As cruise tourism gains steam among Indonesian travellers, Royal Caribbean Cruises sees strong growth potential for this emerging market that is likely to play a bigger role in regional cruising in the coming years.
“Cruise passengers from Indonesia in 2017 grew by 40 per cent over 2016, a total of 46,500 passengers, said Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia-Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises, citing figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). “For Royal Caribbean, the number of passengers from Indonesia last year grew by 25 per cent compared to 2016.”
Despite the stellar growth posted by Indonesia in recent years, the country contributes only over one per cent of the total number of cruise passengers in Asia in 2017, which according to CLIA reached four million.
With only less than one per cent of Indonesia’s population having cruised before, coupled with the rapid expansion of the middle class and the desire of travellers to explore new things, Indonesia presents immense opportunities for cruising.
Ivan Soetikno, general manager of Multi Alam Bahari International, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ international representative in Indonesia, said: “Data from the Indonesian immigration shows that there are around 10 million Indonesian passport holders. Looking at arrivals to Singapore – the embarkation point of cruises for the Indonesians – there were around eight million arrivals. This market represents a huge potential for us.”
This year, Ivan expects the cruise line to achieve a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in cruise passengers from Indonesia.
Within the leisure segment, Ivan saw growing interest from families and millennials. “They enjoy the facilities and activities on board. There are many Instagramable spots that we have on board,” he said, adding that millennials were becoming increasingly important decision makers in family cruise travel.
Stephen was in Jakarta yesterday to promote the return of the Voyager of the Seas in South-east Asia next month, which is expected to appeal to vacationers in the region, including Indonesians, with its mix of short and long sailings from Singapore.
Voyager of the Seas’ South-east Asia season runs from September 2018 to June 2019, with over 70 sailings of three to seven nights from Singapore.
Stephen said: “In 2017, the majority of travellers (70 per cent) from Indonesia took the Asia sailings, with the 4D3N trips being the most popular one.”
At the same time, the company is also promoting the newly launched Symphony of the Seas offering sailings in the Caribbean from Miami to entice travellers to cruise beyond Asia.