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ASEAN Targets Chinese Tourists at CITM 2012 in Shanghai

November 21, 2012

ASEAN Targets Chinese Tourists at CITM 2012 in Shanghai
BANGKOK, November 2012 — ASEAN Tourism and China will draw closer together at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) in Shanghai, November 15-18.

The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) has provided ASEAN with two booths to boost bilateral tourism relations. ASEAN is keen to increase the number of Chinese visitors to the region as China’s economy continues to grow the fastest in Asia Pacific.
According to the UNWTO’s World Tourism Barometer report on the first half of 2012, ASEAN countries are some of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, with international visitor arrivals into Myanmar up 36%, Cambodia 26%, Singapore 12%, Philippines 12%, Vietnam 11%, and Thailand 8%.

China continues to be the biggest or fastest growing contributor of international visitor arrivals to most of those destinations.

The UNWTO reported that Southeast Asia as a region showed a 9% increase in arrivals compared to 4% for Europe, 5% for America, and 7% for Africa.

Specifically, between China and Southeast Asia, ASEAN Secretariat statistics show that Chinese tourists visiting ASEAN increased from 3.9 million in 2007 to 7.3 million in 2011. The annual rate of increase accelerated from 6.3% to 9% in the same period. With further implementation of the November 2010 ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement, Chinese and ASEAN officials expect the rate of increase to grow faster.

“The latest forecasts we have are that China’s contribution to ASEAN’s international visitor arrivals will continue at an accelerated rate,” said Mr. Ma Mingqiang, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) in Beijing.

China has caught up with the European Union as the biggest supplier of tourists to ASEAN. China and Europe now each supply around 9% of ASEAN’s total international visitor arrivals.

At CITM the ASEAN nations of Southeast Asia will emphasize the region’s proximity to China, increasing low cost carrier links and an abundance of new travel products suitable for China’s emerging middle classes.

To make the point, ASEAN Tourism will launch a dedicated Chinese language website in January 2013 ( ASEAN in cooperation with the ASEAN-China Centre, will also feature Southeast Asian tourism content on, China’s largest social media platform.

While Chinese visitors have frequented ASEAN’s cities, shopping malls and theme parks for years, ASEAN beach resorts now see a clear demand from a younger Chinese demographic for beach holidays, formerly the reserve of Western tourists and more recently Japanese and Korean travellers.

During CITM, ASEAN Tourism representatives will promote the ASEAN Tourism Forum, which takes place in Vientiane, Laos, 17-24 January 2013. Some 1,600 delegates including 150 ASEAN tourism ministers and officials, 800 ASEAN exhibitors, 400 international buyers, 150 international and local media and about 100 travel trade visitors are expected to attend.

Visitors to CITM can find out more about destination ASEAN at booths 5E12 and 5E13 in Hall 5 as well as at individual ASEAN NTO booths.

Further information

New Infrastructure and Demand Buoy ASEAN Cruise Sector

September 24, 2012

New Infrastructure and Demand Buoy ASEAN Cruise Sector
International cruise lines tap into ASEAN’s growing cruise potential as major cruise show starts Monday

BANGKOK, September 2012 – The cruise industry in Southeast Asia is set to grow, with the region’s countries committed to upgrading its cruise infrastructure as intra-regional demand for cruising within ASEAN rises.

Cruise lines are increasingly basing their ships in Southeast Asia which offers an ever more affluent market of 600 million people, heightened awareness and demand for cruising, greater intra-regional flight frequencies and streamlined airport-seaport connectivity.
Private and public sector cruise industry leaders convening for the 2nd annual Cruise Shipping Asia Pacific event, September 17-18, in Singapore, are upbeat.

“The wave of new and upcoming improvements in cruise infrastructure across ASEAN is a significant boost to the region’s cruise industry,” said Dr Liu Zinan, Managing Director, China and Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises. “This is shown by our company’s unprecedented number and size of ships here this year. With more developed ports here, which are essential for growing cruise markets and attractive itineraries, more international cruise operators like us will be drawn to ASEAN,” he said.

Sepang in Malaysia, Subic in the Philippines, Benoa in Bali, Indonesia and Singapore are all being developed or upgraded to accommodate more cruise lines.

This year, the main infrastructure developments have been the new 28,000 square metre Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore which began operations in May 2012. It can accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships and handle 6,800 passengers at one time. It now operates in tandem with the Singapore Cruise Centre which recently completed a US$11 million rejuvenation programme. In Indonesia, facilities at the port of Benoa in Bali are being expanded and upgraded. About 200 cruise ships will visit Indonesian ports this year, up from 100 ten years ago.

Major cruise lines have this year increased their presence in Southeast Asia or have sent larger ships on maiden calls to Singapore. They include Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa and Royal Caribbean’s 311-metre, 137,276-ton, 14-passenger deck Voyager of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever to homeport in Asia. Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Millennium will homeport in Singapore this year. The company’s Mariner of the Seas, which is similar in size to Voyager, will also homeport there from 2013.

Singapore Cruise Centre
Download image hereAdditional cruise lines such as Star Cruises and Costa which also homeport out of Singapore, offer sailings to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Redang, Penang and Malacca; Thailand’s capital of Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui; Indonesia’s Bali and Komodo Islands; and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Ha Long Bay, among other ports in the ASEAN region.
Apart from better infrastructure and greater demand, cruise industry leaders scheduled to attend the event say the cruise business in Southeast Asia is also being boosted by ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ commitment to the expansion of the sector. The Ministers are planning to tap into an increasingly affluent Southeast Asian market by launching ‘ASEAN for ASEAN’ cruise promotions.

ASEAN has many natural attributes that favour cruise development. There are more than 25,000 islands in the ASEAN region compared to about 7,000 in the Caribbean.

“The cruise boom in ASEAN is only just beginning,” said Dato’ Dr. Ong Hong Peng, Secretary General in Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the ASEAN Product Development Working Group. “Building the human resources, knowledge and marketing skills for the cruise industry as well as the physical infrastructure is our new challenge,” he said.

At the ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Manado, Indonesia in January, the ministers pledged to further develop the cruise industry by supporting the organisation of cruise workshops, strengthening collaboration in joint marketing efforts, encouraging port infrastructure developments and developing new cruise itineraries along three cruise corridors: the Malacca Straits, Karimata Strait/Java Sea/Flores Sea, and South China Sea/Gulf of Thailand.

Since then, Indonesia has hosted an ASEAN Cruise Workshop in April. The event helped cruise industry stakeholders share best practices, develop regional itineraries and strengthen collaboration on port infrastructure expansion. Vietnam held a similar cruise workshop to discuss how the country’s cruise development can be accelerated.

As Cruise Shipping Asia Pacific opens in Singapore, UBM, the organizers of the event, say that 63% of the exhibitors will be from ASEAN up from 46% last year. Demand for the travel agent cruise training workshop during the event has exceeded capacity.

Further information

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