China's cruise industry could face challenges


Royal Caribbean has been a big player in China's nascent cruise industry but some are concerned that obstacles in the near-future will hamper its growth overall.  

Royal Caribbean chairman in Shanghai, Liu Zinan, feels tighter integration between the cruise companies and government is essential, "The government, the local authorities, need to support the cruise lines in exercising international practice here."

Since cruise tourism was introduced in China less than 10 years ago, five cruise terminals have been built at an estimated cost of more than 4.5 billion yuan (US$736 million). Three more are under construction and another six are in the pipeline.

Royal Caribbean estimates in Shanghai and Tianjin, the combined investment in cruise infrastructure has topped 12.3 billion yuan.

The danger lies in these facilities not returning on the investment, with losses common thus far.