Today (Oct. 15), the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the Association of Cruises Development Taiwan (ACDT) hosted the “2021 Asian Archipelago Cruise Industry” online forum. Administrative Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-Jong, Honorary Chairperson of the Asia Cruise Services Network (ACSN) Jackie Toh, and Chairperson of the Association for Cruises Development of Taiwan (ACDT) Kenneth Keng all gave speeches at the opening. It was also a great honor to have the participation of four offshore island county elected officials: Lienchiang County Magistrate Liu Cheng-Ying, Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Cheng-Wu, Penghu County Magistrate Lai Feng-Wei, and Taitung County Magistrate Rao Ching-Ling in the forum. In addition to sharing the special features of the offshore islands, the officials expressed their support for the creation of an Asian Archipelago Cruise Alliance. The event was also attended by representatives from the industry, government, and academia in East Asia, and over 80 participants online. The aim of this forum is to campaign for future partnerships in regional island-hopping cruise voyages in Asia and to listen to opinions from all sectors in order to win support for the formation of an Asian Archipelago Cruise Alliance in the future.
During his speech, Administrative Deputy Minister Chi Wen-Jong said that the MOTC attaches great importance to inter-island tourism, and has provided subsidies and preferential measures to consumers and providers of tourism services, respectively, in terms of “marketing offshore island attractions” and “improving maritime transport services.” As for regional cruise line traffic, the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC) model has been used in the past to help with promotion activities; in addition, a similar model will continue to be used to bring forth higher quality island chain cruise routes. MPB Director-general Yeh Hsieh-Lung also expressed in his speech that he believes the pandemic will be under control soon, and thus the global cruise industry will gradually recover. This is the best time to prepare for the post-pandemic era cruise tourism. He hopes that a new Asian Archipelago Cruise Alliance proposed by this forum will integrate the resources of various countries’ port management, tourism authorities, public associations, and local governments to form Asian island chains and unique Asian island-hopping cruise voyages. The four Magistrates of the offshore islands have also been promoting the tourist attractions of each island to attract international tourists to come and experience the distinctive local island culture after the pandemic.
The forum was divided into three topics: first, how to develop the cruise tourism market in the post-pandemic era, focusing on the operation of the cruise industry under the environment of normalized pandemic prevention; second, how to market the tourism resources of Asian countries’ island chains to cruise companies, how to attract and develop sustainable cruise tourism and future elements of popular voyages from the perspective of cruise operators, and finally, the formation of an Asian Archipelago Cruise Alliance as a means to organize new cruise tourism routes along the overall East Asian island chain between Korea and Indonesia. In addition to ACSN members sharing their opinions online, other panelists included the Director of the Yokohama City Port Authority of Japan, the Deputy Director of the Tourism Exchange Center of Kagoshima Prefecture, the Deputy Secretary of the Tourism Department of the Philippines, the Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, as well as the MPB, the competent marine and port authority in Taiwan. The representatives of the cruise lines included the manager of Princess Cruises of Taiwan, the director of Holland America Line and president of the Japan-Korea branch of Ponant cruises, and the president of Tour Market travel agency. Academic representatives included Professor Tsai Feng-Ming of the Department of Shipping & Transport Management of the National Taiwan Ocean University.
ACDT further stated that the high-end services of the "expedition cruise" will provide an alternative to the mega cruise ships of the past, attracting international passengers to the unique charms of Taiwan. Moreover, the smaller number of passengers and the separate air circulation systems of each cabin will be crucial in rebuilding tourists’ trust in the post-pandemic era.
The MPB said it will continue to prepare for the return of cruise tourism in the post-pandemic era by supporting the development of island-hopping cruises. The Bureau will integrate sea cruises with shore excursions through the development of expedition cruises in Asia that link featured attractions of various countries’ islands. It will also gather the opinions of various Asian partners to create a mutually beneficial Asian island-hopping cruise market.
Contact person: Tu, Wen-Yun, Section Chief, Maritime Affairs Division
Contact number: +886-2-8978020