Holidaying on... and beyond the ocean
Entering the Indian market as early as in 1999, Star Cruises has seen a huge jump in its revenues from the India outbound market. Indian travellers have evolved over the years and are booking much earlier.
Star Cruises was incorporated in September 1993, representing a bold initiative to tap into Asia- Pacific’s potential to develop a cruise industry. In the year 1999, Star Cruises entered the Indian market and currently it epitomises the fulfillment of regional aspirations to establish the cruise industry in the Asia- Pacific region, bringing increased tourism traffic into various countries around Asia-Pacific.
Talking about the potential of the India outbound market, Naresh Rawal, Vice President, Sales, South Asia, Russia, Middle East and South Africa, Star Cruises, says, “India is recognised globally as one of the fastest growing outbound markets. The appetite for travelling abroad is increasing among the upwardly mobile audience given the changing lifestyles and relatively stable economy. Indian travellers are now spoilt by the abundance of choices on how to spend their holidays. Cruising is one of the popular avenues that many Indian travellers are now opting for. The popular choices amongst Indian travellers have evolved from a two-night itinerary and to three- night, five-night and seven-night itineraries. There has been a shift in the preferred cabin category as well. Earlier they would prefer Inside Staterooms but now the company is witnessing a higher demand for Balcony cabins. The consumers now understand the advantage of a cruise holiday over a land holiday,” he adds.
Indian travellers have evolved over the years and are booking much earlier.
Talking about the new packages for its Indian clientele, Rawal elaborates, “We have the Star Saver 90 days, 60 days and 45 days schemes available so that passengers can enjoy the benefit of discounted fares when they book early with us. Compared to land holidays, cruise holidays are preferred for being more economical since everything is under one roof.” In addition, he said, “Our warm Asian hos- pitable staff caters to our guests’ needs and our freestyle cruising concept gives travellers the freedom to enjoy their holidays at their own terms without any restrictions, and hence, a cruise holiday works very well amongst travel agents as well.”
Vice President, Sales, South Asia, Russia, Middle East and South Africa, Star Cruises