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New cruise economy sets sail

By Zhu Wenqian | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2018-12-16 12:37

Travel industry steps up pace with public sector to serve wave of Chinese tourists

If a friend from abroad were to show up suddenly in China as a tourist, the question, "Gee, when did you land" will likely pop up based on the presumption that he or she flew into the country. But, if some tourism companies' plans bear fruit, there might soon be an alternative question: "Hey, when did you make landfall?"

More tourists are expected to reach China by ship from now on - specifically cruise liners. And, as wanderlust grips the experience-hunting Chinese middle-class flush with rising incomes and bitten by the consumption upgrade bug, the domestic tourism is expected to include a lot more cruises, market insiders say.

 

The Cruise Lines International Association says that by 2025 the number of Chinese travelers who have experienced cruises is expected to grow to 8 to 10 million.

That would mark a surge from about 2.5 million Chinese travelers, around 2 percent of China's outbound global travelers last year.

An estimated 300 million Chinese consumers will be able to afford cruises in the near future.

"In the next 10 to 20 years, the number of Chinese who take a cruise annually is expected to surpass that of the United States," says Zheng Weihang, executive vice-president and secretary-general of the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association. "Growth in the world's cruise market is expected to come largely from China,

"As the industry continues to grow and develop in the region, China is widely expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world."

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