KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
Aiming to maintain the numero uno position in the India market, Star Cruises has planned new sailing itineraries for Indian travellers for the summer and winter seasons for 2013. The cruises on offer include Super Star Virgo with its home port in Singapore and Super Star Libra from Penang. It must be noted that Costa Victoria of Costa Cruises will also be stationed out of Singapore and will be active for from November 17, 2012 during Diwali festival in India.
When asked about how is Star Cruises geared to face this competition, Michael Goh, senior vice president-sales Star Cruises Travel Services told Express TravelWorld, “Competition is always good. We too have our ship itineraries from Singapore, Penang, Hong Kong. With cruise liners coming in and promoting cruise travel, it creates awareness. But we are confident that the company will continue to be the market leader as we are aware of the needs of the Indian travellers and are geared to cater to them. To reiterate our commitment to the India market, we are also in talks of finalising our deployment in Shanghai as we understand that the destination is quite popular among Indian tourists.”
Elaborating on the potential markets for the company and how has the business been from the India market, Goh added, “In India we do not solely cater to leisure travellers. Our business partners have been introducing various concepts with innovative itineraries, hence we have been able to develop and strengthen our presence in India better. We are able to cater to MICE, educational programmes, religious groups and wedding groups. We have been strong in the Asia Pacific region and will continue to develop our business from these markets. At the same time, we also have business coming in from America and European markets.”
Apart from its Mumbai office and other parts of the country, the company recently opened its office in Ahmedabad. “Our business partners in India have been doing extremely well to promote and sell Star Cruises and have been continuously developing unique itineraries. We will continue to work closely with our PSA’s in India and drive the business upwards,” added Goh.