Penang: Cruise tourism records stronger growth

Penang: Cruise tourism records stronger growth

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s status as a preferred cruise tourism destination has attracted more visitors in line with the rapid growth of this tourism sector, besides serving as an attractive stopover location for cruise ships in the Southeast Asian region.

Chairman of the State Tourism and Creative Economy Committee, Wong Hon Wai, said the number of international cruise ship arrivals and the total number of passengers continued to show an increasing trend for January and February 2023 as well as January and February 2024.

“The number of international cruise ships docking has increased from 31 to 45, indicating a growth rate of 45.16 percent, thus reflecting Penang’s sustainability momentum in attracting international cruise ships.

“Similarly, the number of passengers showed an increase during this period, rising from 100,803 to 131,208, representing a growth rate of 30.16 percent,” he said.
Earlier, Penang welcomed the arrival of Costa Deliziosa for the first time on Friday, with a capacity of 2,828 passengers, and will be followed by Serenade of the Seas carrying 2,500 passengers on April 26 from 9 am to 6 pm.

The Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal here also offers tourists easy access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site upon landing, providing a unique attraction and visitors the opportunity to join tours for seven to eight hours.

Wong said the number of international cruise ship docking spots almost doubled from 84 to 156, indicating a growth rate of 85.71 percent from 2022 to 2023.
“There is a significant increase in the number of international passengers during the same period, rising from 439,012 to 573,178, representing a growth rate of 30.56 percent, and these figures demonstrate Penang’s status as a preferred cruise destination and gradually strengthening its position in the industry,” he said.

He said following the completion of the upgrading works of the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal recently, the terminal is now able to accommodate up to two quantum-sized cruise ships and accommodate 12,000 passengers.

Penang has also become one of the favorite ports of call for famous cruise lines including Royal Caribbean International, Resort World Cruises, Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Cunard Line.

— BERNAMA

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