Singapore Cruise Industry
Singapore envisions becoming a hub for sustainable tourism under the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Even though the demand for the cruise industry and in extension the tourist industry was dampened by the pandemic, the future of Singapore’s cruise industry looks promising. With many cruise operators announcing the resumption of port calls in the region, the number of cruise bookings have steadily increased. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) expects Singapore’s cruise industry to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 and from August 29, unvaccinated travelers can visit Singapore without any quarantine, but they still require a PCR test within 48 hours before arriving.
Between 2010 and 2019, Singapore’s cruise industry contributed US$530 million to Singapore’s economy, attracting more than 1.2 million people in 2016 alone. Singapore was one of the top destinations for port calls prior to the pandemic due to its strategic location as a gateway to tourist destinations in Southeast Asia - easy reach to 25,000 islands including Bali, Langkawi, Phuket and 37 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Luxury cruise liners from the world’s top cruise operators like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Genting operated regional cruises from Singapore with some of their latest cruise liners. Interestingly, most of these cruise liners have begun moving towards having sustainable cruises which would fall in line with Singapore’s vision of becoming a hub for sustainable tourism under the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
The spillover effect from the cruise industry positively impacts the overall tourism industry in Singapore due to interrelated tourist demand in sectors such as the airline industry. International tourists who flew into Singapore accounted for at least 70% of Singapore’s cruise passengers prior to the pandemic. Hence, given the rebound in the airline and cruise industries, STB has been engaged in the following initiatives:
- Continue to offer the Cruise Development Fund (CDF) in order to motivate cruise liners to make Singapore their homeport.
- CDF is eligible to all cruise lines, charterers, intermediaries such as travel agents, destination management companies, ground handlers, as well as experience owners and industry trainers.
- Agents are encouraged to utilize this grant to create and advertise cruise packages.
- To supplement the already existing Singapore Cruise Centre, Singapore is already investing US$380 million in modernizing its state-of-the-art cruise center.
- Endorsing the joint ASEAN Declaration on Cruise Tourism in 2018, which enhances the development of cruise-related tourism in the region.
The outlook for the cruise industry looks positive with revenue from the cruise industry projected to reach US$239.1 million in 2022. That is a good sign compared to the previous two years during the global pandemic. With an expected annual growth rate of 13.86%, the market volume is expected to grow to US$401.80 million by 2026 according to industry sources.
For more information, please contact Commercial Specialist CHAN Yiu Kei.