Taiwan’s cruise sector surges in 2017

A cruise ship at Keelung, Taiwan's busiest port
A cruise ship at Keelung, Taiwan’s busiest port

Taiwan’s cruise industry continues to experienced strong growth, with double-digit rises in terms of ship and passenger visits in 2017.

According to figures released by Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation & Communications, reported by the Taiwan News, the island welcomed 404 cruise ships carrying 582,000 passengers in the first seven months of the year, which marks growth of 34% and 27% year-on-year respectively.

The top port was Keelung in northern Taiwan, which handled 326 visits and 498,000 passengers, followed by Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, with 62 ships and 72,000 passengers.

Yeh Hsieh-lung, deputy director-general of the MOTC’s Department of Navigation & Aviation, noted that Taiwan is now the second largest source of cruise passengers in Asia, after mainland China.

A total of 30,328 tourists flew into Taiwan from abroad for fly-cruise holidays during the January-July 2017 period, the vast majority of which came from other Asian countries. Southeast Asia (34.2%) accounted for most fly-cruise arrivals, followed by Hong Kong and Macau (28.3%) and Japan (10.3%), according to statistics from Taiwan International Ports Corp.

For the full year, ship visits and passenger numbers are forecast to reach 600 and one million respectively.

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