The Philippines, which is home to more than 7,600 islands, is aiming to ramp up its cruise tourism industry, Business Times reports.
The country has lagged behind its neighbors in attracting cruise visitors, mainly due to lack of infrastructure. However, this is changing as more ports are built, and more are recognizing the potential benefits of the growing industry.
Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said there is “great potential in cruise tourism.”
“While our Asian neighbors have the advantage of regional land connectivity, our archipelago is ideal for cruise tourism… These cruise ports will allow more access to the Philippines and encourage shorter itineraries from north Asian markets like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan,” he said.
In April 2021, Bloomberry Resorts, operator of the Solaire IR in Manila, is opening Manila’s first cruise-dedicated port.
Enrique Razon, Bloomberry chairman, said, “Cruise calls in Manila, and the Philippines in general, have been growing quite strongly. Aside from Manila, we’re looking for one cruise ship facility in the north and possibly two in the south.”
A number of foreign cruise operators have also been eyeing Asia for expansion, including MSC, Celebrity Cruises, and Virgin Voyages. (AGB)