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'Golden' age for cruises

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2016-10-24 08:16

'Golden' age for cruises

A new cruise ship, Majestic Princess, owned by the global cruise company Carnival Corporation, will arrive in Shanghai in July. [Photo by Xu Lin/China Daily]

Cruise travel, already growing in popularity among Chinese with disposable income, will enjoy a boom over the next decade, according to industry experts at a recent trade show.

A growing number of Chinese travelers are enjoying cruises as a leisurely way of travel, relaxing as they enjoy delicious cuisine, activities on board and hospitality from an international service team.

"China's cruise industry will develop even faster in the next decade, entering into its golden period," says Zheng Weihang, executive vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, at the recent China Cruise Shipping and International Cruise Expo in Tianjin. Cruise company executives, travel agency representatives and government officials participated in the show.

Over the past 10 years, the number of cruise ships that operate in China has increased from one in 2006 to 18. International cruise ports in China have grown from zero to seven, with three under construction. It's estimated that 1.6 million Chinese will travel overseas on a cruise this year.

"Many Chinese travelers still think cruises are only a type of transport. It's important to make them realize that cruises are also destinations, and they can spend more time on board," says Zheng.

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