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Genting Hong Kong caters to the Asian market with Star Cruises

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by December 29, 2016 General

By Dimitri Bruyas, Supplement Writer
December 30, 2016, 12:03 am TWN

The Asian cruise industry is booming and operators, governments and tourist boards are keen to get involved. Cruise operators are introducing more and more itineraries to the region, while authorities are developing top-of-the-range cruise terminals everywhere from Shanghai to Singapore.

Not to be outdone, Star Cruises, the leading player in the Asia-Pacific market, is prepared for a surge in passengers that might reach 3.7 million people by 2017 and nearly double that figure — 7 million passengers — by 2020, which would account for 20 percent of the global cruise market.

Behind the success of Star Cruises is leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality enterprise Genting Hong Kong. Established in September 1993, Genting Hong Kong first operated its fleet under Star Cruises with the goal of creating global demands for Asia-Pacific cruise destinations. Over the years, the company has expanded to over 20 locations around the globe and continues to propel itself forward by constantly excelling at services, venues and itineraries.

Star Cruises has long developed a strong home market that connects travelers with local cultures, building a reputation for offering first-rate Asian hospitality throughout its fleet of six vessels including the SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Aquarius, SuperStar Libra, Star Pisces and The Taipan.

To mark its 20th anniversary in the local market, the cruise operator wants to further promote Taiwanese people’s favored routes. “The difference between Star Cruises and other cruise companies lies in how we have been positively trying various ways to get connected to Taiwan’s native cultures,” Sally Riu (劉曉寧), vice president of sales at Star Cruises, told The China Post.

To meet international travelers’ expectations, the cruise company will focus on spotlighting Indian culture next year, while building on its close relationships with local consumers. Around 130,000 people in Taiwan joined a cruise last year, including more than 100,000 who embarked on a Star Cruises journey.

“We offer convenience at a great price,” said Riu, who touted the exemplary performance of Star Cruises services. Travelers departing from Keelung don’t need foreign currencies to shop onboard during trips including the Japan route, which is popular among Taiwanese all year round. “You can enjoy delicious foods, shopping and a relaxing night on your way to Japan,” she said.

Asked about next year’s prospects, Riu stressed Star Cruises’ commitment to the Taiwan market: Cruises are popular not only with the locals but also among foreign residents and international travelers from Japan and Malaysia.

Besides outfitting bigger ships with multifunctional capabilities for 2020 and 2021, Star Cruises’ parent company Genting Hong Kong recently unveiled a new brand: Dream Cruises, the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line. The company’s first ship, Genting Dream, debuted in November 2016, and now sails out from Hong Kong or Guangzhou and beyond to exciting destinations in Vietnam, including Ha Long Bay and Da Nang.

Asked about her experience in the cruise industry, Riu quoted a Chinese saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” to emphasize that people shouldn’t be afraid of experiencing something new. “It is better to have your whole family with you, for it is more fun to have more people gathering together aboard cruises!”

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