Cruise tourism in Hainan is growing at a fast pace as this segment of the tourist industry begins to boom in China.

In the first nine months of this year, the number of cruise ship departures and arrivals in Hainan reached 180, an increase of nearly 67% year-on-year. The number of cruise passengers hit 9,500, rising around 37% year-on-year, according to figures released by local tourism authorities.

Hainan tourism authorities said, besides Hong Kong and Vietnam cruise routes, Hainan homeported cruise lines such as Star Cruises and HNA cruises are promoting new routes to Xisha islands. To date, the Haikou-Beijiao-Yongle Islands,Xisha cruise route has welcomed a total of 1,754 passengers.

As a major marine province in China, Hainan has attached great importance to its cruise tourism industry.

The province started the construction of the Sanya Phoenix Island Cruise Terminal in 2002. Since it was put into operation in 2006, the terminal has witnessed over 600 cruise departures and arrivals, with the number of cruise passengers reaching 600,000, and Sanya has become the third largest cruise homeport in the country, following Shanghai and Tianjin.

In order to further boost its cruise tourism, Hainan has recently introduced new measures to simplify travel procedures for cross-border cruise tours. The move is expected to increase the load factor of cruise ships by 60 percent, Xu Zhenling, the vice major of Sanya has claimed.

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