Chinese cruise tourism grows 445 pc Y-O-Y during Spring Festival

Cruise market attracting key international players
2024-03-30
/
/ New Delhi
Chinese cruise tourism grows 445 pc Y-O-Y during Spring Festival
Chinese cruise tourism grows 445 pc Y-O-Y during Spring Festival

The ‘cruise season’ beginning in the Year of the Dragon has become a noteworthy event in China

Buoyed by a good start to the year, precisely 445 pc year-on-year during the Spring Festival holiday, the Chinese cruise tourism market is predicted to only accelerate further during the later part of the year.
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China’s cruise tourism had a good start during the Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon, says a report released by  Fliggy, a cruise travel booking platform. With the resumption of international cruise tourism in China since September 2023, many cities have restarted international cruise routes.

Since this year’s Spring Festival there has been a “cruise season” with both supply and demand. According to data released by Fliggy,   domestic and international cruises together increased by 445 pc year-on-year during the Spring Festival holiday.

During the 8-day holiday, Shanghai inspected four inbound and outbound cruise ships, with over 21,200 people entering and exiting, indicating an increase of almost 22 pc month-on-month. China’s cruise tourism has grown in popularity since the Spring Festival.

The cruise market has attracted competition from international cruise companies. Royal Caribbean has announced that it will provide more than 130 international cruise itineraries to Chinese consumers from 2025 to 2026, leading the accelerated development of China’s cruise tourism with a diversified route portfolio and a “dual flagship and three home ports” deployment plan.

The report adds that on February 22, Shanghai Cruise Port welcomed four international cruise ships to dock simultaneously. These included the sizeable domestic cruise ships Aida Modu, Gulangyu, Blue Dream Star and Europa. Later in February, the Maltese luxury cruise ship Europa also docked in Shanghai, Qingdao, and Tianjin.

The ‘cruise season’ beginning in the Year of the Dragon has become a noteworthy event in China’s accelerated recovery of inbound and outbound tourism.

The statement adds that many places have implemented various measures to enhance the experience of tourists in China. For instance, the Dongjiang Border Inspection Station of Tianjin Frontier Inspection Station has devised a work plan, opened enough inspection channels, and ensured efficient customs clearance for “Cuidedan” tourists.

According to Ye Xinliang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Engineering Science who studies the cruise economy, China’s cruise economy is expected to experience a significant increase in its economic prosperity index in 2023, exceeding expectations.

He also predicts that 2024 will be a pivotal year for the full development of China’s cruise tourism. Professor Ye believes China will have more cruise ships this year, and the growth rate is expected to surpass the global average.

Zheng Weihang, Executive Vice President of the Cruise Yacht Branch of the China Communications and Transportation Association, shares Professor Ye’s optimism regarding the prospects of China’s cruise economy. Zheng believes that China’s cruise industry will enter the second “golden decade” of rapid development after this year and the next.

According to data from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, during the Spring Festival this year, there were approximately 6.83 million inbound and outbound tourists, with 3.6 million outbound and 3.23 million inbound tourists, almost the same as in 2019. The China Tourism Academy predicts that the number of Chinese outbound tourists will reach 130 million by 2024.

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