According to Su Ping, the deputy director of the Baoshan district in the city of Shanghai, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has approved the establishment of China's first cruise tourism development zone in the district. Through this project, the Wusongkou Cruise Port will be developed in the third largest cruise port in the world according to the number of passenger trips.
Officials have been excited to announce that this may lead to the creation of an industrial sector in the northern part of the district, which they estimate will be worth over $14 billion in USD.
"Baoshan has paid close attention to its district development regarding the cruise industry, and will strive to build an international cruise port worth 100 billion yuan," Su reported.
The authorities announced that they will continue to work on the improvements of the customer experience and to innovate the products and services offered by the cruise industry. The Baoshan district hopes to become a hot spot for international cruise lines.
After over 10 years of development, China boasts one of the largest international cruise markets, coming second place with 2.19 million passengers by volume according to Xinhuanet.com. Meanwhile, Shanghai itself dominates the country's industry, accounting for 63% of the cruise trips made.
“Baoshan will continue to optimize the business environment in supporting the creation of a 100-billion yuan cruise industry.”
The district has spent at least 100 million yuan a year for the development of the cruise industry.
"To date, Baoshan has built a close relationship with market leaders including the China State Shipbuilding Corp Ltd (CSSC) and MSC Cruise of Geneva, Switzerland, to develop the cruise industry," Su said.
Yang Guobling, Chairman of CSS Cruise Technology and Development company (CCTD) announced that they would make Baoshan their new base of operations. He expects the company will invest at least 50 billion yuan over the next ten years and hopes to have an extensive Shanghai fleet by the year 2030.
"Our target is to create a complete cruise industry chain together with our partners like Fincantieri and Carnival. In the next decade, a total of 50 billion yuan will be invested to build a Chinese-funded cruise fleet of between eight and 10 cruise ships," Yang explained.
"Baoshan district and CCTD will work together in building and developing a two-square-kilometer international cruise industry park to make Shanghai an important cruise headquarters with global influence," he added.
Andrew Williams, president of the Maritime Portfolio in Informa Markets, also weighed in on the issue, noting that the expansion of tourism on the Asian continent, namely China, has been accompanied by an expansion in the development of cruise ships in the country.
"The order book for new shipbuilding is at 116 ships worth $67 billion, and Chinese shipyards are becoming more important in building and repairing the cruise ships. Three years ago, no such ships were built in China. Now, there are 10 being built and this is expected to grow rapidly," Williams said.
Yang would also point out the Wusongkou Cruise Port is already the fourth largest in the world and has so far received over 2,000 cruise vessels and 13 million passenger trips to date.