Hong Kong and Taiwan have joined forces to fund the development of the Asian cruise industry.
The new ‘Asia Cruise Fund’, which is a first for the region’s cruise sector, was initiated by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB). It will see ports in both territories provide funds to subsidise cruise companies to develop and market their product, if they include Hong Kong and Taiwan in their itineraries.
The HKTB’s executive director, Anthony Lau, said the scheme “marks a significant step towards regional cruise co-operation”.
“We believe the fund will show our dedication and commitment to cruise tourism development and reinforce cruise operators’ confidence in deploying more ships to Asia, benefiting not only the participating ports but also cruise lines and other industry stakeholders,” Lau said.
Dr Wayne Liu, deputy director-general of the TTB, added that the initiative could also be expanded across the region in the future.
“We will collaborate to encourage more Asian ports to join the fund in order to accelerate the development of the region’s cruise market and enhance the attractiveness of the region to cruise passengers,” Dr Liu said.
Asian cruises accounted for just over 4.4% of global cruise ship deployments in 2013. But it is also one of the world’s fastest-growing markets; according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Asia will see a 31.6% increase in ship deployments in 2014.