Chinese travel agents are rubbing their hands in glee this morning. Giant Carnival Corporation has announced a deal to introduce cruises to China via a new multi-ship domestic cruise brand. Partners are China State Shipbuilding Corp. (tipped to build the Titanic replica) and sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. with assets worth US$740 billion. Carnival Corp. is an American-British company with over 100 ocean liners across 10 brands.
Chinese Travel Tipped to become Second Largest Cruise Market
Shanghai Daily reports that 1.72 million people from the China mainland booked ocean cruises in 2014 – that’s 43% up over 2013 and 20% greater than the Asian-Pacific average. This is still only the 8th position in global rankings. However secretary general of International Tourism Association Wu Bihu believes China will exceed Britain to become the second largest cruise market by 2017.”
The Future Nature of Chinese Ocean Travel
Bihu predicts that “short distance, large capacity and luxury resorts” will be the trend of future cruise trips. The Express quotes Carnival itself saying that Chinese travel cruises will be arranged to match “the different tastes and preferences of Chinese travellers … it provides an outstanding opportunity for Carnival Cruise Line to enter the Chinese market.”
The Impact on China’s Major Cruise Ports
Tianjin Port is the gateway to Beijing and a proverbial magnet for most cruise ships visiting China. Shanghai with three terminals, and Hong Kong with two are both natural stopovers for westerners. Other leading passenger harbours are Qingdao (Shandomng), Dalian (Liaodong) and Xiamen (capacity for 1.5 million passengers annually).
All will benefit hugely from a surge in ocean travel. Most passengers are set to overnight in a coastal hotel, and buy last-minute goodies for the trip. What a wonderful opportunity to spoil with an 11:11 gift. What a place to propose!