CLIA and MCIA sign MOU to drive cruise education in Malaysia


4 March 2019

Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) and Malaysia Cruise Industry Association (MCIA) sign MOU to drive cruise education in Malaysia

Cruise industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Asia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysia Cruise Industry Association (MCIA), to jointly drive cruise education and awareness in Malaysia.

According to the CLIA’s Asia Cruise Trends 2018 report, Malaysia cruise source passenger count saw an impressive 88 per cent year on year growth in 2017. Cruise penetration rate in Malaysia is however still comparatively low at less than 0.6 per cent.

“CLIA Asia’s mandate is to provide essential training, resources and support to travel agents in the region. Globally, we see that cruise markets with the highest market penetration have the most “cruise educated” travel agents.” Mr Joel Katz, CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director said. “Partnering with MCIA provides us with a great opportunity to equip their members with further skills to promote and sell cruise holidays to consumers.”

MCIA, as the national cruise tourism industry association in Malaysia, will leverage on CLIA’s expertise to educate their travel agent members and raise the profile of cruise tourism.

“Cruise has seen tremendous growth and interest in Malaysia, and our members are keen to market and sell more cruise holidays. MCIA is fully committed to enhance, develop and support the cruise industry and we look forward to working with CLIA to bring cruise tourism in Malaysia to greater heights.” Dato Rashid Khan, President, MCIA said.


Jiali Wong

Regional Manager – Asia


About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 27 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. The CLIA Community is comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.


London, 5 November 2018: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have developed a collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strategic cooperation to drive the emerging cruise tourism in Malaysia.

MATTA - CLIA MoU Signing Ceremony 1The MoU signing ceremony was completed by MATTA President, Datuk Tan Kok Liang and CLIA Senior Vice President, Membership & Director UK & Ireland, Mr. Andy Harmer and witnessed by the Honourable Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia at the World Travel Market (WTM) London.

Tan said “Cruise as one of the fastest growing leisure travel segments globally and has been picking up steam in Malaysia. According to the CLIA’s Asia Cruise Trends Report 2018, Malaysian cruise source passenger count nearly doubled in 2017, an increase of 87.8K passengers, or about 88% up year over year.”

“Meanwhile, the number of international cruise call to local ports has grown to 599 at 2017 compared to 435 at 2016. The number of intermediate stops by international cruise holiday ships is expected to grow to 628 by year 2020.”

“The strategic cooperation between both associations will focus on the development and sustainable growth of the cruise tourism in Malaysia through education and awareness to members; thus uplifting the domestic socio-economic activities and growth of the tourism industry. Members from both associations will be able to leverage on each other’s technical knowledge, expertise and experience for expansion and growth.”

“We are optimistic that this strategic cooperation will create favourable conditions for
the continuous growth of the cruise tourism in Malaysia and enhance members
business offerings and services to consumers.”

CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director, Mr. Joel Katz added, “The signing of
this MoU would align the efforts of CLIA and MATTA to create exciting opportunities
that will benefit the cruise industry. We look forward to working together with
MATTA to promote the growth of cruise tourism in Malaysia.”

CLIA Asia says “#ChooseCruise” this October

For the first time, #ChooseCruise – an October month-long worldwide campaign will be rolled out in Asia. #ChooseCruise aims to promote cruising as the preferred holiday style and encourages travellers to book their dream cruise holiday via a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)-accredited travel agent.

4“#ChooseCruise has been very successful in other regions, and we are proud to bring the campaign to Asia in 2018. The promotion consists of consumer and travel trade activities. With the Asia cruise market growing at an unprecedented level, we believe this campaign will help to promote cruising as an ideal vacation.” Mr Joel Katz CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director said.

Consumers can now search for knowledgeable and experienced cruise agents based in Asia accredited by CLIA with the newly introduced CLIA Travel Agent search on the CLIA Asia website ( When booking a cruise, consumers would want expert advice from a travel professional with in-depth knowledge of cruise holidays. CLIA-accredited agents have met the mandatory training requirements set out by CLIA, the official representing body of the cruise industry. The CLIA travel agent search tool provides an excellent reference for any consumer looking to book a cruise holiday this season.

#ChooseCruise also includes themes highlighting Ocean, River, Luxury and Expedition cruising to engage new-to-cruise and existing cruisers in exciting ways. Useful information on these themes will be available on the CLIA Asia’s website that will allow consumers to understand the various types of cruises that appeal to different interests.

