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China Cruises Into 2014

4 MAR 2014

This week, the Canadian Tourism College blog looks at how China’s tourism industry is expanding, seeing millions of Chinese travellers venture forth to international vacation spots. Personal incomes are on the rise, and with them the flow of outbound tourists on their way to destinations including the US, Australia, Russia, France, and Canada. Over the course of one year – from 2011 to 2012 – the number of outbound Chinese travelers rose 18%.  The blog post, China Cruises Into 2014, explains that those numbers continue to rise, with a particular impact on cruise ship travel, a new and novel experience for many Chinese vacationers.  The post reveals that:

by 2017, China will become the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. – impressive growth, considering that currently Asia accounts for only 6% of all cruise passengers.  So what will prompt such a rapid market expansion? In recent years, China has exploded onto the international travel scene. The United Nations World Tourism Organization records that in 2012, 83 million mainland Chinese spent US$102 billion abroad — overtaking the Americans and Germans — making them the world’s biggest tourism spenders. With money to spend and the government’s endorsement of cruising, there is little doubt that China represents fertile new ground for some of the industry’s biggest players.

And the biggest player to drop anchor in China is Carnival Corp, the British-American owned company that has been launching cruise lines around the world for the past 40 years. This year, Carnival will introduce its Princess brand ship to China, and has named Shanghai as her home port. Princess’s maiden voyage will take place in May of 2014, and during the course of her 4 month season, she is expected to carry 70,000 passengers. In anticipation of a rapidly growing market, Carnival corp. has opened new offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, intent on customizing the cruising experience for its newest customer base.