Baoshan, Shanghai (China) - Ahead of this year’s Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific, which takes place for the 3rd consecutive year in Baoshan District, Shanghai, China, it has been revealed that a record-breaking 4,052,000 Asians took an ocean cruise in 2017 – a whopping 20.6% increase in growth from the previous year and more than three times the global growth. This includes 2.1million passengers from China alone.
The details, released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), also showed that the Asia Pacific region has seven markets featured in the top 20 cruise passenger source markets – including China mainland, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and India. Asia also accounted for about 15% of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017.
The development of source markets throughout Asia Pacific will be the topic of one of the sessions being held at the 3 day event which takes place from 23-25 October 2018 in a joint commitment with Shanghai Baoshan Municipal People’s Government; Shanghai International Cruise Business Institute and Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
According to Andrew Williams, General Manager of the Seatrade portfolio, UBM EMEA, the Asia Pacific region has successfully introduced and laid the foundations for a vibrant cruise market. Mentioning China specifically, he said: “China is the second leading source market in the world, yet penetration for mainland China is just 0.17% , meaning there is huge potential for further growth and as cruising is turning into mainstream travel for the Chinese, the market is entering the next ‘Golden Decade’.’’
“During the next 10 years, China’s focus needs to be on optimising sustainability of the market and deepening its economic influence in the region,” he added.
An important session at Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific entitled ‘China’s next Golden Decade in Cruising: how to balance growth and sustainability’ will address the challenges and how the government and cruise line operators plan to work together to guarantee a successful future.
Speaking about the event, Andrew Williams, said: “It is widely predicted that demand for cruising in Asia will continue to grow, both as a source market for cruise passengers and as a key destination for cruise ship deployment. Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific looks at the opportunities for expanding cruise sales across the region and the variation in tastes for the individual Asian source markets, and how the product can be adapted to address these tastes. It will also focusses on the current pattern of cruise ship deployment in the region and the opportunities for developing new itineraries and new destinations.”
Mr Williams also made mention to China’s buoyant cruise shipbuilding and repair sectors and said that a session ‘Made in, and for, China’ will examine the opportunities for technical suppliers in this growing market. The session will also focus on ship interiors and explore the crucial elements and principles when designing for Chinese and Asia customers.
The session comes at a timely point in China’s shipbuilding growth plans as China’s government has earmarked cruise shipbuilding as a major objective in its “Made in China 2025” program to upgrade its domestic manufacturing and support jobs at its shipyards.
In June, the keel-laying for SunStone Ships’ first Infinity-class cruise vessel being built by China Merchants Heavy Industries took place in Haimen, China. This is the first in a series of Sunstone Ships with four firm orders and six options.
In addition, the first China-built cruise ship for Carnival Corp is due in 2023 with a second to follow a year later plus four more options. The ships will be constructed by China’s CSSC yard and operated specifically for the Chinese market by a new domestic brand.
Chinese shipyards are also looking at the refit/refurbishment market with Fincantieri and Chinese repair specialist Huarun Dadong Dockyard (HRDD) forming the first international joint venture specifically designed to handle cruise ships operating in the Chinese market.
Looking at the event conference programme, an interesting discussion is also planned about ‘how can cruising leverage the growth of China’s Outbound Travel market’. China's outbound travel market has benefited from the increasing population in Chinese middle-class which has resulted in a group of people with bigger buying power and more willingness to purchase mid- to high-end travel products.
“As cruise is considered as one of the high-end travel products on offer to holiday makers, this one to one session will address the importance of making cruise travel stand out against inland travel holidays and look at ways to harness the growth of China's vibrant outbound travel market.
Taking place over three days, Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific will begin with a familiarisation trip to Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal followed by an evening welcome reception. Day two will begin with an Opening Ceremony on 24th October. This will include a keynote address by Madam Wang, Hong, Party Secretary General, Shanghai Baoshan People’s Government.
Keynote addresses and State of the Industry Panel will follow and the day also includes sessions about: China’s next Golden Decade in Cruising; How to balance growth and sustainability; Cruising’s Development in the Asia Pacific – Source Market; Cruising’s Compliance and Regulatory Update in Asia and Cruise Supporting Industry Development Forum. An innovation Arena will be dedicated to a series of short presentations.
Day three includes: A Spotlight Interview: How to deliver right products to the right people – a story of cruise education and brand marketing; Establishing a customer-centric cruise culture across Asia; How can cruising leverage the growth of China’s outbound travel market; How fly-cruise boosts Asian cruisers; Made in, and for, China; The rise of China’s cruise shipbuilding and repair sectors, and opportunities for technical suppliers in a growing market; Cruise ship interiors – designing for the Chinese consumer; Asia ports and destinations; International cruise research alliance summit; Ports, destinations and service providers workshop; Cruise talent education alliance summit; reimagining shorex and Future Views: Cruise in Asia 2030.
Travel Agent Training delivered by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) will also be run alongside the busy conference programme.
Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific is the region’s leading cruise industry event and gateway for the international cruise community. Welcoming over 900 attendees, the event brings together a network of powerful industry influencers and cruise line executives to China to attend the conference; network and do business.