SYDNEY, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The growth of cruising in Asia has taken another important step forward with the establishment of CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia as the regional arms of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world's largest cruise industry trade association.
CLIA Chief Executive Officer, Christine Duffy, said the transition to CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia was perfectly timed as Asia comes to the forefront as one of the world's most dynamic emerging regions for cruise.
"Asia ranks highly on our list of emerging cruise regions as the globalization of the cruise industry continues to gather pace," said Duffy. "CLIA Member cruise lines are already deploying more ships in Asia, opening up more destinations, and customizing their onboard offerings to cater to their Asian guests."
Duffy continued, "CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia will have an influential voice as they work with government and private enterprise to address market needs, master trade distribution, create highly desirable itineraries and offer advice on port and infrastructure."
The establishment of CLIA Southeast Asia and CLIA North Asia represents a significant transition for the Asia Cruise Association which, under the direction of General Manager and cruise industry advocate Kevin Leong, former Chairman Dr. Zinan Liu, and founding Chairman Rama Rebbapragada, has spearheaded local cruising growth since it was formed in 2009.
CLIA Southeast Asia will be chaired by Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, who brings wide experience building the cruise category in an emerging market. Royal Caribbean's Managing Director Singapore and Southeast Asia, Jennifer Yap, will be Secretary for the new cruise industry body. Carnival Asia executives, Paul Chong and William Harber, have joined the CLIA Southeast Asia Board.
CLIA North Asia will be chaired by Royal Caribbean's Managing Director Asia and China, Dr. Zinan Liu, and will focus on infrastructure, advocacy and the promotion of cruise to travel industry communities in the region.
Further strengthening the influence of CLIA, which is set to host Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific on November 20 - 21, is the support of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Singapore Tourism Board as CLIA Global Executive Partners.
Sherry said she was honored to be appointed chair of CLIA Southeast Asia and looks forward to working with Board colleagues and CLIA worldwide. "In terms of cruising growth, the Asia-Pacific regions are interconnected and together represent the world's most dynamic area for cruise," she said.
"CLIA Southeast Asia will have an integral leadership role in building the cruise category in the region, helping travel agents understand that cruising is a business opportunity for them, and encouraging investment by regional governments and authorities to open up ports and attractive cruise destinations."
CLIA North Asia Chair, Dr. Zinan Liu, said his focus was on the implementation of the new association in the region including engagement with key partners in the region.
"North Asia is increasingly becoming a growth engine of the global cruise industry," he said. "The growth is bringing about enormous socio-economic benefits for all the stakeholders. Like in any emerging market there is a need to tackle challenges including the lack of port infrastructure for cruise terminals, cross-border travel constraints and uncertainty of the regulatory environment.
"Leveraging the wealth of international cruise lines' expertise, knowhow and best practices gained in other parts of the world, CLIA North Asia will be well positioned to achieve partnerships with all the stakeholders to promote the general interests of the industry and to safeguard a healthy and sustainable growth of the cruise economy in the region."
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines and travel agents before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members.
For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit www.cruising.org.
SOURCE Cruise Lines International Association