It has been almost three months since Resorts World Cruises’ flagship Genting Dream debuted in Singapore on June 15. Since the company launched its dual homeport of Singapore and Port Klang in Malaysia for its Genting Dream last July, the cruise liner has received a very positive response from the Malaysian market with 3-night cruises accounting for over 50% of departures from Port Klang. In this interaction with TTJ, Naresh Rawal, Vice President, Sales and Marketing (India), Resorts World Cruises, we learn from him about the response and developments in the Indian market, the popularity of the Fly-Cruise concept and the exciting itineraries that await Indian cruise aficionados.
– Prashant Nayak
Q. After launching in June 2022, how does Resorts World Cruises look like?
Since our inception, we have been encouraged by the overwhelming trade and consumer response in the region, which has led Resorts World Cruises to launch its dual home port in Singapore with the addition of Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang in Malaysia) in mid-July. Things are moving at a rapid pace and in a positive direction as we ride the wave of building our brand in various international markets and segments. We have also succeeded in standardizing operations at the optimal level in terms of operations, services and offers and as a result, we have seen a steady increase in passenger demand.
Q. Do you think Indian consumers are eager to sail on luxury cruise ships again? How did the Indian market react after Genting Dream began sailing in Singaporean waters?
Demand and trends indicate that Indian consumers are very ready to walk away with a luxurious and dynamic cruise brand like Resorts World Cruises, especially through the Fly-Cruise segment. Within the first 2 months of launching from Singapore, we had received over 20,000 cabin bookings from the Indian market, signaling a healthy and thriving Fly-Cruise segment. We have also observed that the MICE segment is gaining strength and we are optimistic that the MICE segment will further contribute to the growth of the overall Fly-Cruise market in the coming months.
Q. Do you think rising and high airfares will deter vacationers from booking a Fly cruise during the upcoming holiday season?
Airfares have yet to normalize, but we’re optimistic that will change soon. That said, many travelers still see the value of a Fly-Cruise package as the cruise trip itself is good value for money with the many inclusive deals. As such, demand for Resorts World Cruises Fly-Cruise packages continues to be strong and we expect momentum to gather momentum heading into 2023.
Q. COVID-19 has caused a shift in cruiser demographics. What is the current demographic of your guests?
At Resorts World Cruises, we see younger travelers joining us on a cruise, which includes millennials, couples, young families, groups of friends, as well as multi-generational families and families. We are also gaining traction in other segments including the Muslim and Indian markets and across the region as Genting Dream is the world’s first OIC/SMIIC halal compliant cruise ship with vegetarian cuisine and certified Jain. As mentioned, another rising segment is also the MICE group.
Q. The Palace is indeed a unique product of the Genting Dream. How do you promote this product in the Indian market?
There is continued strong demand for luxury cruises in India and at Resorts World Cruises; we are proud of over 50 years of affiliated experience in the hospitality and cruise industry with a deep Asian heritage, enabling us to cater to this growing luxury segment. We work with key trade and media partners to target and promote The Palace – luxury accommodation, which features a luxury private enclave in a ship with exclusive amenities. Our Palace guests will enjoy a seamless experience from check-in at the cruise terminal and throughout the journey with a variety of all-suite accommodations, including the Palace Villa, 24-hour butler service, experiences exclusive culinary experiences on board. and restaurants, private terrace, gym, spa, swimming pool and other facilities and amenities. These are attractive USPs that appeal to high-end markets. In addition to our Asian roots and extensive affiliated experiences, what will set us apart is our ability to deliver a personalized cruise experience, enhanced by our renowned, best-in-class Asian hospitality and service.
Q. What are Genting Dream’s current sailing routes? Do you have any itineraries specially formulated for Indian cruise lovers for the upcoming festival and festive season?
With both homeports of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang), we simultaneously offer multiple routes from each homeport. From Singapore, we offer the 3-night Kuala Lumpur-Penang cruise (Sunday), the 2-night weekend cruise (Friday) and the 2-night Kuala Lumpur cruise (Friday). Departing from Kuala Lumpur, we also offer the 3-night Penang-Singapore cruise (Mondays) and the 2-night cruise to Singapore (Thursdays and Saturdays). Additionally, we also offer one-way cruises between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
In addition to this, we have also introduced a series of monthly themed cruises which will offer unique experiences, such as Light Meets Night themed cruises starting in September filled with colorful glow-in-the-dark and interactive exhibits, special Diwali cruises in October, a special Christmas celebration with Jelilo, Singapore’s toy and art designer and much more.
Q. How do you engage with your travel industry partners in India?
The engagement of our travel partners and consumers at various levels will be essential in promoting Resorts World Cruises. We will continue to offer more familiarization cruises to our partners so that they can personally experience our offerings and, in turn, promote the brand effectively. Regular updates and training with the necessary “marketing tools” are also essential to strengthen our presence in India and grow the Fly-Cruise market.
Q. How important is the Indian market to Resorts World Cruises? What aspirations does the company have from the Indian region for the 2023 cruise season?
India is one of the key markets and a major contributor to the growth of Resorts World Cruises. As such, we hope to continue to work closely with our partners to exploit and grow the Fly-Cruise market, which still has enormous potential as we have barely scratched the surface. We are very optimistic that the Fly-Cruise market will continue to attract a large segment of the Indian market and with plenty of room for growth in different segments including the MICE segment.
Q. Tell us about your expansion plans.
We will continue to capitalize on our valuable experience to innovate new offerings and unique experiences that would cater to the Indian market; from our themed onboard cruise offerings to certified and authentic vegetarian cuisine, including Jain menus. Additionally, we will further strengthen our brand presence in India by expanding our B2B and B2C network. We will also strive to strengthen our presence in India and throughout Asia, gradually exploring new opportunities to expand our fleet of Resorts Cruising at Sea in the region with exciting new itineraries in the future.