vide stops on Asian cruises are still raw.
As cruise ships grow, the limitation may
be the capacity of some ports to process
The Diamond Princess in Hong Kong.
One problem is that many Asians aren’t
even aware that cruises exist as a vacation
option, said Robert Li, professor at the
school of hotel, restaurant and tourism
management at the University of South
“Cruise is pretty new to Chinese con-
sumers,” Li said.
Meanwhile, capacity in North America
will grow just 4%, and European capacity
will shrink 10%.
Both Carnival and Royal have told investors that expenses will be going up next
year as they ramp up spending in Asia.
One big expense is building IT systems
using the thousands of complex signs in
written Chinese. The cruise lines are also
setting up offices to handle logistics, strategy and sales. Royal Caribbean has three
offices in China. Carnival Corp. set up a
Carnival Asia subsidiary in Singapore and
tapped former Costa chairman Pier Luigi
Foschi to run it.
“It’s critical that we increase our presence in the region,” Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said.
Costa will source about 60,000 passengers in China this year, Carnival Vice
Chairman Howard Frank said at the company’s annual meeting in June.
As they secure their toehold in Asia,
cruise lines from North America can see
competition on the horizon.
See ASIA on Page 64
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