Taiwan has the geographical advantages and tourist attractions to successfully develop cruise tourism, an international cruise ship operator said yesterday.
The state-run Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC) said representatives of Royal Caribbean International (RCI) arrived on Friday to scout for business opportunities, adding that the invitation to the world’s second-largest cruise operator was extended when officials attended a cruise ship show in Miami, Florida, last month.
According to the TIPC, RCI vice president of commercial development John Tercek said that he was impressed by the tourist attractions surrounding the nation’s seaports during the three-day trip.
Tercek said that locations such as such as Jibei Islet (吉貝), Aimen Beach (隘門), the historical site in Erkan (二崁), Penghu County, and the old street in Anping (安平) in Greater Tainan all have the potential to become popular tourist destinations in Asia after some comprehensive planning.
Tercek also said that several cruise line arrangements could be planned that would incorporate Taiwan’s geographical advantages.
He said that a northbound line that runs from Hong Kong to Taiwan, and then to Okinawa, could be developed, adding that the nation’s ports could become stops for southbound lines to Southeast Asia.
Tercek also met with Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuan-shih (葉匡時), as well as other ministry officials, in Penghu on Saturday.
He said that RCI had focused on the Asian market in recent years, especially Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and the trip to Taiwan had made him rethink the role of Taiwan in the Asian market.
Tercek said that his company would be interested in bringing more travelers from Hong Kong and China to Taiwan.
He also expressed an interest in the cruise terminal, as well as other projects in Magong Seaport in Penghu, adding that he would bring his team and talk about more practical issues such as arranging cruises during his next visit to Taiwan.