Shanghai To Develop World's Third Large Cruise Ship Hub In Baoshan

China Cruise Tourism Industry
The Azura cruise ship is seen docked at the ABP port in Southampton (Photo: Reuters / Hannah McKay)

Shanghai has unveiled its ambitious plan to transform one of its ports into the world's third-largest in terms of passenger volume. Officials revealed this week that Shanghai was going to be developing its Wusongkou Cruise Port into a $14.08 billion industrial chain.

The plan has reportedly already been approved by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The port, which is located in Shanghai's northern Baoshan district, will officially become China's first cruise tourism development demonstration zone.

According to the deputy director of Shanghai's Baoshan district, Su Ping, the city has been paying close attention to the continually growing cruise industry. Due to the immense opportunities that are available within the sector, Shanghai is now striving to build its own international cruise ship hub to cater to the already 100 billion Yuan-industry.

Baoshan plans to spend a minimum of 100 million Yuan each year to support the cruise industry. The district does already have standing partnerships with industry leaders such as MSC Cruise of Geneva and the country's own China State Shipbuilding Corp Ltd.

Meanwhile, other industry players had taken notice of the city's ambitious plans. CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co Ltd (CCTD) announced last week that it plans to establish the headquarters of its cruise operations in Baoshan. The company announced that it plans to operate an extensive fleet of eight to 10 ships in Shanghai by 2030.

CCTD also expects to invest at least 50 billion Yuan over the next decade to establish a cruise industrial chain together with international partners such as Carnival and Fincantieri. CCTD also revealed that it has partnered with the local government to build a two-square-kilometer international cruise industrial park in Baoshan.

Part of the city's plan for the new development will be to introduce new innovations in areas such as hospitality to significantly enhance customer's experience. Shanghai also plans to support and encourage the development of advanced cruise design and construction to further elevate the area into a true international cruising destination.

Su also revealed that the planned facility will be sporting China's first duty-free store located inside a cruise port. The official stated that the store should be open to the public before the China International Import Expo.

China is currently the world's second-largest cruise market in terms of passenger volume. There are an estimated 2.19 million passengers that board cruise ships annually, accounting for more than half of the entire passenger volume in Asia. According to industry data, around 63 percent of all Chinese cruises come from Shanghai.

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