The growth of cruising in Asia has taken another important step forward with the establishment of CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia as the regional arms of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
CLIA chief executive officer Christine Duffy said the transition to CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia was perfectly timed as Asia comes to the forefront as one of the world’s most dynamic emerging regions for cruise.
“Asia ranks highly on our list of emerging cruise regions as the globalization of the cruise industry continues to gather pace,” said Duffy. “CLIA member cruise lines are already deploying more ships in Asia, opening up more destinations, and customizing their onboard offerings to cater to their Asian guests.”
Duffy continued, “CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia will have an influential voice as they work with government and private enterprise to address market needs, master trade distribution, create highly desirable itineraries and offer advice on port and infrastructure.”
The establishment of CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia represents a significant transition for the Asia Cruise Association which, under the direction of general manager and cruise industry advocate Kevin Leong, former chairman Dr. Zinan Liu, and founding chairman Rama Rebbapragada, has spearheaded local cruising growth since it was formed in 2009.
CLIA Southeast Asia will be chaired by Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, who brings wide experience building the cruise category in an emerging market. Royal Caribbean’s managing director Singapore and Southeast Asia, Jennifer Yap, will be secretary for the new cruise industry body. Carnival Asia executives, Paul Chong and William Harber, have joined the CLIA Southeast Asia Board.
CLIA North Asia will be chaired by Royal Caribbean’s managing director Asia and China, Dr. Zinan Liu, and will focus on infrastructure, advocacy and the promotion of cruise to travel industry communities in the region.
Further strengthening the influence of CLIA, which is set to host Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific on Nov. 20-21, is the support of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Singapore Tourism Board as CLIA Global Executive Partners.