Southeast Asia to benefit from China’s cruising boom


The last month has been a sure sign that cruise companies are turning their attention to China. Major cruise companies like Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and many more are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the region but what will this boom mean for Southeast Asia?

A new report forecasts that with the cruising boom in China, Southeast Asia will economically benefit from more cruise lines and cruise brands heading to the region.

In the last month, Carnival Corporation not only announced a new cruise ship brand, specifically for the Chinese market but more ships will be homeported in the region.

Norwegian Cruise Line also committed to homeport a new-build vessel to Shanghai year-round while MSC is renovating a ship for Chinese cruise passengers.

Royal Caribbean have also announced that it will be introducing its fifth Quantum-class to the seas and by 2016, Ovation of the Seas will be homeported in Shanghai and in Tianjin, Anthem of the Seas.

These ships will be calling on hundreds of destinations within the ASEAN regions, like Star Cruises who have outlined that it will be increasing deployment of its ships to Vietnam.

Star may be targeting upwards of 200 port calls, just to Vietnam, in 2016.

Last month, the Business Research & Economic Advisors released a report on the economic impact on how the cruising boom in China is affecting Southeast Asia.

The report shows that Malaysia hosted the most port calls in 2014 while Singapore generated the greatest number of turnaround calls.

“Cruise ports in Malaysia and Singapore generated over one million passenger and crew visit days (in 2014),” the report says.

“Singapore was the principal turnaround port generating 1.03 million turnaround passenger visit days, accounting for 68 per cent of total turnaround passenger visit days in Southeast Asia.”

The report also says that the bulk of cruise spending in Southeast Asia comes from passengers and not cruise lines.

“Cruise passengers spent a total of $1.47 billion, 89 per cent of total direct expenditures, at Southeast Asia cruise ports.”

But while cruise lines have yet to increase their investment into the Southeast Asian region, it is believed that ASEAN will still reap the benefits of Chinese cruisers heading to the region.