Seatrade, a UBM brand, has pinpointed China as a strategically important growth area for its events and media business – in particular the cruise portfolio, which includes this week’s Seatrade Asia Pacific Cruise Congress, taking place at Lake Malaren International Convention Center, Baoshan District, Shanghai, until13 October.
Seatrade’s plan for China includes returning to Shanghai over the next two years in a joint commitment with Shanghai Baoshan Municipal People’s Government; Shanghai International Cruise Business Institute; Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal Development Co Ltd and Shanghai University of Engineering Science.
According to Andrew Williams, General Manager of the Seatrade Cruise portfolio at UBM: “China is the most vibrant and exciting growth area for the cruise industry. Through working with our partners, we are confident that Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific will firmly position itself on the global cruise events calendar – especially in light of recent figures that indicate China’s source market will grow to around 4.5m by 2020 with just under 1 million Chinese already cruising in 2015.”*
Speaking about Shanghai in particular, he added: “Shanghai is the 2nd most visited cruise destination in Asia with 437 cruise calls in 2015 compared to 183 the previous year*, and Baoshan’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, in only its sixth year, will welcome 600 ships that year in 2017.” The cruise terminal is also adding two more berths for ships up to 220,000gt in 2017 to provide four berths capable of accommodating large cruise ships.
Confidence in the cruise growth potential in the region has of course been reinforced by recent news that China’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) targets a 2022 delivery for its first mega cruise ship of 133,500gt under a joint venture involving the shipyard’s parent, China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC), China Investment Corp, Carnival Corp. & plc and Fincantieri. The recent signing ceremony signalled that China’s first large-scale cruise ship has advanced from the planning phase to the implementation stage.
Mr Williams added: “This cruise ship will serve Chinese travellers and be customised for the market – again reinforcing the message that this vacation market, which is already the largest in the world, will see many more cruising opportunities realised. This is great news for ship builders, as well as presenting opportunities for international equipment suppliers and local manufacturers to supply China-built cruise ships. ”
The 2016 Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific Congress will bring together cruise lines from across the globe, government officials and key cruise industry stakeholders for a series of innovative conference sessions focussing on China’s impact on the regional and global cruise markets both now and in the future.
Source for (*) is CLIA’s 2016 Asia Cruise Trends study