Sanya Hainan is planning to upgrade the Phoenix Island International Cruise Port as a cruise economic zone to gear up to receiving an annual cruise passenger throughput of one million within 10 years.
“The ‘one belt one road’ policy envisages integration of the 21 century maritime silk route with the cruise industry and development of port facilities in the coastal cities of Haikou and Sanya,” Yanjun Wu said. “Sanya has the right qualities to be a top cruise port with its superior location, weather and environment.”
Phoenix Island International Cruise Port features a wharf for docking 80,000 ton cruise liners. Since November 2006, it has been used for 460 cruises carrying a total of some 800,000 passengers.
Wanmao Wang, executive consultant of Sanya-based Phoenix Island International Cruise Port Development, said the global cruise industry is moving increasingly towards large tonnage.
“Phoenix Island International Cruise Port doesn’t have the capacity to dock the mega liners of cruise companies like Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruises. During the last Spring Festival holiday, the 150,000-ton Queen Mary 2 liner was unable to dock in Sanya and passengers had to be ferried ashore,” he said.
“The tourism resources of Sanya are comparable to America’s cruise capital Miami,” Mr. Wang said. “As the US has a population of 300 million people while China has 1.3 billion, Sanya rightfully should have a larger customer base than Miami, and its development is bound to surpass Miami’s soon. This is the reason why we make the bold move of building four more wharfs in the port,” he said.
Mr. Wang also said Sanya would most certainly attract major cruise liners to its port facilities as it is a main port located between Singapore and Hong Kong.
Phoenix Island International Cruise Port Development’s president Xianyun Zeng said the company formed a partnership with major state infrastructure contractor China Communications Construction Company last year in an innovative cooperative model that leverages the collective strengths of state-owned enterprises and private companies.
Mr. Zeng said the initial success with the completion of China’s first specialized international cruise port is lifting Sanya’s tourism profile and contributing to the local economy. In the second phase of the project, four additional wharfs will be build to accommodate 5-7 ships docking at the same time, including the world’s largest 225,000-ton liners.(Translation by David)