Kaohsiung seeks to increase cruise tourism

Kaohsiung saw a significant drop in the number of cruises docking in the city last year

SuperStar Virgo (right) and SuperStar Libra (left) (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Kaohsiung seeks to attract more tourists from around East and Southeast Asia via cruise ships docking in Taiwan’s second-largest city, Kaohsiung City tourism official Tseng Tzu-wen (曾姿雯) said.

In 2015, 46 cruise ships docked in Kaohsiung’s port and the city expected the tourism industry to grow with the influx of cruise passengers. However, only 14 cruises docked in the city last year.

This year, 44 cruise ships are scheduled to dock in Kaohsiung Port, bringing in an estimated 120,000 passengers, Tseng said. He added that the resumption of cruise tourism to the city is part of Taiwan’s New Southbound Plan to attract greater numbers of tourists from around Asia as visitor arrivals from China have decreased.

To make the city more attractive to cruise passengers, Kaohsiung’s cruise ship terminal has been upgraded to facilitate customs clearance. The city’s tourism bureau has also prepared welcome activities, including tour packages, and gifts for passengers disembarking at the port.

The city estimates that each cruise ship can bring in NT$2 million in passenger consumption revenue. The government hopes that revenue from the 44 scheduled cruises this year can exceed NT$100 million.

Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo Leo class cruise ship docked at the port Tuesday with more than 1,800 passengers from Hong Kong and the Philippines.