China’s cruise industry is still in its infancy but cruise operators see great potential.
This presents a new opportunity for Shanghai as the city has become a major port for international cruise liners.
The industry obviously presents business opportunities for cruise ship companies and travel agencies. Yet it also offers home ports both business and job opportunities.
Shanghai, Tianjin, Xiamen in Fujian Province, Sanya in Hainan Province and Dalian in Liaoning Province are the five main cities in China that have developed international cruise ship ports.
In 2012, the five cities received 283 vessels and 660,000 passengers, among which Shanghai accounted for 42.8 percent and 54.1 percent of the respective totals. Shanghai ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region after Singapore and Hong Kong in the cruise industry.
Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Baoshan District is the busiest cruise terminal in Asia. The district is hosting the China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo, which ends today, in Luodian Town.
A total of 630 delegates have participated in the two-day event, including industry experts and government officials. This year’s expo focused on strategies for developing a cruise economy, which Baoshan wants to push forward.
“Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal is a key project in Shanghai,” says Wang Hong, director of Baoshan District. “It will contribute to Shanghai becoming an international shipping center. The terminal will foster better development in the cruise travel market while it is also a great opportunity for Baoshan to transform its economy and rely less on heavy industry.”
Developed by Baoshan District and Shanghai Yangtze Shipping Corp, Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal is the biggest cruise liner terminal in Asia and cost 870 million yuan (US$142.7 million). The depot is shaped like a giant silver shell, symbolizing the “eye of the Yangtze River.”