Compared with the situation of rapid development in the past five years, China’s cruise market has undergone significant changes in 2017 and 2018 with a slower growth of the number of passengers and sailings, said Zheng Weihang, executive vice president and secretary general of China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA).
"As China’s cruise industry enters the market adjustment period, the cruise industry needs to think thoroughly about the important issues in six aspects, including increasing efforts to promote inbound tourism of international cruises, spreading the concept of cruise destinations, improving onshore travel itineraries, establishing the system of cruise classification, opening medium-long routes and developing local cruise," he said in a statement.
Xiao Baojia, chairman of the Asia Cruise Academy of Shanghai Maritime University, various ministries and commissions of the central government have issued a number of policies to support the cruise industry in 2018.
The biggest highlight that substantial breakthrough may be made in eliminating many obstacles hindering the local cruise development in the next two to three years by relying on the advantages of the new policies for Hainan’s reform and opening up and the development of free trade zones.
At the same time, it is also possible that important progress may be made for cruise ship building in China with continuous policy support.
In terms of the market, Xiao Baojia is optimistic about the development potential of China’s coastal cruise and inland river cruise. At present, three major coastal areas, including North China, East China and South China, are preparing to upgrade the small and medium-sized cruise ships to develop the marine leisure tourism industry.
Local governments along the Yangtze River and Yunnan Province are also actively promoting the infrastructure construction and product market development for inland river cruise.
As pointed out by Xu Juehui, general manager of Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, under the overall circumstance of slower growth of China’s market this year, many industrial hotspots are still very eye-catching.
Cruise ports in South China are providing more innovative routes and more comfortable cruise experience, continuously releasing the potential of passenger sources and persistently heating up the market in South China.
A pilot ticket system has laid a good foundation for the sustainable and healthy development of the cruise market, and the implementation plan for Hainan to deepen reform has brought a number of innovative policies for cruise management to become a new driving force for China’s cruise industry development.
With the rapid development of the international inland river market, the Yangtze River cruise is expected to become a new hot spot for domestic cruise tourism. Chinese cruise ship factories are taking advantages of this trend to solve the difficulty in luxury cruise ship construction and help boost the starting of domestic cruise ship construction.