For #ChooseCruise, CLIA’s Asia members will have access to newly created marketing toolkits for Asia with materials such as customisable media releases, newsletter articles, social media tiles and infographics, which members can use to develop promotional material targeting local media, their email database of clients and social media followers. A refreshed Cruising Southeast Asia 2018/2019 module is also available for agents to update their knowledge on this fast-growing region.

Travel agents with a keen interest in cruise are invited to join CLIA during the following events: – CruiseWorld Asia and a 2-hour cruise seminar “Navigating the Cruise Industry Towards Greater Profits” at ITB Asia 2018. These events aim to equip travel agents both new and familiar to cruise with the skills to matchmake the right cruise products to consumers.

CLIA’s 2018 Asia Cruise Trends reports favourable outlook for Asia

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), today, released their 2018 Asia Cruise Trends, a comprehensive analysis of the cruise industry within Asia.

“Asia once again showed impressive results in 2017 with most Asian source markets registering double-digit year-on-year growth,” said Joel Katz Managing Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia.

Basic RGB“After another year of exceptional growth which saw Asia outperform other established markets, it’s clear that cruising is continuing to grow in popularity as cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including brand new, large cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers. 2018 is expected to deliver another year of growth as Asian travellers increasingly recognise cruising as an easy, relaxing, and great value for money way to travel.”

Highlights from the 2018 Asia Cruise Trends Include:

  • More Asian passengers in 2017 – Asian sourced ocean cruise passenger numbers hit another record high in 2017 with 4.052M taking an ocean cruise (up 20.6 per cent). Asia accounted for about 15 per cent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017. Mainland China maintained its dominance as a key source market, accounting for almost 60% of all Asian passengers. Most of the Asian markets registered double-digit year-on-year growth. Between 2012 and 2017, Asian cruise passengers grew from 775,000 to nearly 4.052M, almost a 40 per cent compound annual growth rate.
  • More Variety of Ship Products in Asian Waters in 2018 – 2018 will see 38 cruise brands deployed and more ships in Asian waters. There will be a broader variety of cruise products with significant increases in large (2,000 to 3,500 passengers) as well as small upscale ships deployed in Asia. 2018’s scheduled cruise calls are slightly down from the planned calls in 2017 but are maintaining an upward 5-year trend. In 2013, only 43 ships cruised in Asia, marking an 80 per cent growth since 2013.
  • South East Asia ports expected to see significant growth – South East Asia will see more than 20 per cent increase in port calls in 2018. In total there will be over 7,100 port calls in Asia with Japan, mainland China, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia expected to receive the most number of cruises. East Asia accounts for 60 per cent of the port calls, followed by South East Asia (36 per cent) and the remaining in South Asia (4 per cent).
  • Asian travellers prefer shorter cruises within Asia – Asian travellers continue to predominantly take cruises within the region (91 per cent) with shorter sailings of 4 to 6 nights by far the most popular. With a weighted average age of 44.6 years old, cruise passengers from Asia are one of the younger cruise travellers globally.

The Asia Cruise Trends project, now it’s fourth year, is commissioned by CLIA in collaboration with Chart Management Consultants.

To view the full 2018 Asia Trends Study and Infographics, please visit:


A record-breaking 4,060,000 Asians took an ocean cruise in 2017 according to Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) – a 20.5 per cent increase from the 3,370,000 Asian passengers in 2016.

Singapore city panoramic wallpaperAt 20.5 per cent, the 2017 year-on-year growth is more than three times the global growth (6.3 per cent), way ahead of markets such as North America (5.0 per cent) and Australia (4.4 per cent), putting Asia on top of the world in terms of cruise growth.

Asia accounted for about 15 per cent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017.

The region also had seven countries making it to the top 20 countries by cruise passenger volume. Cruise passengers from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India all saw double-digit year-on-year growth. The fastest growing markets were Hong Kong and Malaysia which both recorded more than 80 per cent growth from 2016.

“Cruising continues to be on an impressive progressive trajectory in Asia, gaining consumer interest and having a positive impact on the economy. With a comparatively low population penetration rate and limited awareness of cruising in many Asian markets, the potential is tremendous.” Said Mr Joel Katz, Managing Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia.

“Since the start of the CLIA Asia office in 2017, we have made strong progress with introducing CLIA’s training and accreditation programme, educating travel agents on everything cruise and how they can benefit from the current demand. We look forward to working with the industry to support the continued development of cruise in Asia.”

Above figures were released as part of the 2017 official global cruise industry numbers reported by CLIA. A detailed cruise trends report for Asia will follow.

Travel Agencies urged to equip themselves with cruise knowledge to cater to the growth in cruise travellers

Singapore, 19 March 2018 – Cruise travel amongst Singaporeans is on the rise with passenger numbers from Singapore showing an increase of close to 20% between 2015 and 2016. The surge in cruises sailing out of Singapore and a keen interest in cruise from travellers will continue to fuel this growth.

Cover photo brochureAs the overwhelming majority of cruise sales comes from travel agents, agencies are recognising the need to equip their staff with in-depth cruise knowledge to cater for the growing segment of cruise travellers.

Since Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) established their Asia regional office in Singapore late last year, key agencies such as Chan Brothers Travels, Dynasty Travel and Citystate Cruises have come onboard and joined CLIA. CLIA membership allows travel professionals to access CLIA’s bespoke online Learning Academy, currently used by more than 25,000 cruise agents globally, and enhance their cruise knowledge to be better equipped to sell cruise holidays.

“Consumers, especially those planning for their first cruise holiday are looking for expert advice from their travel agents – someone whom can perfectly match them to their dream cruise vacation. CLIA accredited agents undergo extensive training and have the expertise and will, therefore, be able to provide the best cruise product advice. We urge agencies to reach out to CLIA and learn more about how to become a member,” said Mr Joel Katz, Managing Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia.

“Rather than just selling cruises to customers, the professional cruise agents must have the knowledge and expertise on cruises and also know their customers well, so that the types of cruises suggested to them are the ones that best meet their customers’ needs and maximise their enjoyment. It is essential that our agents have the relevant opportunities to upgrade their skills and knowledge to improve and enhance their cruise selling experience. We believe CLIA is by far the most suitable platform for our agents to become cruise-educated on an ongoing basis” Mr Albert Ho, Executive Director, Citystate Cruises, said.

“Training is the bedrock on which Dynasty Travel build our business, knowing a product inside and out is the first step and being able to recommend and then sell it. As a CLIA member, we are confident that our cruise team members will enhance their overall cruise sales skills and knowledge of Southeast Asia cruises, in particular, and other types of cruises to sell cruise vacations better,” said Ms Alicia Seah, Director of Public Relations & Communications at Dynasty Travel.

“There is a transformational change in cruise travel, from leisure luxury cruise liners to river cruises and expedition cruise catering to different segments of the travellers which now comprises of the millennials to multigenerational clientele.”

“CLIA’s Learning Academy is an eagerly anticipated platform for the cruise industry to elevate the skills and product knowledge of regional and international cruise sailings. Agents are now able to easily identify the type and the nature of our customer in order to find them the right cruise. To be part of CLIA, a globally recognised association, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive booking experience for our guest,” said Mr Ricky Leong, Deputy Head of Chan Brothers Travel, Worldwide Cruise Centre.

CLIA is also partnering the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) on a cruise workshop for NATAS’ members in the upcoming months. Further information about CLIA’s cruise training and accreditation programme for travel agents can be found here.

First-of-a-Kind Partnership to Propel Cruise Growth in Southeast Asia

Fort Lauderdale, 5 March 2015– The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Cruise
Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise industry’s global trade
organisation, announced a new three-year partnership today that is aimed at
boosting the increasingly vibrant cruising industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

STB and CLIA will tap their complementary strengths to undertake travel agent
training, augment destination marketing efforts, spur regional port development and
exchange technical and regulatory best practices.

The three-year strategic partnership marks CLIA’s first collaboration with a National
Tourism Organisation in the Asia-Pacific region. It comes at a time when cruising in
Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, is fast
picking up steam. CLIA’s most recent Asia Cruise Trends* reported that Southeast
Asia contributed close to 15 per cent of Asia’s passengers.

In the first year of the partnership, STB and CLIA plan to conduct travel agent training
in priority cruise markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and India. With the majority of
cruise bookings made through travel agents, these training sessions aim to enhance
travel agents’ cruise sales skills overall and knowledge of Southeast Asia cruises, in
particular. The partnership will leverage CLIA’s professional training capabilities and
STB’s travel trade networks in the region.

