River cruising picks up speed
Ama Waterways is witnessing a major upsurge in enquiries for Sri Lanka and Maldives through the strategic representation partner in Colombo. The company is also seeing an increase in both group – including MICE – and individual vacation enquiries.
Luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways made its foray into the Indian market by appointing TRN Marketing, a division of Indian Travel Promotion Company (ITPL), as their marketing and sales representative in India. Since then it has been a journey of ‘trade education’ and, hence trade adoption. The cruising aficionado or customer in India is still a small community, and within that, river cruising is still nascent. The enquiries though are steadily on the increase, indicating the gradual ‘inquisitive-
The cruising aficionado or customer in India is still a small community, and within that, river cruising is still nascent. The enquiries are steadily on the increase, indicating the gradual ‘inquisitiveness’ of travellers
ness’. The momentum is expected to pick in 2014, says
Sidhartha Roy, Senior VicePresident, ITPL & TRN Marketing.
Talking about the recent trends in the industry, he says, “We are seeing an increase in both group – including MICE – and individual vacation enquiries. This has got to do with the good connectivity and more acceptable price points that we are able to generate. The good news is that we have been able to unfold the hitherto untouched East Coast of Sri Lanka such as Pasikudah and Trincomalee besides emphasising on just the safaris, tea plantations and whale and dolphin watch- ing options. The company is targetting the early ‘explorers’ and the somewhat choosy and selective holiday buyers whom I would refer to as the ‘ escapers’. In this effort, the trade seems to be waking up to the possible varied income streams. Having added President Cruises on the Yangtze River in China to our portfolio, I expect our river cruise offerings to make its mark in India in a significant way.”
The most important outbound vacationing and cruising source markets for the company are Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Amongst the portfolio of holiday offerings, the dif- ference is that river cruising is about ‘holidaying with a bit of style and panache’. The company is aiming to tap high-end vacationers and avid travellers in the leisure segment. The group is also betting big on the Indian corporates for incentive tours in China and Sri Lanka. President Cruises offers threenight itineraries and that can be a major draw for corporate incentive tours.
Senior Vice President ITPL & TRN Marketing