On February 20 in the NKUHT’s cruise classroom, NKUHT and the Ministry of Communications Tourism Bureau, the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, and the National Taiwan Ocean University jointly signed the “Taiwan Cruise Development Research Memorandum of Understanding”. This important initiative will facilitate the most innovative and authoritative cruise development research and disseminate it directly to cruise practitioners and the general public.
Taiwan’s cruise-ship sector is currently poised to expand into lucrative Asian markets, due to its inherent geographic advantages and strong national policy support. As the Director of the Ministry of Communications, Mr. Yonghui Zhou, explained: “Taiwanese cruises are the focus of our tourism development. Last year, Taiwan surpassed Singapore to become the second-largest cruise-ship source market in Asia. It has achieved great results.”
NKUHT’s President, Pearl Lin, added that “after the signing of the memorandum of cooperation, Taiwan’s government’s emphasis on the cruise industry, relevant statistical data collection, mastery analysis and tourist research will form a strong foundation for industry’s development. The academic community will therefore also contribute to the development of the cruise industry in Taiwan, supplemented by the strength of connections among travel agencies, public associations, and county and municipal governments, the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Communications, the Asia Cruise Cooperation, and international partners.
By the end of 2020, the North Triangle [Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan] will be completed, and the Southern Triangle [Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan] cruise alliance will be connected in series, expanding the popularity of Taiwan’s cruise-tourism market both internationally and domestically. Taiwanese cruise research and the status of Taiwan as a home port will continue to go from strength to strength through this platform, which will certainly benefit Taiwan’s tourism industry in general, and thus, Taiwan’s entire economy.” In addition to its well-established ports of call – including Keelung Port and Kaohsiung Port – others such as Taichung Port, Anping Port, and Hualien Port are ripe for further development.
Taiwan’s aspiration to become a major research hub for Asian cruises implies not merely a continuation but a major expansion of the regular quantitative cruise-related research conducted there, including long-standing cooperative projects with research institutes in South Korea and Shanghai, and the publication of the “Taiwan Annual Cruise Report”. If conducted energetically, the outputs of such multi-polar research cooperation will dramatically enhance Taiwan’s attractiveness to tourists from all over the world, as well as lead Asia in cruise research and policy advice.