HONG KONG – Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) released today the strong cruise figures in 2015 at the Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To strengthen Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s Cruise Hub, HKTB announced a new funding for cruise lines to develop a fly-cruise program to Hong Kong.
“Asia will play a pivotal role in the future of the global cruise market. Hong Kong, as Asia’s Cruise Hub, has seen remarkable performance in the cruise travel sector in the past few years. With Hong Kong’s state-of-the-art cruise infrastructure, together with the diverse visitor experiences that the city offers, we have built up a good reputation as a cruise destination. The new cruise funding support, together with the strategic alliance ‘Asia Cruise Cooperation,’ will take cruise tourism in Hong Kong to new heights,” said Mr. Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the HKTB.
In 2015, Hong Kong received over 140 ship calls, a 60% increase over 2013 when the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opened. With this world-class infrastructure and the unwavering support of cruise trade partners, passenger travel on destination cruises was particularly strong. Total passenger throughput reached 452,768 in 2015, up almost 140% compared to 2013. Among these, passenger throughput from the Hong Kong domestic market and Mainland market increased five-fold (409%) and four-fold (346%) respectively. Hong Kong has seen major deployments by key cruise lines, including Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Star Cruises, and in 2016, it will see new deployments or maiden calls from Dream Cruises, MSC and Norwegian Cruise Lines, among others.
Riding on the growing momentum, HKTB announced a new funding to promote fly-cruise with cruise lines in 2016. The purpose of the funding is to foster the development of fly-cruise tourism to Hong Kong with the co-operation of cruise lines to promote fly-cruise products in potential markets. Targeting cruises that are homeporting or with turnaround calls in Hong Kong, the new initiative was designed to assist the promotion of fly-cruise products, including marketing promotions and product development. The HKTB will engage with cruise lines to develop customized programs to tap into potential source markets and take advantage of the world-class experiences and infrastructures Hong Kong has to offer.
To grow Asia’s cruise tourism, Hong Kong is also dedicated in driving the synergy of regional cooperation. Hong Kong, together with neighboring Asian destinations including Hainan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Xiamen, formed a committed and resourceful alliance called the “Asia Cruise Cooperation,” which aims at maximising the growth of cruise tourism in Asia. The Cooperation provides a one-stop platform to support cruise lines’ development in Asia by facilitating itinerary development, sharing industry and market insights, enhancing cruise lines’ marketing efforts with funding support and creating consumer demand for cruising.