China’s First International Cruise In Three Years Sets Sail, Marking Tourism Recovery

by Mallika Khurana
China’s First International Cruise In Three Years Sets Sail, Marking Tourism Recovery

China’s pressured cruise industry received a promising boost as the Blue Dream Star embarked on China’s first international cruise in three years. Departing from Shanghai and bound for Japan, this voyage marked a significant step forward for the industry. Following China’s decision to loosen travel restrictions related to the pandemic, the Blue Dream Star set sail shortly after. 

Blue Dream Star’s International Voyage to Japan

Blue dream cruises
Photo Credits: Canva (Rep Image)

This allowed its citizens to travel abroad more frequently, particularly on group tours. The United States, Japan, and South Korea were among the important markets that were included in this relaxation. As a result, the cruise, run by Shanghai Blue Dream International Cruise Line, carried more than 1,000 passengers. Several Japanese locations, including Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, and Nagasaki, were included in this trip.

The Blue Dream Star boasts a capacity to accommodate up to 1,053 guests. It has further been tailored to cater to the preferences of the local market. The cruise ship offers a range of tailored amenities and venues, including a noodle restaurant, a dedicated tearoom, captivating folk song and dance performances, a karaoke room, and an expansive shopping area. These facilities are designed to resonate with Chinese travellers and provide them with a uniquely customised experience.

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Revitalizing China’s Cruise Tourism

Photo Credits: Canva (Rep Image)

China’s culture and tourism ministry’s decision to lift travel restrictions is being perceived as a potential boon for the international travel industry. Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists were renowned for their substantial spending abroad. As per the reports by Hindustan Times, their expenditures totalled a staggering $255 billion in 2019 alone. Group tours constituted a significant portion of this expenditure, accounting for approximately 60% of the total.

The absence of Chinese tourists due to the pandemic had far-reaching financial implications for tourism-dependent businesses globally. While the reopening of China’s borders sparked hopes of a swift resurgence in outbound Chinese. tourism, the actual recovery has been slower than expected. As of July, the number of international flights to and from China had only recovered to 53% of the levels seen in 2019.

The sailing of the Blue Dream Star and China’s efforts to ease travel restrictions signal a cautiously optimistic outlook for the cruise and broader tourism industries. 

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva