For years, South East Asians have been a regular fixture on board, working specifically in the hospitality sector of cruise ship jobs. Indians have been recruited frequently and have shown exemplary skill and determination to succeed in jobs that are often far away from their homes for months at a stretch.
Tens of thousands of cruise ship jobs are filled by Indians each year, offering recruitment companies such as Kamaxi Overseas Consultancy an excellent environment to flourish and grow. It also offers potential candidates a great variety of opportunities on board some of the major cruise ship companies in the world.
The currency exchange rate for the US dollar, Euro and Pound bodes well for both cruise ship companies as well as employees from places like India. For a relatively lower wage than what they would typically pay someone from a higher income country, the companies are able to offer world-class services to guests from around the world. Indian employees, on the other hand, earn wages much higher than they would on shore and also gain valuable five-star hospitality experience.
Thousands of youngsters from India apply for jobs on the cruise ships each year, many quitting after a few years to bring their skills and techniques home and set up entrepreneurial ventures.
According to the Indian Cruise Lines Association (InCLA), cruise tourism to India itself has excellent potential to expand. At the moment, any cruise line stops in India occur at any one of the five major ports – Goa, Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin and Mangalore. Even so, facilities that cater to the needs of guests on five-star cruises are severely lacking in these ports, although a few of them are receiving a much-needed upgrade.
In CLA suggests that cruise passengers spend an average of US$200-300 per person while cruise staff spend around US$100-150 per person on every visit. This brings in great business opportunities for land-based players such as transport, bunkering, food and beverage, etc.
The association further assessed the ratio of cruise staff to passenger as 1:3 or 1:4. By opening up newer ports and upgrading facilities, India could potentially cater to 700 cruise ships each year compared with the 158 that touched our shores in 2017. This means that the cruise industry could potentially generate more than 2.5 lakh jobs for every 10 lakh passengers.
Additionally, cruise lines are constantly looking for new destinations to offer their passengers and set themselves apart. India has more than 7500 kms of coastline; a sizable portion of it remains untouched by large-scale urban development. This offers the global cruise industry excellent options for expansion into India as well as the opportunity for the country to promote related employment in these areas and bring in foreign exchange.
Another facet of the relationship between India and the global cruise tourism industry is its potential as a market for players in the sector. The World Tourism Organization suggested that as many as 300,000 Indians would go on an international cruise by 2020 and that the country is one of the fastest-growing outbound markets.
This year itself, Tirun Travel Marketing, the India representative for Royal Caribbean Cruises, is offering a Christmas cruise from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai and a New Year cruise on the return trip. The company is also organizing cruises from Mumbai to Cochin and then onward across the East African coast to Cape Town in South Africa.
If India has not already made its presence felt in international cruising, it is certainly putting its best foot forward now.