Malaysia expresses interest in hosting Seatrade Cruise Asia 2026

PUTRAJAYA, April 17 (Bernama) — Malaysia has expressed interest in hosting the Seatrade Cruise Asia 2026 to demonstrate its commitment to promoting the cruise industry as a potential economic catalyst for the country, according to the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

It said Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who was the first Malaysian Transport Minister to attend the annual Seatrade Cruise Global 2024 in Miami, Florida, announced the intention at the four-day conference from April 8.

“The Transport Minister has conveyed Malaysia’s seriousness to become a major cruise destination when attending the Seatrade Cruise Global 2024,” the ministry said in a statement today.

Seatrade Cruise Global 2024 drew cruise professionals from 80 cruise line brands representing 120 countries.

It said Loke also invited cruise ship operators attending the conference to leverage Malaysia’s cruise port infrastructure, including the Langkawi Cruise Terminal, Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal in Penang, Port Klang Cruise Terminal, Melaka International Cruise Terminal, as well as several ports in Sabah and Sarawak. 

The ministry said the cruise industry can assist in the development of green supply chains in Malaysia, including shore power and green bunkering, in line with the target of achieving net-zero emissions under the International Maritime Organisation’s Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships.

It was also announced that the ministry is closely collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to position Malaysia as a selected homeport destination in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This collaboration is established considering the rapid growth in cruise tourism demand in China and the emerging trend in India.

“The cultural diversity of Malaysia and the ASEAN region can indeed offer an attractive vacation experience to tourists from China and India,” the statement read.

The ministry is optimistic that the rapid growth of cruise tourism will have a positive impact on the economy through retail, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors in the country, it added.