Research by the Hong Kong Tourism Board has estimated Chinese passengers could soon account for 75% of the global cruise industry. With the potential to deliver 83 million cruise passengers every year, the research seems to justify the decision by many of the major cruise lines to dedicate and increased number of ships to the region.
With 23 million people around the world expected to enjoy a cruise holiday in 2015, the projected boom in the Chinese cruise industry would completely re-shape the whole market. Hong Kong alone could see 54 million passengers sailing out of its port, annually.
The anticipated Chinese cruise industry growth could also oversee another demographic shift, with more families and people in their 20s excited to holiday on the seas. Approximately 70% of families approached by the Hong Kong Tourism Board stated they were considering taking a cruise whilst more than half of all 20-somethings asked also responded positively.
Hong Kong’s £666million cruise terminal has recently enjoyed a facelift and expansion and 21 other ports in the region have been identified as potential recipients for upgrade work. 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 could all receive upgrades to help them receive the world’s largest liners in the coming years.
Royal Caribbean are re-locating the Quantum of the Seas to the region following her debut season on the seas, and the cruise line is also investing £400million in a new two-acre cruise terminal in partnership with the Taiwanese Government.
Adam Goldstein, chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association and also the president of Royal Caribbean, explained: “The Chinese love cruises and the market’s growth rate is the fastest in the world… yet that is only a drop in the bucket in terms of total Chinese outbound travel, so we see much more potential.”
The president & CEO of Carnival Group, Arnold Donald, demonstrated the cruise line’s dedication to the region by relocating from Miami to Shanghai last year. “China will overtake the U.S. and Europe at some point to be the largest cruising market in the world, so we are really excited to be here.”
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Ed Coyle, Barbara Willi