Taiwan sets sights on cruise tourists
The number of international tourists traveling to Taiwan on cruise liners is estimated to grow by at least 50 percent this year, in view of the booming cruise tour market in Asia, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday.
?We would like to target the increasing number of tourists from Asian countries, particularly those of Chinese descent,? Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Wayne Liu (???) said.
?We would also like to draw more high-end tourists from Europe and North America,? he added.
Liu said that the bureau considers it an advantage that Star Cruises, the world?s third-largest cruise line, has decided to shift its focus to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Not only would the company?s strategic move increase the number of international visitors to Taiwan, it would also help provide more job opportunities for the nation?s tour guides, Liu said.
Liu made the comments after he signed a Taiwan-Hong Kong Asia Cruise Fund agreement with Hong Kong Tourism Board Chairman Peter Lam (???) yesterday morning.
The fund states that both sides would jointly assist international cruise liners in promoting cruises ship tours between Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The two parties also agreed to jointly promote Taiwan-Hong Kong cruise tours next month at an international exhibition in the US, ?Cruise Shipping Miami.?
Lam said that the fund would be in effect for three years, with the first phase of operation scheduled to begin in April.
?We believe that the fund will motivate cruise liners to develop more cruise shipping tours in Asia,? Lam said.
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