The Asia Cruise Fund, which was launched by Taiwan and Hong Kong to drive investment in the Asian cruise industry, has added two new members – the Philippines and the Chinese island province of Hainan.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) welcomed two new members – Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission and the Philippine Department of Tourism – with an official ceremony held during the Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific (CSAP) conference in Hong Kong.
The fund’s two new members, together with the HKTB and the TTB, were joined at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal by 400 delegates, including cruise line executives, and representatives from port authorities and national tourism organisations.
“When the HKTB initiated the concept of a cruise co-op fund, we envisioned a strategic alliance which benefits not only cruise lines through funding support for them to market their products, but also the member ports and the Asian region at large, as new itineraries and more ship calls to Asia ultimately enhance consumer interest in cruise travel in the region,” explained Dr Peter Lam, chairman of the HKTB.
“We were pleased to receive Taiwan’s support for the idea back in February, which made the launch of the Asia Cruise Fund possible. We are excited that Hainan and the Philippines are joining us in our effort. We would like to thank them for their support for the fund, and above all, for their confidence in the Asian cruise industry.
“Our four destinations will work closely together to encourage cruise lines and our neighbouring ports to join and leverage the Asia Cruise Fund to expand their business. Meanwhile, Hong Kong will continue to enrich its cruise offerings and promote its diverse onshore experiences, including unique cultural experiences, and world-class dining and shopping, to cruise passengers from the region and around the world,” he added.
Founded by the HKTB and the TTB in April this year, the Asia Cruise Fund aims to promoting regional cooperation in the area of cruise tourism. This will include encouraging international cruise lines to deploy more ships to the region, and support the development and marketing of cruise products.
Hainan and the Philippines will become official members of the Asia Cruise Fund in December 2014 and April 2015 respectively.