BEIJING, June 5 — China’s cruise industry, suspended for more than three years due to the pandemic, is expected to resume operations in the fourth quarter, state media reported, citing industry experts and researchers at a recent forum in the north port city of Tianjin.
China could see 200,000 cruise passengers this year, or about 10 per cent of the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, the China Daily report cited an industry executive as saying, an encouraging sign for its tepid international leisure travel sector.
“The past three years … have brought great challenges to the cruise industry,” Zheng Weihang, executive vice-president and secretary-general of the Cruise and Yacht Branch of China Communications Association, was quoted as saying.
He predicted international services linking cruise ports including Tianjin would resume in the last three months of 2023.
The outlook comes as China struggles to re-energise its travel industry and stabilise an economy that was stifled by strict Covid-19 restrictions.
China is looking to build out homeports in the Binhai and Tianjin areas and establish a cruise ship manufacturing and assembly centre in the Shanghai area by 2025, the report says.
According to other state media reports, China is planning to undock its first domestically made cruise ship tomorrow, with the “Adora Magic City” scheduled to be delivered at end-2023. — Reuters