Taiwan eyes bigger slice of global cruise ship market

Taipei – Taiwan can expect to enjoy a greater share of the international cruise ship market on the strength of its convenient location in East Asia and world-class tourist attractions, according to Taiwan International Ports Corp. Ltd. .

“It is projected that next year, no less than 350 cruise ships will include local ports in their itineraries, bringing 1 million tourists and NT$7 billion [US$233.3 million] in revenue,” a TIPC official said on the sidelines of the Asia Cruise Forum in Kaohsiung City.

“The fact that the world’s top cruise ship operators are gathered here at the forum underscores the value of Taiwan’s maritime tourism appeal and helps reinforce the country’s presence as a significant player in the market over the next five to 10 years.”

Organized by TIPC, the two-day forum is underway at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center. Participants include Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Star Cruises.

According to the official, as Kaohsiung Port has experienced rapid growth in cruise ship tourism over the past few years, the local government partnered with TIPC during the forum to launch a tailored tour program for passengers.

“Kaohsiung’s plethora of attractions and cultural landmarks, such as Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center, Meinung Folk Village and Pier-2 Art Center, can be enjoyed by passengers taking this one-day trip,” the official said.

It is expected that once the first stage of the city’s 22.1-kilometer, 36-stop light rail system commences operation in June 2015, the port will be better connected with surrounding regions, giving the metropolis a leg up in competitiveness as major Asian voyage destination. Source: Taiwan Today