To seize the cruise market opportunities, Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun traveled to Busan, Korea, today (July 10) to sign the cruise MOU with Busan Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs Byun Seong-wan. The objective is to attract international cruise passengers to come to Taipei for tourism and shopping.
The cruise industry is also one of the key aspects of tourism promotion in Korea in recent years. As the largest international port of Korea, Busan is the hub of the country’s cruise industry development and one of the most important ports of call for international cruises. With a population of 3.5 million, Busan is the second largest metropolis in Korea; in addition to being the country’s biggest international port, Busan is also the 5th busiest container port in the world. The port city’s advantages in cruise development lie in its convenient land, sea, and air transport, as well as container handling capacity, allowing it to supply cruise ships food and parts directly.
Although Taipei City is not a port of call for cruise ships, it is located near the largest port of call for cruise ships in the country—the Port of Keelung (more than 85% of the cruise ships visiting Taiwan use the port as the port of call), making it the closest metropolis of choice from the Port of Keelung. In addition, most cruise passengers arriving in the Port of Keelung will also travel to Taipei City for sightseeing. While various Asian countries are expanding their software and hardware in a bid to welcome cruise ships, Taipei City has also endeavored to attract cruise passengers. Besides offering subsidies for Hong Kong and Macau cruise passengers to come to visit Taipei, Deputy Mayor Tsai traveled to Busan to attend the Taipei – Busan Cruise Sightseeing Cooperation Meeting at the Northeast Asia Chain Cruising Meeting (NCCM) 2019, where he signed a cruise MOU with Busan Vice Mayor for Administrative Affairs Byun Seong-wan in an effort to attract international cruise passengers to come to Taipei for tourism and shopping. In the meeting, the Department of Information and Tourism presented Taipei City’s abundant cultural tourism characteristics to promote Taipei as an outstanding shore excursion destination.
Tsai commented that in the interest of forging tourism cooperation between Taipei City and Busan as well as fostering cruise tourism developments in Taiwan and Korea, both parties have signed a sea, land, and air tourism MOU in support of the multiple homeport expansion and diversified tourism model. Furthermore, Taipei will develop more cruise itineraries in conjunction with Busan, so that both cities can support each other’s cruise tourism development and increase the number of tourists.
Looking ahead at the developments in the international cruise industry, Taipei will support the Tourism Bureau’s Fly Cruise Inbound policy by incentivizing foreign tourists to travel to Taipei and stay overnight, thereby increasing the benefit of tourism to beyond that of shore excursions (typically lasting 4-6 hours). By prolonging the tourists’ duration of stay in Taipei, it will generate flourishing developments in Taipei’s hotel, food services, and recreation industries.