The cruise industry in China: Efforts, progress and challenges

Xiaodong Sun, Xuegang Feng, Dinesh K. Gauri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The cruise industry has evolved considerably and in recent years emerged to become one of the most rapidly developing segments of the global tourism industry, with millions of passengers cruising each year. On a global basis, the cruising sector is overwhelmed by North America. During recent years above average growth rates are reported in emerging cruise markets in the Asia Pacific region. As one of the core elements of the Asian cruise market, China is undergoing rapid growth in terms of both cruise ship visits and cruise tourists. However, limited research has been undertaken in regard to growth of cruising industry in China. The purpose of this article is to report current development of the cruise industry in mainland China. First, we briefly provide an overview of the worldwide cruise industry. Then, we summarize the history and the growth of the cruising sector in China; report characteristics of Chinese cruise passengers and compare them with others; highlight information on geographical distribution, berthing capacity and cruise business performance of each cruise port along China's coastlines; and introduce various cruise policy documents issued by Chinese governments. Finally, we discuss some issues, challenges and relevant managerial implications for developing this niche form of tourism in this country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • China
  • Cruise industry
  • Cruise tourism
  • Cruising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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