American cruise ship to bring wealthy visitors from China to Okinawa
February 15, 2017 Wu Li Jun of the Ryukyu Shimpo
A cruise ship called “Sliver Shadow” (about 28,000 tons, 382 passengers) from American luxurious cruise company, Silversea Cruises, will dock at Okinawa ten times in May and April. The ship has previously called at Okinawa departing from Europe, but it will be the first time it has arrived from China. According to the Okinawa Tourism and Convention Bureau (OCVB), the tour fee for this ship is about ten times higher than the usual casual cruise tours and is sold for a maximum of 1.3 million yen. Cruise tours arriving in and out of China tend to have high unit prices, and consumption by the rich tourists is expected to increase in the future.
“Silver Shadow” departs from Shenzhen, China on four tours and goes around Miyako Island, Naha, Ishigaki, and Nakagusuku Harbor. The breakdown of calls is as follows; four times at Hirara Port in Miyako Island, three times in Naha Port, twice in Ishigaki Port and once in Nakagusuku Harbor. The managing company of Prince Bay Cruise Homeport, which opened in Shenzhen last October, directly chartered the ship and sold tours targeting wealthy people in the Chinese market.
According to OCVB, a casual cruise is sold for around 10,000 yen per night while luxury cruises are sold for an average of 40,000 to 50,000 yen per night.
The boarding fee for the cruise ship “Silver Shadow” departing from Shenzhen and going around Ishigaki Island, Naha, and Miyako Island from March 16 to 23 is about 25,619 to 83,215 Chinese yuan (about 425,000 to 1,379,000 yen).
OCVB expects that the increase in wealthy visitors will bring more tourism dollars to the prefecture. Furthermore, OCVB stated that information on regional tourism goods is expected to be multilingual to prevent losing passengers’ purchasing and consumption opportunities in the prefecture.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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