Tak­ing to the high seas

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

CHINA is poised to be­come the sec­ond largest global cruise mar­ket af­ter the United States by 2017.

The pro­jec­tion would be a gi­ant leap for the in­dus­try, es­pe­cially given that the Chi­nese only make up 6% to 7% of the global cruise mar­ket to­day.

But in 2017, the num­ber of cruise pas­sen­gers from the Asian gi­ant is ex­pected to reach 3.7 mil­lion.

From there, the fig­ure could dou­ble to more than 7 mil­lion by 2020, says a new re­port re­leased via the World Trade Mar­ket in Lon­don.

In re­cent years, the cruise in­dus­try has recog­nised Asia as a source of ma­jor growth, pulling off a string of mile­stones and de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion.

For ex­am­ple, last sum­mer Hong Kong opened its US$1.1bil (RM3.62bil) cruise ter­mi­nal which is set to be­come a ma­jor hub for lux­ury liners in Asia.

The first mega ship to dock at the port – for­merly the site of the Kai Tak Air­port – was the Royal Caribbean’s Mariner Of The Seas, a 311m-long ves­sel.

China’s first lux­ury liner, the Henna, was also in­au­gu­rated ear­lier last year – which the gov­ern­ment de­clared Ma­rine Tourism Year – sail­ing be­tween the south­ern tip of the coun­try and Viet­nam.

While Car­ni­val al­ready has a pres­ence in Asia through its Costa brand, the com­pany an­nounced plans to bring the Sap­phire Princess to Sin­ga­pore from Novem­ber this year to Fe­bru­ary next year.

And over at Royal Caribbean, the num­ber of Chi­nese pas­sen­gers quadru­pled from 25,000 to 100,000 be­tween 2011 and 2012.

This year, that fig­ure is ex­pected to dou­ble to 200,000.

Af­ter China, the Asian Cruise As­so­ci­a­tion pre­dicts Myan­mar, Malaysia, South Korea and Viet­nam to be­come ma­jor port des­ti­na­tions. – AFP Re­laxnews

asia, es­pe­cially China, is a source of ma­jor growth in the cruise in­dus­try. — aFP photo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.