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China becomes world's second largest cruise market

(People's Daily Online)    17:02, July 21, 2017

(Chinanews.com/Wang Dongming)

China has become the second largest cruise market in the world this year, while lower tier cities follow the first tier cities to cash in on the boom, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Since Costa Cruise came to China in 2006, the country's domestic cruise market has achieved an average annual growth rate of 40 percent. Statistics show that in 2016, China's cruise market saw 825 cruise voyages with 3.7 million passengers, and the revenue reached 6.7 billion yuan. A report released by Shanghai International Shipping Institute indicates that China will be the world's largest cruise market by 2030, with eight to ten million passengers per year.

Wang Ping, vice president and general manager of Princess Cruise China, pointed out two features of the Chinese cruise market: (1) high increase rate; and (2) low permeability. Cruise customers only make up about 0.05 percent of the total population, which means there is a lot of room for growth.

Ctrip Cruise predicated that the number of cruise passengers this July will achieve a 30 percent year-on-year increase. Construction of cruise harbors, new ships, and marketing have stimulated the domestic demand.

(Chinanews.com/Wang Dongming)

The coastal cities – Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guangzhou are the "bridgeheads" in China's cruise market. However, as the market matures in those first tier cities, cruising enthusiasm is spreading to lower tier cities.

"Compared with coastal cities, the number of cruise passengers from inland areas is growing even faster, a year on year increase of 50 percent this July," a leader from Ctrip Cruise said.

A report released by Analysys pointed out that market saturation in coastal cities has made cruise companies explore inland market. The central and western regions of China are projected to be the most promising markets for cruise voyages.

According to Wang, China's cruise industry is developing well and customers are demanding more. Cruise companies have to add more destinations and improve their services. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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