Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific 2017 – Only one week to go!

The Asian cruise industry will be in the spotlight next week, with Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific taking place in the region’s key cruise hub, Baoshan (Shanghai) from Wednesday 1st – Friday 3rd November 2017. The conference will bring together top executives from the major cruise line brands, as well as government officials and other key stakeholders to discuss the cruise industry in Asia and its growth and future prospects. This event will give you the insight and connections you need to grow your business in the Asia region.

The three-day event will combine a conference, travel agent training and a dedicated social programme to maximise your networking opportunities. The conference opens with a ‘Market Overview of China’, which looks at first-hand updates on China’s recent achievements in the market as well as what’s to come for the future. Panellists will go through some pressing issues and hot topics, including the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. Other key sessions include Shipbuilding, Repair & Design; Cruise Supply and Procurement in Asia; Itinerary Planning and Shorex; Environmental Sustainability Cruising in Asia; as well as Safety & Security.

David Herrera, President, NCL China who is participating in the ‘Market Overview – China’ session at SCAP17 commented: “The long term fundamentals for growth in China remain sound. While still in the early stages of development, the Chinese Homeport industry has seen incredible growth these past few years and has become an important market for the industry. Continued successful growth depends on cooperative relationship and investment by all constituents, including cruise lines, Travel Agents, Transit and Destination port and governments. NCL is proud to have entered the market with our custom built Norwegian Joy this past summer.”

Commenting on the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, Mr Kenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise, Hong Kong Tourism Board, also taking part at SCAP17, has the following view point: “We believe the Belt and Road Initiative will fuel the growth of the cruise market in China. As a ‘Key Link’ and a ‘Super-Connector’ for the Belt and Road, Hong Kong can tap into opportunities to strengthen cooperation with other destinations along the Maritime Silk Road, especially in cruise development. In recent years, the HKTB has been actively expanding regional cooperation in cruise tourism through Asia Cruise Cooperation. We will continue to explore more collaborations with provinces and cities in the Mainland, as well as other destinations in the Belt and Road region to open up more regional business opportunities.”

The growth of the cruise industry in Asia has been phenomenal, with China experiencing growth like no other country, overtaking Germany as the number 2 source market globally in 2016. This growth is represented by the vast increase in passenger numbers, which saw 2.1 million passengers travel from China (a 99% increase from the previous year). This increasing demand has continued during 2017 with more cruise berths deployed in Asia, and capacity for 4.24million passengers, up 31% from the 3.23m passengers capacity in 2016. This level of optimism is shared by the Chinese government, who predict that 4.5 million people from China will take cruises by 2020.

These impressive statistics were echoed by Mary Bond, Managing Director for Publishing and Content, Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News: “With a population of 1.3 billion and a current market penetration of less than 1% cruising the numbers stack up for a bright future for China. As with any emerging market there are challenges and the potential can only be truly realised if supply matches growing demand. It will also be interesting to see how long before Chinese travellers start cruising in large numbers beyond Asian waters. This could also be a game changer for the global industry.”

The level of optimism in the Asia Pacific region is clear to see and this interest is reflected by the number of major cruise line brands who have registered to attend the event next week: Carnival Maritime, Carnival UK, Carnival Corporation & PLC, Celestyal Cruises, Coral Expeditions, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Genting Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, MSC Crociere SpA, MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd, MSC Group, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, SkySea Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.

David Rousham, VP UK & International Development, Cunard had this to say about the growing appeal of Australasia: "Increasingly the Australasia region is gaining more focus as the appeal of this area for all of our inbound guests, as well as locally sourced guests, continues to grow. Highly competitive air fares between Asia and Australia mean that our guests enjoy open jaw cruises of between 15 and 25 days, often tagging on additional Asian or Australian loops. The growth in this area has started to more strongly influence our deployment plans, and in 2019 we have introduced a much longer season for Queen Elizabeth in the region - which in  terms of booking volumes proving of great success."

To view the full conference programme, please go to: http://www.seatradecruiseevents.com/asia/agenda

For more information on how to participate please go to: www.seatradecruiseevents.com/asia/