Cruise Tourism, a New Fashion of Leisure life in China

The “Annual Report of China Outbound Tourism Development 2012” published in April says that the leisure tourism market in China is increasing steadily. 37.6% of Chinese tourists travel for leisure, an increase of 4 percentage points from last year. According to the data from China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, the number of cruise ships received at ports on the Chinese mainland increased to 262 in 2011, up 17% from the year before. More and more Chinese tourists are showing interest in voyages, which is becoming part of a new fashion of leisure life.

The international cruise industry has begun to pay more attention to the Asia market, especially the China market. Many cruise companies have increased their investments on the Chinese cruise market. In order to win the booming market, the world’s top three cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Stars are all seeking Chinese partners. “The opportunities to attract guests from China to cruise are abundant,” said Royal Caribbean, CEO of Adam Goldstein.

Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of cruise industry. Cruise tourism is considered as one of the most important development strategies for all the coastal cities of Chinese mainland. At present, 16 port cities, such as Tianjin, Qingdao, Xiamen, Sanya, are harboring international cruise ships. More and more people are seeking professional training for cruise staff, and the qualification certificate system is being established.

Market survey shows the cruise has become a style of leisure life for Chinese middle-class families to spend their holidays. Most of them prefer to plan a short tour for about 4 to 8 days, depending on the length of the various holidays in China. The cost of a short tour is much lower than a long one; it is more affordable for most Chinese families. Furthermore, the Chinese customers usually care about the services during the trip, such as Chinese food, language service, luxury retail products, casinos and live entertainment.

(Written by Sabrina Wu, Sr. Manager of Business Development, Glogou Inc. Contact: sabrina@glogou.com)

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