Foreign cruise passenger volume to hit 90% pre-COVID level by year-end: MOTC
Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Taiwan could record 140,000 passenger-trips on cruise liners by foreign nationals by the end of 2023, or nearly 90 percent of the level before COVID-19 broke out four years ago, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Tuesday.
They will be among a total of 500,000 passengers on 300 cruises to Taiwan, the former representing half the pre-pandemic level, according to Han Chen-hua (韓振華), deputy head of the MOTC's Department of Navigation and Aviation.
The country has reported 423,000 passenger-trips on 252 cruises since it loosened COVID-19 control protocols on international cruise liners in March 2023 -- 106 cruises to Kaohsiung, 100 to Keelung, 36 to Penghu and 10 to Hualien, Han added.
About 40 percent of the foreign national arrivals were from Hong Kong or Macau, followed by 30 percent from North America or Europe, and 20 percent from Japan, Han said.
Together, they have created output value of NT$1 billion (US$31.4 million), according to Han, who attributed the strong recovery to successful marketing strategies.
Among them is a "double home port" route between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong, allowing ships to stay for a longer period of time so passengers can take more local tours, he said.
According to Taiwan International Ports Corp., the country expects to accommodate 450 cruise liners in 2024, which is about 70 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
Among the ships are the renowned MSC Bellissima, Norwegian Spirit and Resorts World Cruise, the company said.
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