Singapore: Southeast Asia needs to improve in terms of cruise infrastructure and to have more adequate ports that can accommodate larger cruise ships. “These are crucial as cruising is a regional business,” says Christina Siaw, ceo of the Singapore Cruise Centre.
The Singapore Cruise Centre is continually upgrading its own facilities, with more than 600,000 passengers using its terminal every year.
The biggest investment came two years ago when the centre spent S$14m revamping its HarbourFront Cruise & Ferry Terminal.
Among the works undertaken – its expanded its passenger space, doubled the number of check-in and immigration counters, increased security lines and improved its baggage handling system. More recently, the queue system at immigrations was enhanced to make it faster and more efficient and free Wi-Fi access was provided throughout the terminal. “We are very pleased that cruise passengers can now breeze through our terminal in a very efficient and expeditious manner,” Siaw says.
Among many clever ideas on the software side, the centre has engaged trainers at Singapore Airlines to train its frontline staff.
The Singapore government, especially Singapore Tourism Board (STB), has been very active in promoting Singapore as a global cruise hub. In particular, STB has been very active in raising the awareness of cruise for leisure not only locally but overseas through publicity efforts and trade shows.
In the past, the centre has collaborated with STB and Changi Airport Group (CAG) to grow Singapore’s fly-cruise segment and promote demand for cruise holidays.
In a bid to help raise regional cruise standards, the Singapore Cruise Centre has taken the lead in co-founding the Asian Cruise Terminal Association (ACTA), which was formed as a regional forum for cruise terminal operators to cooperate in terminal development, operations and management, and to raise awareness of one another’s facilities and services. ACTA is made up of member port operators from Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and aims to raise the standards of terminal operations in Asia, and market the region as a premier cruise destination. [06/11/14]