Resorts World Cruises observes, with soaring optimism, the ongoing strong and positive development of the cruise tourism industry in India, especially in the Fly-Cruise sector. Market penetration in India is still minimal, with much room to grow as there remains enormous potential, says Naresh Rawal, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Resorts World Cruises (India).
– Prashant Nayak
India’s cruise tourism industry, prior to the pandemic, witnessed an upward trend, especially for the Fly-Cruise segment. Post-pandemic, the cruise industry has exhibited much resilience, and Resorts World Cruises (RWC) has been observing a steady and positive rebound in India for the Fly-Cruise segment on the Genting Dream, which is homeported in Singapore. They are optimistic about this continued positive growth projection in the coming years.
Resorts World Cruises is a relatively new homegrown Asian cruise brand with over 50 years of affiliated and cumulative experience in the cruise, entertainment, and hospitality industries. “This is one of our strongest USPs that enables us to truly understand the Asian market and deliver best-in-class services that cater specifically to each region in Asia, including India,” says Naresh.
RWC is also in a strategic position to innovate and provide unique offerings that resonate with its target audience. For instance, Genting Dream offers certified vegetarian and Jain cuisine onboard while introducing exciting thematic cruises such as their upcoming Musicon, a Bollywood Music Festival, and more. Adding on, Naresh graciously proclaims, “We pride in our thematic cruises and have constantly received positive feedback and demand for them. Our guests look forward to these unique and entertaining thematic cruises that enhance their experiences, which are further complemented by our onboard offerings, facilities, cuisine, Asian hospitality, and popular destinations.”
In the coming months, guests on RWC can look forward to more exclusive thematic cruises, including the Halloween-themed cruise, Tea at Sea, Christmas Wonderland, a Bollywood Music Festival (on Genting Dream), and more. Besides that, Resorts World One, which is homeported in Hong Kong, will come forth with more exciting island destinations, starting with Sanya in China in late September, as well as Naha and Miyakojima in Okinawa, Japan, from October 1, 2023, onwards.
Cruising has been gaining positive traction among groups of friends travelling together, families, multi-generational families, and MICE groups. On the advantage of MICE travel when it comes to cruising, Naresh elucidates, “With MICE, a cruise ship offers a one-stop easy solution for many MICE organisers, from securing accommodations to onboard tailored activities, cuisine requirements, and more, while travelling to new destinations.”
Speaking of current challenges in the cruise industry, Naresh opines, “There is strong demand for travel post-pandemic, and with travel restrictions lifted, individuals have many options to consider, resulting in steep competition between the travel industries. Also, with airfares still on the high side and having yet to normalise, this will further weigh on demand for Fly-Cruise packages. However, we have been working hard together with our travel partners and various stakeholders to continue to educate vacationers on the value and convenience of opting for a Fly-Cruise vacation. Despite higher airfares, vacationers are opening up their minds and realising the value of complementing their overseas vacation with a cruise holiday.”
For Resorts World Cruises, maintaining a close rapport with travel partners via regular training and updates is important to promote cruising efficiently, as well as penetrate and cater to the growing segments. In addition, MICE at sea is another growing trend that will continue to be their priority for the Fly-Cruise segment.
The world today, and the cruise industry in particular, has embarked on a sustainability revolution, pursuing innovations including renewable resources, regenerative travel, tech-informed energy solutions, wildlife and marine conservation, and more. On this aspect, Naresh shares, “At Resorts World Cruises, we remain committed to sound environmental practices. An achievable high standard of responsibility has been established to preserve the environment in which we operate. These include increasing energy efficiency, conserving fuel and water, reducing solid waste generation, increasing recycling, protecting marine life, and preventing oil pollution. We also actively strive to contribute to the communities we call upon. We ensure that our shore excursions support local businesses, be it towards the art and craft trade or offering eco-friendly activities with low carbon emissions such as jungle tracking, cycling, walk tours, etc.”