has joined forces to highlight cruising in Southeast Asia at the China International Travel Mart
(CITM), which starts today in Kunming, China. Running until 4 November 2007, this annual travel show will feature a dedicated Cruise ASEAN booth that
will offer travelers the experience of cruising in ASEAN, while enjoying the facilities and amenities on board a cruise ship.
Visitors to the booth can pick up an ASEAN Destination E-Guide, which is an informative electronic guide that enables travel agents to
conveniently access tourism information on the 10 ASEAN countries, and to buy travel and tourism services online. As a further incentive for
travel trade members to visit the booth, a lucky draw will be held for a chance to win a pair of air tickets to Singapore to board the Superstar
Gemini for a seven-night cruise, courtesy of Star Cruises and SilkAir.
The CITM participation caps a busy year for the ASEAN Cruise Working Group, which aims to strengthen and catalyse the growth of the
regionís cruise industry by engaging and building strong working relations with industry and cruise partners, marketing and promotion, and
other areas of cooperation. The group mapped out a two-year plan to promote cruising in the region at the Asean Tourism Forum in January
2007, and followed that with the launch of the cruiseasean.com portal in March 2007 at the annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping
Convention in Miami. Providing vital cruise and port information to cruise passengers and industry members,
the portal has been welcomed by the cruise industry.
Mr Kevin Leong, Chairman of the ASEAN Cruise Working Group, said, ďCruising is an excellent travel option for ASEAN to tap on, as it
allows us to package a string of destinations that showcase the regionís colourful, diverse and exciting cultures, landscapes and lifestyle
options to travelers. Collaboration among ASEAN Member Countries provides the institutional mechanism and support for ASEAN to be a
successful cruise destination, especially in view of Asia emerging as a cruising playground that offers new cruise destinations and a new
source of passengers. The ASEAN Cruise Working Group represents the collective will and shared
commitment of ASEAN members to boost the growth of the regionís cruise industry, and increase the attractiveness of Asia as a whole.Ē
Organised by China National Tourism Administration, CITM is one of Asiaís largest professional travel shows and
attracts all sectors of the travel industry, including travel agencies, airlines and related travel companies.
The ASEAN and
Asia Pacific region is expected to be the next growth area in
the cruise industry. The region not only provides new destinations for cruise passengers from
Western markets, but also offers a new
source of cruise passengers, prompting major cruise operators to increase their Asian presence with new
offices in the region and more Asian cruise itineraries. The number of cruise passengers in the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow by more than 40% from 1.07 million
in 2005 to 1.5 million by 2010, reaching 2 million in 2015 . Southeast Asian cruise passenger volumes alone are growing at an average annual
rate of almost 5% and are forecast to reach 820,000 by 2020.
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