The Maritime Port Bureau, Ministry of Transportation And Communications (MOTC) of Taiwan announced that Taiwan, the Philippines and South Korea signed a letter of intent to push for the forming of the Asia Archipelago Cruise Alliance (AACA) initiated by Taiwanese authorities to develop cruise tourism in Asia.
The launch ceremony was held on February 17, 2023, at Marriott Taipei. Director General Yeh Hsieh-Lung of the Maritime and Port Bureau, Administrator Hernani N. Fabia of the Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines, President Leem Bok Soon of Korea International Cruise Institute and Chairman JP Tseng of the Association for Cruises Development of Taiwan signed a letter of intent after delivering their remarks.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives from Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Chairman Jason Wang of Lion Travel, President Kao Chwan Kai of the Port of Keelung, Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC), department heads from the Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu County Governments and about 90 other representatives from the cruise industry in Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.
The goal of the AACA is to develop inter-island cruises in the region and speed up post-COVID recovery through co-marketing with these countries.
The alliance will formally begin operations at the end of 2023 and will integrate cruise tourism marketing and other resources among member countries to promote the organization’s strength and attract international cruise lines.
Deputy Minister Chi Wen-Jong of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that inbound travel recovery is the main priority for 2023, with a target of 6 million visitors set for the year. To achieve this goal, the government will join forces with the private sector.
Hsieh-Lung of the MPB pointed out that all Southeast Asian nations have abundant and diverse island tourism resources. The AACA expects more countries and partners to join the alliance to help make Asian island cruises a new spotlight of the global cruise market.