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The Biggest Cruise-Ports Operator to Expand in Southeast Asia

By ,   December 10, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

The biggest cruise-ports operator in the world is now looking to expand in Southeast Asia, a hotspot for Chinese cruisers that could rival the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Global Ports Holding Plc intends to acquire docks in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, to add more destinations for voyages based from Singapore, currently the sole Asian port of the company, and the second-biggest embarkation point on the continent, Chief Executive Officer Emre Sayin revealed in an interview.

Demand for cruising, confined largely to retirees, is now outpacing the rest of the leisure sector as a wider range of stop-offs, activities, and keener prices broaden its appeal. The growing middle class led the number of Chinese travelers taking to the seas to triple in 4 years, putting the country on course to overtake the United States as the biggest cruise market in the world by 2030.

Sayin also said that Southeast Asia would become "a very important region” and they wanted to open more transit ports there via adding new destinations or "even converting container ports to cruise terminals.”

Port of Nassau (New Providence Island, Bahamas)

Global Ports has eleven cruise ports in the Mediterranean, plus 3 in the Caribbean that it has acquired since May 2018, including Nassau and Havana.

According to Sayin, the company, listed in London UK with offices in Barcelona and Istanbul, is considering a sale of cargo ports in Montenegro and Turkey as it seeks to raise cash to roll over debt as well as expand in the cruise market.