by Teresa Ooi and Steve Hopkinson
Royal Caribbean International has joined forces with Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport in a multi-million dollar marketing drive to grow the fly-cruise market.
The tripartite collaboration is expected to generate over SG$26 million in tourism revenue and bring around 45,000 overseas fly-cruise passengers to board RCL’s Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas from March to June this year.
The announcement comes as Ovation of the Seas arrived in Singapore for her inaugural season this week. Ovation will offer 10 sailings during her season in Singapore.
For the 2017-18 season, Royal Caribbean has lined up 72 sailings on its three ships: Mariner of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
Sean Treacy, managing director of Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia Pacific said that the partnership marks “another milestone’’ as the line celebrates 10 years in Asia.
“In 2007, we had only one ship in Asia, today we have 10 ships across our three brands,’’ Mr Treacy said.
Annie Chang, STB’s director of cruise said: “This second collaboration with RCI and Changi Airport reiterates our commitments to grow Singapore’s cruise industry and position Singapore as the fly-cruise hub of Asia.’’
Changi Airport is the world’s sixth busiest airport for international traffic handling a record 58.7 million passengers last year. Over 100 airlines fly to 380 cities worldwide from Singapore. Changi handles more than 7000 flights a week – about one flight every 90 seconds.
The fly-cruise marketing drive will target Australia and India as important source markets.
As Mr Treacy said: ‘‘Australia is one of the biggest cruising nations. About 4 per cent of Australians cruise every year.”
Ms Chang said India has been a 20 per cent growth in the cruise market. The joint marketing campaign will also be targeting regional countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Singapore also offers cruise-fly service – a sea-to-air baggage transfer service which allows passengers to check-in early for flights, deposit their bags and collect their boarding passes without the hassle. They can then spend the day exploring Singapore tourist sights.