Hanover, 24 November 2015

World's leading tourism business TUI Group set to grow in South East Asia

  • Singapore chosen as seasonal base for cruise operations TUI Cruises
  • 2,000 passengers per week to start cruise from Marina Bay Cruise Terminal
  • Bookings out of Germany for Summer 2016 have already risen 45% for Singapore and 15% for Asia

Hanover/Singapore, 24 November 2015.  TUI Group, the world's leading tourism business, is set to further tap into Asia. As part of its long-term growth strategy, the Hanover, Germany based travel firm will expand its portfolio of unique holiday experiences for customers with more long-haul vacations to destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. For the first time, the company will also build a seasonal base for the highly successful and strongly growing cruise operations TUI Cruises which is a joint venture of TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises. As of November 24, the company's "Mein Schiff 1" cruise ship will be based in the port of Singapore for the northern winter season. Marina Bay Cruise Terminal will be key to starting regional growth with 2,000 passengers per week. Currently, TUI is sending about 315 thousand guests per year to Asian holiday destinations and metropolitan cities. With the increased portfolio of offers the bookings to Asia are expected to rise. Currently guests visiting the region just from TUI’s German tour operator are up to 15 percent in Asia and in Singapore 45 percent higher than the previous year. At present TUI offers 130 hotels to its guests in Singapore.

Sebastian Ebel, Group board member, Group Executive Committee member Thomas Ellerbeck and Wybcke Meyer, CEO TUI Cruises, travelled to Singapore to attend the launch ceremony. Sebastian Ebel and Thomas Ellerbeck also met with President Tony Tan. Amongst the various topics they discussed were options for TUI promoting Singapore as a tourism destination - in particular to its cruise customers.

"As we are increasing our long-haul packages to all-year destinations we are also looking into expanding our cruise operations into the area. Singapore has not only a state-of-the art airport with Singapore Airlines being our premium partner but also a highly sophisticated port operation which made the choice for our base an easy decision”, says Sebastian Ebel. “Singapore is the gateway to South East Asia, an exotic mix of cultures and a modern and historic place all in one which makes it a place where people want to spend their holidays. Most of our guests decide to extend their cruise and spend a number of additional nights in Singapore."

To mark TUI Cruises’ commitment in Southeast Asia, it has entered into a marketing partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and the Changi Airport Group. It is hoped that this partnership will help to attract over 90,000 cruise passengers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to Southeast Asia in the next three years, generating an estimated $50 million in tourism receipts, which will contribute further to Singapore’s cruise and tourism industry.

Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board, said: “We are pleased that TUI Cruises has chosen to begin its inaugural Asia season in Singapore. This confidence in Singapore and Southeast Asia will help to accelerate the growth of the cruise industry here in and spur greater port and destination development. With beautiful beaches, UNESCO world heritage sites, and vibrant metropolises all available within one cruise holiday, we are confident that TUI passengers will take to cruising in Southeast Asia, and hopefully return for more.”

TUI Cruises “Mein Schiff 1” will dock for the first time at the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal in Singapore at 1.30 pm tomorrow, thus setting the course for the Far East. From the cruise terminal of the city state, the vessel will depart on three different seven-day routes to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand with 2,000 German-speaking guests on board. Here, the cruise passengers can look forward to experiencing paradise islands, vibrant megacities and fascinating nature.