Key ASEAN representatives at the booth co-location at Cruise Shipping Miami 2015.
First from Left: Ms Nuwal Fadhilah Ku Azmi, Deputy Director (Eastern USA, Caribbean, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay), Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (first from left)
Middle from left: Ms Annie Chang (in brown jacket), Deputy Director, Cruise, Singapore Tourism Board; Mr Benito C. Bengzon Jr, Undersecretary (Tourism Development), Philippine Department of Tourism and Ms Mitchelle Dy, Tourism Director (New York), Philippine Department of Tourism and Ms Srimala Waraphaskul, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand (in white top)
SINGAPORE, 13 April 2014 – For the first time, four ASEAN (Association of Southeast
Asian Nations) countries came together at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami (CSM)
event to raise awareness of the region to industry stakeholders.
Under a unified ASEAN umbrella at this year’s CSM, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand
and the Philippines had their booths next to one another to promote the potential of
cruising in Southeast Asia as representatives shared personal stories of the region’s
beauty and handed out country-specific collaterals to the delegates.
With more than 25,000 islands in Southeast Asia, cruise is a potential key tourism
product for the region. The collaboration underscores the commitment by ASEAN –
where Singapore is the lead co-ordinator for cruise – to further its development.
Said Ms Annie Chang, Deputy Director (Cruise), Singapore Tourism Board:
“Southeast Asia has bountiful potential to be the next cruising playground of the
world. I’m thus pleased to be able to come together with our ASEAN neighbours to
show key cruise stakeholders what this region can offer.
“Our region is incredibly rich and diverse; one can visit mystifying ancient cities, lush
rainforests and cosmopolitan cities all within a cruise journey. We also enjoy a yearround
tropical climate and calm waters, making it very conducive for year-round
cruising. Many international cruise brands are already doing seasonal home-porting
here but there is so much more to be made known still, and the co-location of our
booths was thus an excellent platform to do just that,” added Ms Chang.
The ASEAN delegation also held a special reception for guests at the event, which
featured iconic Southeast Asian delicacies such as satay (meat barbecued and
served on skewers), and mango sticky rice.
Guests were also treated to traditional dance items by Filipino and Thai troupes.
Said Ms Mitchelle Dy, Tourism Director (New York), Philippine Department of
Tourism: “A cruise vacation can’t happen with just one port so it’s heartening to see
our ASEAN neighbours sharing a common objective, which is to seize the
opportunities on the massive potential in the region.
“I truly believe Southeast Asia can become a major player in the cruising world, and
judging by how the guests enjoyed themselves at our reception, hopefully the
seeding of our region in their minds will eventually grow into a blossoming cruise
industry within ASEAN.”
Added Mr Ahmad Johanif Mohd Ali, Vice President (New York), Malaysian Tourism
Promotion Board: “We are glad to have been a part of ASEAN’s show in strength and
unity at CSM 2015. Great things can be achieved when people come together and
that is what we feel can happen for the cruise industry in Southeast Asia.
“It is important now that all of us build on this and help make Southeast Asia the
place to be for cruising.”
Other key initiatives supported by ASEAN include the co-funding of the monthly
ASEAN Cruise News, an online newsletter that serves to strengthen regional trade
capabilities and reach out to global cruise operators, as well as a 10-day
familiarisation trip through four Southeast Asian countries – Singapore, Malaysia,
Thailand and Indonesia – for shore excursions and itinerary planners from various
cruise lines to help them better understand the region’s exciting offerings.