According to BreakingTravelNews.com, Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation to explore the possibility of a joint venture aimed at accelerating the development and growth of the Chinese cruise industry.
“The Chinese sector is expected to be one of the largest cruise markets in the world, with 4.5 million passengers by 2020, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport.”
As part of the possible shipbuilding joint venture, Carnival Corporation would work closely with CSSC and Fincantieri of Italy, the world’s largest cruise ship building company, to define the first, world-class cruise ship to be built in China.
This made me think about the potential this possible explosion in the cruise liner holiday market could hold for us. Consumption on luxury cruises – whether it is food or alcohol – is notorious and I found these interesting statistics on ShipMateCruiseBlog:
On the typical 7-day sailing:
1. 62,000 drinks are consumed. Per passenger, that’s an average of 33 drinks a week, or 4.7 alcoholic drinks per day.
2. Per Passenger / per day:
- 0.3 glasses of champagne
- 0.7 beers
- 1.2 glasses of wine
- 2.4 mixed drinks
3. Per Cruise Ship / Per week:
- 1,200 glasses of champagne
- 10,100 beers
- 17,000 glasses of wine
- 32,700 mixed drinks
These stats might put one in the mood for a holiday on board one of these luxury liners, but I am thinking about the possibilities for South African wine and tourism. With China ranking under the top five countries when it comes to tourists visiting South Africa and South African wine slowly gaining in the challenging Chinese wine market, listing SA wines on these cruises and having some of the newly built Chinese liners docking in Cape Town, will be a great injection to both the South African wine industry and the tourism sector!
And while having these impressive vessels sea-worthy might only materialise in the distant future, it is my experience that identifying opportunities should rather happen well in advance!