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Cruise business to boom in Shanghai

Updated: 2015-09-11

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The Pudong New District of Shanghai says it is planning to develop its cruise business now that MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise ship company, has announced that its Lirica cruise ship will visit Shanghai in May 2016, marking the beginning of the use of Shanghai as a home port, Pudong Times reported on Sept 8.

Shanghai has become one of China's five major cruise ports, with ships and passengers accounting for almost half the country's total and it is predicted that Shanghai could soon surpass New York and join the Top 8 global cruise ship ports.

Shanghai authorities say they suggested the idea of bringing in the world's top companies in shipping and leasing and related service industries such as finance and insurance to tap the potential of the cruise business. And they encouraged local companies to develop cruise ship tourism by cooperating with overseas agencies to take advantage of Shanghai's tourism resources, duty-free stores and Disney Land.

Cruise ship manufacturing is another possibility. With the help of the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, Pudong could develop its own ship brand. Local officials say it has made some efforts to promote its cruise business, for instance, an EMBA program on cruise line management at Shanghai Maritime University, and the introducing of V. Ships, the world's largest ship management company. So far, it has almost 10 foreign ship management enterprises.