Chinese cruise market seeing rapid growth
- Posted by Daniel Meesak
- On 19th October 2015
- carnival, chinese, cotri, cruise, cruises, market, outbound, tourism
The world’s largest cruise operator, Miami-based Carnival Corp., is betting big on the growing Chinese cruise market by rapidly expanding its presence in the market – doubling its number of brands in the Chinese market. Until now, only two brands have been active in China; Carnival’s Costa division since 2006, and Carnival’s Princess Cruises cruise line that started operating the Chinese market in 2014.
Carnival Corp. is competing with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd among others, but already claims to hold somewhere between 55 % to 60 % percent of the Chinese market – and expects China to reach approximately half the size of the world’s largest cruise market, USA, already by 2020. Carnival predicts the Chinese market to match the U.S. market by 2025, and is currently seeing annual growth of 20-30% in the market, compared to the modest 3-4% industry average.
[tweetable]In the last 4 years, Carnival has increased its number of ships in the China fleet by 400%[/tweetable] – taking many of its ships previously operating in Northern Europe, USA, and the Caribbean, to instead traffic Northeast Asian destinations such as China, Japan, and South Korea.
However, expanding in the Chinese market is not without challenges. Carnival’s COO Alan Buckelew told the Wall Street Journal that “Every culture has its customs”, and continues to explain that successful marketing in China requires a good understanding of the different expectations and demographics of cruise customers in China – and many of the products typically offered on cruises in the western world are not attractive to Chinese customs and thus require product adaptation.
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