HONG KONG The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is hosting a four-day Asian Cruise Forum at Hotel ICON in Kowloon.
Jointly organised with Seatrade, the forum, set between January 21 and 24, aims to raise the city's profile as an Asian cruise hub in anticipation of the mid-year opening of the HK$8 billion (US$1.03 billion) Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.
"The first berthing at the new cruise terminal is scheduled for June 12, 2013 with the arrival of the Mariner of the Seas," said Kenneth Wong, HKTB general manager for MICE and cruise. "We want to leverage this position of being able to accommodate bigger cruise ships to establish Hong Kong as an Asian cruise hub."
The by-invitation-only forum will be attended by 150 delegates from the cruise industry – cruise and port operators among others. About a third or about 50 of the participants will be coming from overseas, from neighbouring ports such as Singapore, Sanya, Shanghai, Taiwan and Okinawa.
"This would be an opportunity for us to explore product development, encouraging cruise operators to include Hong Kong in their itinerary and making the city one of their home ports."
One of the topics for discussion is the potential of developing the Pearl River Delta for cruise tourism.
As part of the programme, delegates will be taken on shore excursions, which are especially tailored to give them to give them a taste of the range of on-land experiences that cruise visitors can enjoy around the city.
For more information about Hong Kong's new cruise terminal, please see our previous story here.