“STB is pleased to enter into a partnership with CLIA that is both meaningful and
strategic. As Southeast Asia’s cruise industry is still in a nascent stage of growth,
this partnership draws on CLIA’s expertise, networks and platforms, as well as STB’s
strong understanding of regional travel trade and market nuances, to shape and spur
growth in this region. We look forward to working closely with CLIA to develop
Southeast Asia as a vibrant cruising destination,” said Mr Lionel Yeo, STB’s Chief

“CLIA is committed to supporting the developing cruise industry in Singapore and
Southeast Asia. Our expertise in travel agent training, knowledge of best industry
practices and extensive global networks will complement the Singapore Tourism
Board’s regional expertise,” said Cindy D’Aoust, President and CEO, CLIA. “The STB
has been a valuable partner for CLIA; through this further collaboration we will
strengthen and grow the cruise industry in Southeast Asia.”

* Source: CLIA’s Asia Cruise Trends 2017 study at

CLIA Asia’s inaugural participation in SATTE 2018 offers cruise sales training to Indian travel agents

Cruise is one of the fastest growing leisure travel segments globally and has been picking up steam in India. With an increased inventory of cruise itineraries in neighbouring Asian ports such as Singapore and Hong Kong and India’s ambition to grow cruise tourism, cruise sales in India is expected to soar over the next few years.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said CLIA’s inaugural participation in SATTE 2018 marks another milestone in CLIA’s efforts in India.

“To support the development of cruise in India, CLIA’s mandate is to provide essential training, resources and support to Indian travel agents. SATTE 2018 held in New Delhi, has an impressive attendance of 12,000 trade partners and provides an excellent platform for CLIA to promote our cruise training and membership. We look forward to working with the Indian travel community in 2018 and beyond as the cruise industry continues to grow further” Mr. Katz said.

Since the launch of CLIA training in 2016, there has been a steady increase in Indian travel agent members. CLIA’s training and accreditation programme gives access to the Learning Academy, which contains over 50 modules covering every aspect of the cruising. The online programme is specifically designed for travel agents, with extended coverage of specialized content for those with experience.

Ms. Kashish Jiandani was the first Indian national awarded CLIA’s highest certification – Master cruise consultant. According to Ms. Jiandani, being part of the CLIA has been instrumental in enhancing her skills for personal and professional growth.

Peter Kollar - Head of International Training & DevelopmentAt SATTE 2018’s conference, CLIA’s Head of International Training & Development, Peter Kollar will showcase the latest innovations from the cruising industry and give valuable tips on how to use these in selling cruise for today’s market. CLIA will also be at SATTE booth D85 in Hall 10.

CLIA Releases 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook and Cruise Travel Trends

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, has released the 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook. The report offers an in-depth look at the cruise industry’s overall global economic impact as well as the trends impacting cruise travel in 2018.

2018 snapshotCurrent data shows cruise travel is steadily on the rise with a projected 27.2 million passengers expected to set sail in 2018. In 2017, an estimated 25.8 million passengers cruised compared to a confirmed 24.7 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 20.5 percent over five years from 2011-2016. To meet ongoing demand, more ships are scheduled to set sail in 2018. CLIA Cruise Lines are scheduled to debut 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships this coming year.

“It is without question that the cruise industry continues on a growth trajectory, gaining in consumer interest and creating a positive impact on the global economy,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “The 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook is a way for us to keep a finger on the pulse of the global cruise industry and its impact on the global economy and identify new travel trends that will influence cruise travel in the future.”

CLIA is also reporting on the global economic impact of the cruise industry in 2016. Cruise industry expenditures generated $126 billion in total output worldwide, supporting more than one million full-time equivalent employees who earned $41 billion in income, an increase from previous years.

Managing Director of CLIA Asia, Joel Katz, said “With annual source market growth of more than 40%, Asia is emerging as one of the most significant cruise destinations and cruise source markets in the world. Cruising is expected to capture a much larger percentage of the Asian population in the near future, which could catapult Asia’s share of the global market.”

As part of the 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA has forecasted the top nine cruise travel trends for the coming year.

