The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has released two new studies on Asia's cruise market at Cruise Shipping Miami.
The studies – the Asia Cruise Potential and Passenger Behaviour Study and the Asia Cruise Port Development Study – were released by HKTB on the opening day of Cruise Shipping Miami.
Initiated by HKTB, the two studies were carried out by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with the aim of providing insight and useful information on the region's cruise potential.
Asia Cruise Potential and Passenger Behaviour Study
The Asia Cruise Potential and Passenger Behaviour Study specifically examined the potential market in Greater China, which is currently the largest source of cruise travelers in Asia and the eighth largest in the world, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The study reveals a potential 83 million cruise passengers in seven source markets within Greater China. This figure is four times the current number of cruise passengers world-wide. Hong Kong, with its connectivity to the Pearl River Delta, Central China and Taiwan by air, high speed rail and land transportation via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, is looking at a cruise potential of 54 million passengers.
The study also reveals that the make-up of these passengers is younger and more family-oriented than cruise passengers in traditional source markets such as North America and Europe, where they tend to be older, retired achievers. As many as 69 percent of respondents from the family segment with children under the age of 16 said they intended to take a cruise, while more than 51 percent of respondents between the ages of 20 and 29 said they have set their sights on a future cruise holiday.
Asia's Cruise Port Development Study
The second study, Asia's Cruise Port Development Study, focused on the development of ports in Hong Kong and neighboring areas.
Positioning Hong Kong as the home ship destination, the study identifies 21 ports within six to seven cruise days which already have concrete plans to upgrade berths, cruise infrastructure and supporting infrastructure, as well as expand tourism offerings and improve destination management in areas such as the issuing of visas. These ports include: Sanya, Xiamen, Zhoushan, Qingdao and Yantai in China, Keelung, Hualien, Kaohsiung, Anping, Taichung, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu in Taiwan, Miyakojima and Takamatsu in Japan, Mokpo and Yeosu in South Korea, Hon La in Vietnam, and Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.
According to the study, within five years, half of these ports will be able to receive cruise ships of 100,000 gross tonnage. This will give cruise companies more flexibility in deploying their fleet and planning interesting itineraries with cultural, scenic or adventure activities to cater for all market segments.