China cruise market to continue rapid growth in 2015
2015 – the number of liners using Chinese home ports will increase from 8 to 12 ships and more than one million Chinese passengers will take cruises.
China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) projects that China’s cruise market will maintain its rapid pace of growth in 2015 – the number of liners using Chinese home ports will increase from 8 to 12 ships and more than one million Chinese passengers will take cruises.
Data show that China’s cruise liners operated 466 voyages in 2014, of which 366 were home port departures and 100 were port calls, up 14.78%, 9.3% and 40.8% y-o-y respectively. Cruise passenger throughput totaled 861,700 (up 43.36%,), of which 739,600 passengers (up 44.3%) departed from Chinese home ports and 122,400 mainly overseas passengers (up 37.9%) made port calls in China.
Cruise industry giants Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise have separately announced corporate strategies with greater focus on China and Asia-Pacific markets. Ctrip and Royal Caribbean have formed a joint venture Sky Sea Cruise while China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Carnival Cruise have partnered to build luxury liners in China.
The main business model in China’s cruise market is full-charter and semi-charter by tour operators which constituted over 50% of total sales in 2014.
As China lacks a comprehensive sales and information management system for cruise marketing, adopting the charter sales model helps to speed up the opening of cruise travel to Chinese travelers. The downside, however, is that the price quotation and inventory systems tend to rely on the unsophisticated communication and management of traditional tour operators, resulting in losses for the companies handling charters.
As such, CCYIA vice Weihang Zheng predicts that China’s unconventional sale model for cruises with tour operators chartering liners will not last long.(Trabslation by David)