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TIPC Continues to Help Develop Taiwan's Cruise Travel Market

Jun 24, 2014 | By CENS

Taiwan International Port Corporation (TIPC), a government-linked operator of the island's commercial ports, continues to play a part to boost development of the local cruise travel market this year.

TIPC recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with U.S.'s cruise company, Royal Carribbean Cruises Ltd., in mid-May. The MOU, inked by TIPC's president, T.H. Lee, and Royal Carribbean Cruises's vice president, John Tercek, focuses on joint construction of a cruise liner terminal in Penghu, an archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan.

At the MOU signing ceremony, K.S. Yeh, Taiwan's Minister of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), noted that the document represents the most important foreign investment project in Taiwan's tourism industry ever, and will involve joint investment of NT$1 billion (US$3.33 million) initially. The planned terminal, Yeh emphasized, is scheduled to be operational in April 2016, and will turn Penghu into “The Caribbean of the East.”

Meanwhile, TIPC has also kicked off construction of cruise terminals in Kaohsiung Port and Keelung Port, scheduled to be completed in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The facilities will not just become new landmarks in the cities, but also attract more cruise passengers from all over the world by offering better convenience and comfort to drive overall tourist arrivals in Taiwan.

Worth mentioning is that to attract more international cruise liners to visit, Taiwan hosted the Asia Cruise Forum for the first time on May 18 in Kaohsiung, with world's major cruise ship companies, including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Carribbean Cruises and Start Cruises, being present.

The government and TIPC's efforts on promoting Taiwan's cruise travel market are confirmed: cruise passenger arrivals are estimated to surge to nearly 550,000 to generate value of NT$2.63 billion (US$87.66 million) for the sector this year, with cruise liner visits to total 376, according to MOTC's report.

As of the end of this April, Taiwan's cruise passenger arrivals reached 159,000, sharply up 83.2% year on year. Among other commercial ports, Kaohsiung Port and Keelung Port scored growths of 242% and over 40%, respectively, to lead. (SC)


Cruise Ship Visits and Passenger Arrivals to Taiwan by Year
Year
Non-scheduled Cruise Ships
Scheduled Cruise Ships
Visits
Passenger Arrivals
Visits
Passenger Arrivals
2012
125
104,446
201
222,092
2013
200
300,207
175
250,030
2014
(forecast)
376
549,850
152
212,800
Source: Taiwan International Port Corporation


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