Today delegates from the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC) partners delivered key updates and initiatives to media and cruise industry executives, and celebrate the 5th anniversary of partnership at a special luncheon in Miami, Fla., during Seatrade Cruise Global 2019, the leading annual global business-to-business event in the cruise industry.
Cruise tourism in Asia has been identified as one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism development, with the number of cruise passengers increasing by an estimated annual average of 33%, from 775 000 in 2012 to nearly 4.26 million in 2018. To capture the opportunities from the growing Asian cruise market, ACC has been working on various kinds of consumer and trade marketing activities in the past few years, and the ACC partnering destinations are enhancing their facilities, policies and infrastructure, as well as diversifying their destination appeal, to encourage more ship deployments in the region and to attract more visitors to the partner destinations.
ACC expands its promotion efforts to the consumer level
ACC is no longer focusing solely on trade promotion and funding support. This year, ACC partners have joined hands to launch a regional TV program, called “Cruise the World”, in cooperation with the Discovery TLC channel. “Cruise the World” brings together four hosts who are passionate about the oceans, pairing them as cruise mates and travel companions on unknown journeys to explore the best of coastal destinations and cruise ships. Through the program, ACC not only promotes partner destinations, but also generates consumer demand for the cruise ships deployed in the region. ACC is determined to build on the success of the past few years to forge new partnerships around the region. ACC will continue to raise its profile by joining trade marketing promotions as well as consumer demand generation programs.
Hainan improves the air capacity and visa policy
International air routes continue to expand for travelers visiting Hainan, with plans for 28 new routes to destinations in Europe, Oceania, and America to be added by the end of 2019. The convenient Visa-Free and Visa-on-Arrival policies have also contributed to the city’s popularity among foreign tourists. Residents of 59 countries, including those in North and South America, Southeast Asia and Western Europe, can travel to Hainan for as long as 30 days without a Chinese visa.
Hong Kong’s new infrastructure and attractions enrich the visitor experience
Infrastructure remains at the forefront of Hong Kong’s tourism development. Pre- and post-cruise travelers can now reach 44 mainland cities non-stop from Hong Kong via the recently opened Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Rail. The new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge, also known as world's longest sea crossing, has significantly cut the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai, providing tourists with convenient access to and from the mainland. And the opening of heritage and arts attractions, such as Tai Kwun, a former police station converted to an art complex, and the Xiqu Centre, a premier performing arts venue dedicated to promoting Chinese opera, have enriched the passenger experience in this vibrant city.
Korea enhances its terminal facilities and exposure
Korea is well known for its beautiful scenery, time-honored traditional cultures, and unique ports of call, such as Busan, Jeju, Incheon, Yeosu and Sokcho. An international passenger terminal with the capacity to accommodate 220,000-ton cruise vessels will be opened at the port of Incheon in April, housing a state-of-the-art shopping and resort complex, providing cruise travelers with a glittering gateway to Seoul, the Northeast Asia travel hub. Jeju will host the 2019 International Cruise Forum in August to promote cooperation and the sustainable growth of the Asian cruise industry.
Philippines keen on developing its image as an international cruise hub
Port development and expansion continues in Northern Philippines, with the development of the Salomague and Currimao ports for cruise ships while Subic Port is becoming more popular as a new port of call in the country. Solaire Cruise Center, the first cruise-dedicated terminal in Manila, is being developed by the Solaire Group, and is expected to be completed by 2021. The Philippine Ports Authority is carrying out several infrastructure projects and enhancement works in key areas, like Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Metro Manila, Puerto and Princesa, to support the booming cruise industry to develop more ports of call for cruise lines.
Taiwan strengthens its port infrastructure to grow the fly–cruise business
New customs facilities and enhanced infrastructure at the Port of Keelung, and a modern port terminal in Kaohsiung that can accommodate 225,000-ton ships will be completed by 2020, providing visitors to Taiwan with more convenient access to Taiwan’s local culture. In addition, international flights to both Taipei and Kaohsiung have been improved, and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau is aggressively promoting the fly–cruise business in overseas markets.
Xiamen steps up in both terminal development and destination promotion
Xiamen, located on the southeast coast of China and recognized as the Garden of the Sea, is a scenic international port city with UNESCO heritage sites. It ranks among the top Chinese cities in terms of tourism popularity and overall satisfaction rate among tourists. In recent years, Xiamen has accelerated its cruise infrastructure development. The terminal will be able to accommodate 220,000-ton cruise ships starting in mid 2019. Xiamen is also enhancing its tourism promotion in overseas markets.
ACC is a powerful alliance, which will continue to strengthen the collective competitive edge of its members, navigate exciting new horizons and enhance the draw of Asia as a major cruise destination through the joint effort of its members and support from its cruise lines partners.
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