SANYA: China's cruise industry will continue to enjoy a remarkable growth trend for at least the next decade, industry experts said at the 12th China Cruise Shipping Conference being held in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province.
Sun Chengming, vice president of China Merchants Group, said that China's cruise industry is facing a golden growth opportunity as Chinese consumers are shifting from spending on products to services, reports Xinhua.
There has been extremely fast growth in the Chinese cruise market, but its market penetration is still low.
For example, in the economically well-off provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region where people have more disposable income to spend on international travel, only 0.2 percent of residents currently take cruises, while in Europe that figure is 3 percent. This shows huge potential for growth in the cruise industry, Sun said.
"Chinese people are expected to make 10 million cruise trips annually by 2026," said Wu Qiang, general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
Zheng Weihang, executive vice president with China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, pointed out that it will not only be a golden decade for the cruise industry but also for the whole industrial chain including ship building.
Last year, China's 11 major ports saw more than 4.5 million inbound and outbound cruise trips, up 84 percent year on year.
China has become the world's second largest source of cruise passengers.