia Cruise Industry Association (MCIA). The move is an effort to jointly drive cruise education and awareness in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s cruise source passenger count saw an impressive 88 per cent year on year growth in 2017, as per CLIA’s Asia Cruise Trends 2018 report. However, the cruise penetration rate in the country is still comparatively low, at less than 0.6 per cent. According to the report, Malaysia is Asia’s 6th ranked source market, at 4.6% of the total.
“CLIA Asia’s mandate is to provide essential training, resources and support to travel agents in the region,” said Mr Joel Katz, CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director. “Globally, we see that cruise markets with the highest market penetration have the most “cruise educated” travel agents. Partnering with MCIA provides us with a great opportunity to equip their members with further skills to promote and sell cruise holidays to consumers.”
As the national cruise tourism industry association in Malaysia, MCIA will be leveraging on CLIA’s expertise to educate their travel agent members and boost the profile of cruise tourism.
“Cruise has seen tremendous growth and interest in Malaysia, and our members are keen to market and sell more cruise holidays,” said Dato Rashid Khan, President, MCIA. “MCIA is fully committed to enhance, develop and support the cruise industry and we look forward to working with CLIA to bring cruise tourism in Malaysia to greater heights.”
Besides CLIA and MCIA’s partnership, other initiatives have also been implemented to boost Malaysia’s cruise sector. In November 2018, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) signed a MoU with CLIA to drive sustainable cruise growth through education awareness for its members.
The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has also ramped up efforts to develop cruise-based tourism products. Last year, the island of Langkawi was selected as home port for cruise ship operator Tui Group, with both its ships Marella and MeinSchiff based there over 2018/19 winter season.