Source The Maritime Executive
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 percent, from 775,000 in 2012 to nearly 4.26 million in 2018, according to the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC). A number of destinations are building new infrastructure to support continued growth:
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.
South Korea is well known for its beautiful scenery, traditional culture 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.
Port development and expansion continues in the Northern Philippines, with the development of the Salomague and Currimao ports for cruise ships, and 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.
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. 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, 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.
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 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.