China's SkySea Cruise sees changing and widening demographic
SkySea Cruise Line is seeing a younger demographic, an increase in onboard spending and greater numbers of passengers sourced from central and western China, says the company’s VP marketing Helene Xu.
Talking to Seatrade Cruise News, Xu said SkySea’s demographics have been changing from ‘mostly a generation of elders to a relatively younger one.’
The average age for the brand’s one ship, SkySea Golden Era, this summer was 35, she confirmed.
Since mid-September, the company has allowed passengers to use Alipay on their mobile device for purchases across most of the ship and this has attracted more younger cruisers to spend, she remarked.
Increasing the market share and enhancing the brand awareness of SkySea in China have become priorities, with Ken Muscat joining SkySea as CEO at the start of this year.
Xu points out that SkySea, which began operations in 2015, rides on sound backing from Ctrip and Royal Caribbean, ‘two giant business players’.
Ctrip’s travel management, packages, reservation and ticketing services helps to optimize online and offline channels. They are also able to garner talent for the cruise arm and strengthen government relations.
Xu revealed that Skysea is seeing increased onboard spending with a growing number of guests going to one of the four specialty non-inclusive restaurants, spa, and make duty free purchases onboard. Shopping is always a popular activity, she added.
When Skysea began operations out of Shanghai in May 2015, more than 70% of SkySea passengers were mostly from Eastern China. Xu describes Shanghai as one of the most mature and developed sourcing markets with full governmental support.
Skysea has multi-home port operations out of Shanghai, Xiamen, Qingdao, Zhoushan and Shenzhen in 2017.
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