New tie-up buoys expectations for Riau Islands, S’pore tourism

More tourists expected, but cruising facilities need upgrading

Industry players are hoping that a new marketing partnership between Singapore Cruise Centre and Nongsa Terminal Bahari would not only pull in millennial tourists from around Asia, but also spur improvements in cruising facilities for both countries.

With the goal of boosting tourism in Batam and the Riau Islands, both parties will collaborate to promote recent developments and ongoing projects in the Nongsa area, such as Infinite Studios, Nongsa Digital Park and condotel The Scene Movie Town.

More tourists expected, but cruising facilities need upgrading

“The joint-destination development will not only help boost traffic from Singapore to Bintan and Batam; it will also raise awareness to provide conveniences for travellers (in) new destinations,” said Max Tan, managing director of Majestic Fast Ferry.

Cruising facilities in the region need to be updated, opined Tan, who suggested improvements such as “newer ferries with safer and faster technology”, “maintaining and upgrading of existing cruise terminals (that) is needed to help ease congestion” and opening of more terminals in new destinations.

He added: “With such accessibility and ease of booking, more millennials and younger generations (may become more) open to travelling on short notice.”

Majestic Fast Ferry is preparing a fleet of new vessels and will consider launching new routes to Nongsa, said Tan.

Mandy Goh, senior manager – sales & business development for Bintan Resort Ferries, agreed that Singapore and Bintan can benefit from upgraded ferry terminals with more shops and restaurants, round-the-clock operations, greater accessibility and seamless check-in processes integrated with the airport.

She added: “Visitors to Bintan can be encouraged to do day trips to Singapore for a different holiday experience that Bintan does not offer, such as shopping.”

Iris Kok, manager, marketing communications of Bintan Resorts International, told TTG Asia that Bintan has been seeing “an increase in millennials as well as young families and working adults”, and is hopeful that upcoming developments “such as better and more efficient infrastructure (and) promoting joint destinations” will lead to higher visitor numbers.

On top of upcoming developments, Bintan Resorts International has also increased ferry frequencies, especially during major event periods for Bintan and long weekends, and continues to monitor travel trends, said Kok.

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