Taiwan is conveniently located between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, providing excellent itinerary options for cruises.
The island offers cruise guests the opportunity to explore the natural environment, cultural history and other popular tourist attractions as sightseeing and transportation businesses have boomed in recent years, attracting many ships to the region.
In October 2021, the Association for Cruises Development of Taiwan (ACDT) held the Asia Archipelago Cruise Industry Online Forum, with the aim to gather input from businesses from different backgrounds and provide solutions to build the expedition and adventure cruise market in the Asia-Pacific region.
With COVID-19 impacting tourism globally and the cruise industry heavily, the ACDT has taken the lead for proposing cooperation for future regional island-hopping cruises in Asia as the pandemic subsides.
The forum consisted of three topics. First, the gathering focused on the cruise industry in the post-pandemic era. Second, it touched on the cruise lines’ point of view, and offered plans on how island-hopping itineraries across Asia can offer unique opportunities for deployment and sustainable cruise tourism. Finally, the Asia Archipelago Cruise Alliance has offered an initiative, showing how the East Asian island chains fit into an itinerary.
Taiwan Administrative Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transportation and Communications Chi, Wen-Jong; Taiwan Director-General of MPB, MOTC Yeh, Hsieh-Lung; Past Chairman and Founding board member of ACSN Jackie Toh; and Chairman of ACDT Ken Keng presented the opening speeches at the forum.
Four offshore island leaders, including Magistrate of Lienchiang County Cheng-Ying Liu; Magistrate of Kinmen County Chen-Wu Yang; Magistrate of Penghu County Feng-Wei Lai; and Magistrate of Taitung County Ching-Ling Yao, were also at the event. In addition to sharing their views on island tourism, they also expressed their support for forming the Asia Archipelago Cruise Alliance.
Taiwan, located at the center of the first island chain in the Pacific Ocean, plays a critical role in the international tourism industry. Its unique geographical location provides unique opportunities for brand marketing and business in Asia.
Taiwan plays the role of central hub between the mature markets of Japan and Korea and Southeast Asia, which has a strategic position for the development of the Asian cruise market.
The ACDT also said that high-end expedition cruises would provide another alternative, attracting international visitors to experience the unique scenery in Taiwan.
Moreover, fewer passengers and individual air circulation systems in each cabin, plus other health and safety initiatives embraced by cruise operators, will help rebuild consumer confidence in the post-pandemic era.
The Association said it plans to continue developing the expedition cruise business in Asia, taking on the role of linking cruise lines with tour providers to create the best experiences for guests.
At the same time, the ACDT said it hopes to integrate best practices from its partners in Asia to create a win-win environment in the Asian island-hopping cruise market.