Market potential- India As Ideal Place
The India cruise market is estimated at 100000 guests per annum and is expected to grow to about three lakhs in the next five years as cruise ships become more accessible and packages become affordable to customers, said Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President – Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises, as interviewed by travel trends today and added that the growth will mainly be driven by short-haul.
According to him, India continues to be a market of enormous interest to Royal Caribbean as the market enjoys a large, educated and urbanised population who has a zest for travel. Hence, Royal Caribbean is working towards widening its customer base in India by tapping into the family segment, with cheaper, short-haul itineraries.
Cruise tourism in Asia is growing at double-digit rates – both in capacity deployed in the region and as a passenger source market.
- Between 2013 and 2015, cruise capacity has increased across all metrics.
- The number of ships deployed in Asia grew at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate.
- Similarly, the volume of cruises and voyages within and through Asia increased 11 percent.
- Operating days expanded 16 percent.
- Passenger capacity in Asia increased 20 percent.
According to Ministry of Tourism Survey, Cruise Shipping’ is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide. It is fast emerging as a new marketable product. India with its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can be a fabulous tourist destination for cruise tourists.
The Cruise Shipping Policy of the Ministry of Shipping was approved by the Government of India on 26th June, 2008. The objective of the policy is to make India as an attractive cruise tourism destination with the state-of-the-art infrastructural and other facilities at various parts in the country; to attract the right segment of the foreign tourists to cruise shipping in India; to popularize cruise shipping with Indian tourists. The Ministry of Tourism has accordingly included promotion of Cruise Shipping under its “New initiatives”.
India’s vibrant economy supports growth in cruising:
- Buoyant disposable incomes
- Increasing outbound travel –6.8%
- Business travel important part of outbound travel – 29%
- India’s 309 million domestic tourists formed 43.9% of global tourist arrivals in 2016 India’s Demographic features significant
- “Middle class” over 150 Mn in 2016
- Rupee Millionaires > 3,00,000
- 22% Indians spend > USD 2800 per trip abroad
- Indians rank 6th on Singapore’s visitor arrivals, are 3 rd highest revenue-generating market
Current Trends of Indian Cruise Tourists It is understood that approximately 50,000 Indians set sail every year on different cruises every year7 . Nishit Saxena, country head, Princess Cruises quoted “Cruise vacation concept is being accepted very quickly in India, with the growth rate of 20-25 per cent year-on-year boasted by most cruise companies being represented in India”