Casino cruise ship operator, Genting Hong Kong has signed an agreement with China Merchants Shekou Holdings to develop an international cruise ship port in Shenzhen.
“The co-operation comes as rapid growth in the world’s second-largest economy through the past decade has spawned a generation of middle-class, wealthy Chinese consumers who are eager to travel overseas and are open to try new lifestyle products,” said the firm in a press release.
Over 1.2 million Chinese travelers went on cruises, says the operator, and the figure could rise to 4.5 million in five years.
Genting announced that Star Cruises would be the first international cruise line to use Shenzhen as its home-port.
“Having observed the great potential of Shenzhen from as early as 2002, we operated cruises to Vietnam from the old Shekou Port,” said Genting Hong Kong chairman Lim Kok Thay. “We are pleased to see the development of Tai Zi Bay and even happier to ink a strategic alliance with China Merchant Group to join hands in developing cruise tourism in China.”
“Asia’s cruise industry is booming and China is expected to become the fastest-growing country in the world as international cruise lines ramp up their operations in response to surging demand from China’s emerging middle class,” said China Merchants’ chairman Li Jianhong.