They’re grand, floating resorts at sea. There’s cozy accommodations, gourmet food and non-stop entertainment. But it seems the Chinese aren’t completely on board with cruising.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.
According to Cruise Industry News, about 2.4 million Chinese will take cruises this year. But that’s down nearly 15 percent from 2017. Some industry experts have blamed the dip on the effects of China’s travel restrictions to the Republic of Korea, following tensions with Seoul over its U.S.-backed anti-missile system. Other analysts believe the independent-minded, Chinese traveler may not like the strict itineraries.
Three years ago, travel service provider C-Trip and Royal Caribbean launched joint venture “Skysea Cruise”, catering specifically to Chinese travelers. Even so, fierce competition has forced the line to fold. It’s final cruise is set for Fall 2018. Other major cruise lines have also followed suit by pulling out or cutting back in the Chinese market.
Analysts have said it may be a few more years before the slump in Chinese cruising starts to rebound, so companies are scrambling to tweak their strategy.
“Some cruise companies have started direct marketing. People will focus more on the better quality of life on the cruises,” said Dan Bin of the China Tourism Academy.
But when it comes to Chinese travelers on the high seas, cruise lines are betting their long-term business outlook is heading for smoother waters.