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Chinese could double the world's cruise market. Or not.

By Juwai, 06 September 2013
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When Guo Yan goes for a cruise, the 40-year-old cashier from Southern China takes an overnight trip out of Hong Kong.1

That's the problem for the global cruise industry. There are huge numbers of wealthy and middle-class Chinese. Cruise companies are salivating at the potential goldmine they represent.

If this opportunity reveals the huge rewards that industries like real estate can reap by working with Chinese consumers, it also shows that they can't be taken for granted.

That's because Chinese consumers are frustratingly coy, when it comes to cruises. Instead of long cruises, they typically take short ones. Instead of taking cruises throughout the year, they tend to do so only during traditional festivals – like Chinese New Year.

“The problem is that it’s too easy to look at China’s middle-class population and extrapolate from that you can go in and sell them a cruise,” Tony Peisley of Cruise Market Watch told The New York Times. “A cruise is not a priority especially when most people have no idea what a cruise is.” 

If the cruise industry succeeds, the payoff could be huge.

Experts estimate China could be the source of as many as 40 million cruise guests a year, which is as much as the whole rest of the world put together.

Cruise ship operators could learn from the international real estate industry about how to localise your marketing for Chinese buyers.

 

 

Sources: 1. The New York Times
[Image source: Welcome back to Hong Kong! by Maikcol on Flickr.com]