- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 18th March 2016
- caissa, chinese, cruises, investment, outbound, ships, tourism
The international cruise industry is currently growing at an unprecedented pace with an increasing focus on attracting guests from Asia. Chinese tourists have now become a significant target group presenting the international cruise industry with new opportunities for growth and expansion. According to statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association, almost 700,000 of 110 million Chinese leisure travelers enjoyed a cruise trip in 2014. For many Chinese tourists, going on a cruise is a chance to experience an upscale Western style of living for the very first time.
By offering products adjusting to the habits of the Chinese tourists, a great number of the international cruise companies now hope to reach the Chinese tourists in a more efficient and dynamic way. For instance, some cruise tours provide warm water for drinking and menus with Chinese-style food. To appeal to Chinese workers with less vacation time, new options of three-day cruises are offered, significantly shorter than the itineraries usually advertised in Western countries. In order to overcome the language barriers with Chinese passengers, Mandarin-speaking staff and translated materials are considered as essential components of the cruise tour packages targeting the Chinese market.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the two largest cruise line brands, have already moved ships and executives to China to capitalize on the growth. Norwegian Cruise Lines, the third-largest player, has built up a team in charge of a deeper research on the opportunities in China. Their goal is to present a cruise ship specially designed for the Chinese market in the spring of 2017.
MSC Cruises, the market leader in Europe, has been present in the Chinese market since 2010, successfully bringing Chinese cruise travelers to numerous destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean. Recently, MSC Cruises announced a cooperative partnership with Chinese tour operator Caissa Touristic with the agreement that MSC Lirica will homeport in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market from May 2016. MSC Lirica is supposed to reach her new homeport of Shanghai on 1 May 2016, after a journey of 60-day grand voyage from Rio de Janeiro via Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa and Dubai.
The Chinese cruise travel market has just embarked on an exciting new journey with huge potential growth for further growth.