China can deliver 83m cruise passengers – HKTB

A Star Cruises ship in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour (photo by think4photop)
A Star Cruises ship in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour (photo by think4photop)

The Greater China region has the potential to deliver 83 million cruise passengers per year, according to new research from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).

Presented on the opening day of Cruise Shipping Miami event, two new reports have highlighted how regional ports, including Hong Kong, are gearing up to tap into this huge potential market by upgrading their cruise infrastructure.

The ‘Asia Cruise Potential & Passenger Behaviour Study’ reveals a potential 83m cruise passengers in just seven source markets within Greater China – four times the current number of cruise passengers worldwide. Hong Kong alone has a cruise potential of 54m passengers, the report states.

The study also reveals that the make-up of these passengers is younger and more family-oriented than in traditional source markets such as North America and Europe. As many as 69% of respondents from the family segment with children under the age of 16 said they intend to take a cruise, while more than 51% of respondents between the ages of 20 and 29 said they are planning a cruise holiday in future.

The second study, ‘Asia’s Cruise Port Development Study’, identifies 21 ports within a six to seven cruise days of Hong Kong which already have concrete plans to upgrade infrastructure, expand tourism offerings and improve destination management, such as the issuing of visas.

These ports include Sanya, Xiamen, Zhoushan, Qingdao and Yantai in China, Keelung, Hualien, Kaohsiung, Anping, Taichung, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu in Taiwan, Miyakojima and Takamatsu in Japan, Mokpo and Yeosu in South Korea, Hon La in Vietnam, and Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.

According to the study, within five years half of these ports will be able to receive cruise ships in excess of 100,000 tonnes.

“The studies highlighted both the potential for growth in Asia cruise tourism and the region’s commitment to the industry,” said Anthony Lau, executive director of the HKTB. “Hong Kong… is the perfect location to tap into the growing cruise potential in the region.

“With the results of the two surveys showing the great potential and committed development, combined with the Asia Cruise Fund, Asia’s cruise tourism is ready to take off.”

Globally, a record 23m people are expected to take a cruise holiday this year.

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