Lines and ports mull sustainable cruise growth in North Asia
Cruise growth figures in North Asia may seem spectacular but the industry now needs to focus on keeping growth sustainable, experts said at the Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific forum.
Some 3.1 million Asians cruised last year, a 55% jump over 2015. Of those, 2.1 million passengers were from mainland China, a market that almost doubled as it grew by 99% last year and at a four-year compound annual growth rate of 76%.
The number of ships deployed in Asia has grown 53% since 2013 and the number of cruises and voyages within and through Asia has increased at a 25% compound annual growth rate, according to Cruise Lines International Association's recent 'Asia Cruise Trends' report, cited by Joel Katz, MD, CLIA Australasia. Operating days have expanded 137% since 2013 and passenger capacity almost tripled from 1.51 million in 2013 to 4.24 million in 2017.
Thirty-five cruise brands are active in Asia in 2017, deploying 66 ships. More than 2,086 cruises and voyages are scheduled, up from 1,628 in 2016.
In terms of potential for cruise tourist visits, Japan, China and South Korea are expected to host the most passenger destination days with capacity for more than 4.3m passengers arriving in Japanese destinations, approximately 2.6m arriving in China and 1.8m in South Korea, according to Ted Blamey, principal, CHART Management Consultants.
Cruise destinations such as Okinawa in southern Japan are strategically located closer to Shanghai than Japan’s own capital city of Tokyo at almost twice the distance away.
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