The massive potential of the cruise market in Asia Pacific was once again emphasised at the China’s Century Conference in Hainan earlier this month, where it was revealed that 10.4% of the world’s cruise passengers originate from the Asia Pacific region of which 60% are Chinese.
However, only 0.2% of China’s 1.4 billion population currently take cruises, highlighting the opportunity for increasing penetration in the region.
By 2020, China’s Ministry of Transport expects the number of Chinese cruise travellers to reach 4.5 million. More and more Chinese tourists are opting to cruise to destinations in Asia, and capacity is growing rapidly to meet the demand.
Cruise retail customers have been known to spend up to $10,000 on a single purchase, such as a watch, which should prompt concessionaires to focus more keenly on the range of fashion, accessories and jewellery products, which are typically more popular on cruises.
MSC, or the Mediterranean Shipping Company, is the fourth-biggest cruise company in the world and boasts the largest in-house retail operations at sea. In 2018 it served 2.2 million guests and expects to be serving 5.5 million a year by 2027.
As MSC operates its retail in-house, it will also benefit from obtaining 100% customer data capture; a huge advantage when curating a shopping experience for a quick-changing customer demographic.
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