Afloat, Chinese style

Updated: 2016-05-18 07:41

By Xu Lin(China Daily)

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Afloat, Chinese style

The company's global parent, Carnival, is eyeing the growing Chinese market for a joint venture of a domestically owned cruise brand in China.

"China has the potential to be the largest cruise market in the world. Plenty of Chinese outbound travelers haven't yet chosen to cruise, and they will love it eventually," he says.

"It's essential to find ways to accommodate the unique needs of Chinese guests while maintaining the integrity of cruise brands," he says. Special features aimed at Chinese travelers could include public space for group tai chi, private settings for table games such as mahjong, and opportunities for luxury shopping.

"A personalized travel experience is an overall trend in cruising. Cruising is a hospitality business. Our crew is trained to interact with the guests according to what they want," he says.

"Just like you have your own customized apps on your mobile. Travel is that way too. The better we are able to deliver that individual experience, the more successful we will be."

Individuals have different preferences such as music and food, he says. It's vital to make sure Chinese guests are on the right ship and that staff members communicate effectively with the guests throughout the trip.

He says the new brand will be differentiated from others: With so many outbound tourists, there is the opportunity to have various brands that resonate.

"It's important to have domestic entities working with us, and we will build a sustainable cruise industry together. One of the wonderful differences about partnering with Chinese companies is that they truly take a long-term view," Donald says.