As host venue Hong Kong was proud to show off its Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to event participants at the opening reception. Next day at the Cruise Infrastrastructure across Asia session, moderated by Scott Lagueux, partner, LandDesign, Philip Yung, Commissioner for Tourism, HKSAR Government said the new terminal which opened last year has sparked a 40% growth in home porting ships.
The multipurpose facility whilst currently under-utilised for cruise operations will be able to cope with the growing demand foreseen in the near future, commented Yung.
‘With over 50% of the world’s population within five hours flying time of Hong Kong and people from over 100 countries allowed to visit visa free, we are confident in drawing more cruise ships both at Kai Tak and Ocean Terminal,’ he said.
Christine Siaw ceo of Singapore Cruise Centre said the city - also a two cruise terminal centre – is well positioned for what ‘undoubtably will be a huge increase in Asian cruisers as we move towards 2020.’
She pointed out last year for the first time two Asian ports: Singapore and Shanghai appeared in the top ten cruise ports worldwide.
Just 3% penetration will result in 73m cruisers coming from the region, she reminded, ‘with Australia already breaching the 3% mark.’
CHANG Chih-Ching chairman, Taiwan International Ports Corporation Ltd outlined cruise infrastructure expansion taking place in Kaohsuing port and at Penghu Island in Taiwan and Ki-tack Lim, president of Busan Port, told delegates South Korea is aiming to add 12 new berths by 2020 including at Busan and two apiece at Jeju and Inchon. The 1.5m sq mtr new waterfront development in Busan includes a new cruise berth and terminal which will be ready to use next year, he confirmed.
John Tercek vp, commercial & new business development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited said China, HK, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan are all doing ‘a good job at upgrading their port infrastructure to cater for rising demand.’
He believes as the Asians’ appetite for cruising extends beyond shorter itineraries it will open opportunities for some newer ports and destinations to come more into the picture.
‘In seven days you can start to touch Philippines from Singapore or offer a 14 day open jaw trip (7 + 7 days between Hong Kong and Singapore caling at the Philippines,’ Tercek added.