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In 2006, Costa Cruises (Italy) started a homeport cruises in Shanghai with Costa Allegra (30,000 tons) This was followed by a rapid expansion of the Chinese cruise market as bigger and newer casual cruise ships were successively introduced. Conducting homeport in Shanghai, these cruise ships belonged to multiple companies, such as major cruise companies from the West, China-funded companies and joint venture shipping enterprises formed between Chinese and Western cruise companies. As a result, cruise ships from China began to make port calls in Japan, particularly at western ports of the country. This led to a rapid increase in the number of cruise passengers to Japan in conjunction with the expansion of the Chinese cruise market. Now, with the Japanese government’s inbound policy starting to bear fruit, there is a steady rise in passengers who visit Japan on homeport cruises not only in Shanghai but also in Tianjin, Keelung and other ports. Taking advantage of the Japan tourism boom, Princess Cruise (USA) and Costa Cruises (Italy) have steadily increased calls by homeport cruises in Japan, and other companies too have started homeport in Japan. In March 2016, the Japanese government set the target of increasing the number of cruise passengers visiting Japan to five million people by 2020 and making Japan a cruise destination capable of accepting a wide range of ships, from casual to luxury, at any port in the country. To achieve this target, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) has taken the lead to develop an environment capable of accepting cruise ships in terms of infrastructure and hold business meetings between cruises companies and ports. In this paper, the current status and future outlook of cruise ships from the perspective of Japan, the measures being taken to respond to the rapidly growing cruise demands and the direction in which Japan’s cruise industry should move are reported on.
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- Developments in Japan’s Cruise Industry in 2018–2019: Efforts Toincrease Cruise Passengers Visiting Japan to 5 Million by 2020
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