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Bird Travels launches Silversea Cruises in India

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Bird Travels, a fully owned subsidiary of India’s Bird Group, and Silversea Cruises have launched Silversea Cruises in India. Bird Travels Pvt. Ltd. will be the preferred sales and distribution representative for Silversea Cruises in India catering to the high end luxury cruise market. The partnership entails Bird Travels to market, advertise and sell exclusive destinations worldwide.

Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group, said, “We believe in developing partnerships that redefine customer experience. And, as the preferred partner for Silversea Cruises in India, we are geared up to set new industry standards, characterizing luxury, and personifying elegance. The business of creating memorable vacations in India is ready to scale newer horizons, and innovation in services along with world-class expertise will play key catalysts in taking it to the next level.”

Silversea Cruises sail across 7 continents in over 80 countries covering more than 400 destinations through the year. Bird Travels will be promoting travel across these exotic locations with prices that are dependent on the itinerary and the destination being covered. As an example, a 7 days package would, on average, cost anywhere between US$ 6,000 to US$ 7,000.

“We are convinced that the Indian cruise sector is evolving and has a great potential of growth. We are proud of our preferred partnership with Bird Travels and we will surely and successfully contribute together to the development of the Indian cruise industry. Silversea has continued investing in its product and luxury service, from the refurbishment of the Silver Wind, to the butler service extended to all the categories of suites. Moreover Silversea presents a wide range of cuisine specialties together with Relais & Chateaux on all the fleet and especially on the new vessel Silver Spirit, where the inclusion of the trendsetting menus of the Stars Supper Club and the Sushi and Asian seafood specialties of the Seishin Restaurant complete the culinary experience designed for every own personal preference of our guests. I am sure our luxury product will know a great success in India,” said Enrico Origone, SVP Sales and Marketing for Continental Europe and New Markets, Silversea Cruises.

The Indian cruise sector is at a nascent stage with less than 0.5% share and is evolving with a huge potential for growth. It is estimated at Rs. 240 crore with approximately 80,000 travelers every year. The sector is increasingly gaining momentum and popularity amongst Indian travelers. With the Indian economy getting stronger and spending power increasing, Cruising in India will increase at a steady pace. Infrastructure development at key ports such as Mumbai, Goa and Kochi will boost the sector enormously. India’s travel and tourism industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% by 2014 according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). This is well above the expected growth in South Asia and the world aggregate level. High disposable incomes and the significance of the middle class over 150 million is expected to lead the growth of the sector in the coming years.

The Indian government has been exploring the possibility of exploiting the potential of India’s long coastline. According to recent reports, the Union Shipping Ministry has approved the Cruise Shipping policy keeping the potential of the sector in mind. In 2008 – 09, the Ministry of Tourism had sanctioned projects across Indian ports to develop Cruise tourism; notable being the development of tourism infrastructure at Cochin Port, Kerala for Rs 1450 lakh to Cochin Port Trust, Kochi. The Cochin port has also been credited with hosting the Volvo Ocean Race in December, 2008.

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