China is likely to become the world's largest cruise market in the next 10 to 20 years while its travel industry and the public sector step up moves to boost marine-based tourism, China Daily reported.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, by 2025, the number of Chinese travelers who will have experienced cruise trips is expected to grow to 8 to 10 million, marking a surge from about 2.5 million of last year.
The east metropolis of Shanghai plans to build an integrated complex complete with duty-free shops comparable to those at its international airport. Efforts are also underway to introduce linkages between cruises, airlines, trains and buses.
The southernmost island province of Hainan has started a pilot run of its 15-day visa-free policy for tourist groups who take cruises and enter the country from ports in Hainan.
However, the cruise industry in China faces a significant hiring challenge in the face of growing demand, the newspaper said. By 2020, the talent gap in the sector will reach 280,000, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.