After reopening for cruise ships in January, Hong Kong is expecting to receive a total of 160 calls from 16 cruise lines through the end of 2023.
“We are still doing a lot of engagement, so, hopefully, towards the end of the year we’ll be able to receive even more ship calls,” Kenneth Wong, Hong Kong Tourism Board General Manager for MICE and Cruise, told Cruise Industry News during an exclusive interview.
Enlarging the number of arrivals is currently one of the priorities of Wong, who noted the city has had a strong return to the cruise scene.
“I now look forward to receiving more cruise ships in Hong Kong. That’s the number one priority,” he added.
To do that, the city came up a “total package” that includes funding support, marketing cooperation and help with itinerary planning along with neighboring ports, Wong explained.
“I also look forward to creating more interesting itineraries because, during the pandemic, all ports in the world and in Asia closed. Now, some of the destinations and ports are trying to reopen and to pick up a bit,” he noted.
The scenario gives Hong Kong an opportunity to work with other ports to create new itineraries, Wong added.
According to him, the city currently offers a mix of deployment with not only ports of call but also homeport operations.
“We want to bring in more homeporting, which could actually give a very sustainable business for Hong Kong. We welcome those turnaround calls as well as ports of calls,” he explained.
Reasons for the transit visits include the new developments and attractions introduced by the city, Wong said.
“I think the cruise line as well as their costumer would like to see the new happenings in Hong Kong through their excursion programs.”