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Busan 2015 calls dip; new terminal set to boost cruise business

Busan International Passenger Terminal opened last year
South Korea’s Busan saw a decline in the number of cruise calls in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to figures released by Busan Port Authority (BPA).

BPA shared that 71 cruise ships visited Busan port last year bringing 163,000 tourists, compared to 110 calls with 245,000 tourists in 2014, due mainly to the outbreak of the viral respiratory illness MERS.

Despite the dip in cruise activities last year, the port authority believes that with the addition of the Busan International Passenger Terminal, which opened in late-August 2015, there is potential to reinvigorate the cruise business.

The new Busan International Passenger Terminal can accommodate 2.78m tourists annually, compared to the old 1978-built international passenger terminal which can accommodate around 300,000 tourists a year.

BPA said the old terminal started to have safety issues and became inconvenient for users as the number of passengers at the terminal increased to 1.2 million since 2000.

Busan International Passenger Terminal is the venue for the re-scheduled Seatrade Cruise Asia taking place in Korea, May 12-14 2016 and hosted by BPA, Busan Metropolitan City, Korea Tourism Organization and Korea Marine Leisure Network. The event will feature a showcase exhibition, conference and travel agent training.