Singapore cruise numbers sink in 2010

CRUISE passenger throughput for Singapore in 2010 dipped 11.4 per cent from the year before to 1.01 million, while ship calls to the country sinking from 926 to 642, according to reports from the Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC).

SCC chairman Soo Kok Leng attributed the weaker results to a decline in the number of cruises-to-nowhere, as customers migrated to on-land gaming at Singapore’s two new integrated resorts instead.

“Nevertheless, we remain optimistic about the growth potential of the cruise industry, not just in Singapore but also the greater Asia-Pacific region,” said Soo in reference to UK-based Ocean Shipping Consultants’ forecast of two million cruise passengers in Asia by 2015, a three-fold leap from 2005.

Soo said the forecast was “conservative given that the middle-class in Asia-Pacific is fast growing, and only 0.05 per cent of the region’s 3.5 billion people go on cruises.”

In comparison, the cruise penetration rate in North America and Europe was 3.2 per cent and one per cent respectively, he said.

Soo added that the regional cruise industry was also set to receive a boost from an increase in fly-cruise passengers from outside Asia-Pacific and growth in intra-Asia traffic as a result of low-cost carriers.

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