  1. All Budgets Will Cruise – The soon to be released, 2018 Cruise Travel Report found that almost all income brackets are cruising. In fact, a third (33%) of the cruisers surveyed who have taken a cruise within the past three years, have a household income less than $80K. While the data shows cruising does skew a bit more to the affluent consumer than other types of holidays, the report indicates almost all levels of income enjoy cruise vacations.
  2. Transformational Cruise Travel – The next evolution of experiential travel sees travellers taking a step further and seeking “transformational” experiences. From cultural immersion and voluntourism to extreme adventures, those returning from a cruise will have shift in perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Some upcoming cruise itineraries include the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, guided tours through small villages and even visits inside private homes. Thrill-seekers can fill bucket lists with chances to swim with sharks in South Africa, ride a Harley Davidson in Alaska or mingle among penguins in the Arctic.
  3. Sustainability at Sea – In the coming year there with be an even greater focus on sustainable tourism. Travellers can look forward participating in sustainable practices both onboard and off from recycling and waste management to popular voluntourism initiatives that focus on creating a positive environmental and social impact at destinations around the globe.
  4. Millennials Take to the River—River and small ship cruising continues to gain traction among travellers, specifically the Millennial set. With ever-expanding itineraries and destination experiences that reach far beyond walking and coach tours and endless options for the perfect “Instagram moment,” the younger generation is embracing river cruising.
  5. Skip-Gen Cruising – Multigenerational cruising is projected to increase in popularity, as forecasted by CLIA’s Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook in April 2017. But there’s a twist: “skip-generation” trips, with grandparents and grandchildren traveling together without their parents, are predicted to be highly popular in 2018 and beyond.
  6. Travellers Warm to Chilly Destinations –The coming year is projected to see an increase in popularity of colder climate destinations including the Baltics, Canada, Alaska, and Antarctica. With an array of unique excursion options, from penguin watching to ice fishing, these winter wonder destinations are drawing in both new and repeat cruise travellers.
  7. Healthy Doses – Travellers are seeking health and wellness trips more than ever before and the cruise industry is responding with services and experiences for the mind and body. Today’s cruise travellers can participate in onboard health wellness seminars led by popular health experts, custom fitness programs, stress management, and spa services. There are even entire cruise itineraries dedicated to weight management and healthy living including Weight Watchers cruises and menus for a variety of dietary needs from diabetic-friendly to plant-based.
  8. Smart Travel Technology— The coming year there will be a rise in traveller-friendly onboard technologies. Several cruise lines are introducing wearable technology for cruise guests that provide a personalized and seamless experience while onboard. Ranging from keychains to bracelets to necklaces and more, wearable technology on cruises interacts with sensors on the ship in order to do everything from turning the lights on as a cruiser approaches their cabin to acting as a security agent.
  9. Tapping Travel Agents – Travel agents continue to see a steady demand from consumers in planning and executing holidays. Some of the largest factors behind continued popularity of travel agents? Ease of planning, valued expertise, and affordability.

For the full 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook findings, visit

CLIA Announces New Regional Manager for Asia

As cruise tourism in Asia continues to grow at an impressive rate, and the cruise industry deploys more ships to destinations across the region, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Asia has announced the appointment of Jiali Wong as its new Regional Manager for Asia, based in Singapore.

WongJiali photoWith almost 10 years’ experience in tourism, Ms Wong will be responsible for growing industry engagement in the region and supporting the continued growth of cruise. This includes responsibilities for event development and growing CLIA’s Executive Partner program in the region.

Ms Wong is seconded from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and most recently headed the Cruise Business Development team at the STB where she forged strong interest and networks in the cruise industry. In her previous roles, she has handled business development and events management in sectors such as Business Travel, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions and tourism development.

CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said Ms Wong’s appointment further establishes CLIA’s role in the region as the peak cruise industry body as it prepares for another record year of cruising.

“This is a new dedicated position, designed to support our members as the cruise industry continues to expand across Asia. We’re looking forward to working with Jiali as we intensify our focus on advocating, educating, and promoting on behalf of the industry in the region. While the Asian cruise market has grown tremendously over the past four years – it has the potential to catapult ahead of competing markets,” Mr Katz said.

According to CLIA’s recent 2017 Asia Cruise Trends Report, between 2013 and 2017, cruise capacity has increased across all metrics:

  • More Passengers: A total of 3.1 million Asians took cruises in 2016, 55 per cent more than in 2015.
  • More Ships in Asian Waters – In 2017, 66 cruise ships are being deployed in Asian waters. In 2013, there were only 43 ships cruising in Asia, marking a 53 per cent growth since 2013.
  • Increased Operating Days in 2017 – The Asian cruise industry has 10,196 operating days scheduled for 2017, an increase of 137 per cent from 4,307 operating days in 2013, and an increase of 25 per cent over the 8,171 operating days in 2016. The increased operating days in 2017 provide a total capacity for 4.24 million passengers. This passenger capacity has nearly tripled from 1.51 million passengers in 2013.

About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy, and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 24 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river, and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners. The organisation’s mission is to be the unified global organisation that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating, and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community.

For Membership, Training and Accreditation queries please email

For Advocacy, Marketing and PR queries please email

For general information regarding CLIA Asia please visit