Cruise lines see grow­ing gold mine in China

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - BUSINESS -

Cruise lines, in­clud­ing Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Car­ni­val Corp., have sent an ar­mada of lux­ury ves­sels to China to tap the world’s fastest-grow­ing mar­ket, but they face tur­bu­lent wa­ters. Now Chi­nese com­pa­nies are build­ing their own big ships.

“Right now it’s a learn­ing process,” said Ken Muskat, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at SkySea Hold­ing In­ter­na­tional Ltd., a Shang­hai-based cruise op­er­a­tor. “Ev­ery­body is adapt­ing and learn­ing more about what the Chi­nese mar­ket is look­ing for.” The num­ber of pas­sen­gers in China has risen ten­fold in five years, to around 2 mil­lion in 2016, and the gov­ern­ment ex­pects 4.5 mil­lion by the end of the decade. Most make shorter trips — five days on aver­age — and call in South Korea and Ja­pan, the top two des­ti­na­tions in Asia out­side of China, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try body Cruise Lines In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion.

With so much po­ten­tial com­pa­nies are bring­ing big­ger and bet­ter ships to the Yel­low Sea, tai­lor­ing their of­fer­ings and seek­ing new des­ti­na­tions in an ef­fort to per­suade Chi­nese trav­el­ers that a cruise is more than just a form of trans­porta­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.