By: Andri Djufri Said, Catur Hadianto, Edy Wardoyo, Raden Sigit Witjaksono, Sulaiman Syarif
The cruise tourism industry is the most exciting and fastest growing segment of the travel industry throughout the world today. Over the past 10 years, the industry has responded to extensive market and consumer research that has guided the addition of new destinations, new ship design concepts, new on-board/on-shore activities, new themes and new cruise lengths to reflect the changing vacation patterns of today’s market.
This phenomenal growth has fuelled the continuing evolution of the cruise industry product. Cruise companies have expanded itineraries to include more exotic ports of call. Cruise ship passengers are treated as a special class visitor even if a cruise ship stays in the same port overnight. Therefore, throughout the region cruise ship passengers are considered visitors.
Cruising has increased in popularity around the world. The industry is booming in Asia, Australia and Europe. The U.K., Germany and Italy are experiencing considerable growth in the popularity of cruising. In this regard, how is the impact of cruise industry to the development and promotion of tourist destinations? What makes tourism cruise market different from other tourism products?
Cruise Tourism in Italy
The experience of cruise industry in Italy could be a model of the development of tourism promotion and encourage foreign tourist to visit tourist destinations in a country. The research by Italian Cruise Watch reported that 11.73 million passengers expected to be carried in 2016 (+6.2% on the already positive closing estimates for 2015), a new record for cruise traffic in Italian ports. New historical record in terms of cruise traffic in Italy’s ports expected in 2016, with 11.73 million passengers carried (+6.2% on 2015 estimates) and over 5,100 port calls (+5.5%). Furthermore, for the first time, 5 ports in the same year above the threshold of a million passengers carried (Ports of Civitavecchia, Venice, Naples, Genoa and Savona).
The cruise ship industry in Italy continues to grow, despite the crisis, and forms the principal challenge for Italian port-cities, which are among the most sought-after destinations in the world. Cruise tourism is growing faster than any other sector of the tourism industry. Today, forty-four Italian ports are involved in cruise ship traffic.
Nowadays, cruise tourism in Italy is becoming a significant sector of the local economy, because its expenditure has direct, indirect and induced effects on the economy of a destination. The direct effect is on a supplier who sells goods and services directly to cruise vessels, cruise passengers and crew. Expenditures related to cruise vessel include port costs, marine expenses, food and beverages, fuel, water, maintenance. Cruise passengers expenditures include those that are not part of the cruise itself, such as taxis, souvenirs, shore excursions, food and beverages, etc. Crew expenditures include restaurants, retail goods, recreational activities, transport, etc.
The shipyard in Italy play significant role to support cruise tourism. Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. is the primary ship-construction company in Italy, and is one of the world leaders in the design and construction of cruise ships. The company is owned by the government but is operated as a commercial business and operates several shipyards throughout Italy, employing approximately 9,500 people, including 550 managers and design engineers at the Trieste headquarters. Fincantieri currently has approximately 40 percent of the world cruise-ship-construction business (measured in number of beds) and 15 percent of the European commercial market.
Cruise Tourism in Indonesia
Indonesia has big opportunities to develop cruise tourism due to its geographical condition as a marine country. Theme cruises can be further develop expanded as a trend in marine tourism. Every tourist whether it comes from domestic as well as international, with a variety of preferences and interests, and also of various ages, may be able to find an attractive offer if the attention had been given already. Currently, cruise tourism in Indonesia is still relatively expensive, because lack of infrastructure. Owners of ships, ferry lines, whether the owners of yachts and sailing boats should be come out to meet the growing demand in Indonesian marine tourism.
The legal framework for cooperation for tourism, including cruise industry between Indonesia and Italy is MoU between the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism of the Italian Republic on Tourism Cooperation, signed in 2015. The MoU serves as an umbrella cooperation.
Article 2 of the MoU concerning Areas of Cooperation stated that the Parties agree to cooperate in the following fields as follows:
1) Joint Marketing and Promotion a. Encourage joint promotion and international exhibitions of both Countries in the field of tourism; b. Promote individual or group travel of citizens of both Countries; c. Promote participation of the Parties in Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions.
2) Product Development Cooperate in developing joint activities in a move to promote tourism in conventional as well as unconventional destinations and through exchange of experiences and information, study visits and comparative studies in the field of tourism.
3) Information and Publication Exchange their respective brochures, exhibition materials, films and photographs in the field of tourism.
4) Human Resources Development a. Exchange tourism and hospitality teachers/instructors, experts, students and tourism officials, as well as tourism professionals between both Countries; b. Holding seminars, conferences, workshops on tourism industry with the selected themes in accordance with the needs of both countries.
5) Tourism Industries Cooperation Encourage cooperation between tourism industries of both Countries.
6) Any other areas that may be jointly decided upon by the Parties.
Taking into account Italy as one of the major center for cruise activity in Europe and participates in all aspects of the industry from shipbuilding, to crewing, to serving as a destination market, Indonesia should focus on the cooperation on point 4 and point 5 of the MoU, HRD and Tourism Industries Cooperation.
In those two areas (HRD and Tourism Industries), Italy is considered having skills, knowledge and experiences which can be shared to Indonesia. Therefore, Indonesia should learn from Italy how to manage HRD and cruise tourism industries in order to utilize and maximize for the sake of developing cruise tourism in this country.
Jakarta, 24 October 2016