TOURISTS don’t just flock to Singapore for its range of shopping and food options; cruise tourism is booming and the island nation is reaping the benefits, especially from Indians.
A report by Bloomberg highlighted Singapore has become a growing entry point for Indian cruise passengers – about 100,000 Indians sailed into Singapore last year, up 29 percent from the year before.
The Singapore Tourism Board recorded India is the biggest cruise market for ships departing Singapore.
And major cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean Cruises and Princess Cruises are offering more vegetarian meals and local cultural performances to appeal to Indians.
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Royal Caribbean’s Asia Pacific managing director Sean Treacy told Bloomberg: “More Bollywood music may be played at the pool or disco parties, and more jewelry gift sets, which are popular with Indians, may be procured for sailings that host a higher number of them on board.”
At the moment, the Middle East and France are the biggest markets for Indian tourists, but Singapore is set to catch up by almost 60 percent, according to statistics from Euromonitor.
Chinese tourists are still the biggest spending group in Singapore, with their arrivals rising a significant 36 percent to 2.86 million last year.
The Chinese spent an estimated US$2.59 billion in Singapore last year, nearly a US$740 million increase from 2015.