Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China’s Shandong province, has rolled out incentive policies with the aim of accelerating the growth of the China Cruise Tourism Development Experimental Zone in Qingdao and the city’s transition into an international tourism destination.
Last month, the Qingdao Municipal Tourism Development Committee and Shibei District People’s Government jointly released the Detailed Implementation of Policies in Support of Cruise Tourism in Qingdao.
In the document, Qingdao’s municipal government outlined plans to provide incentive subsidies of up to three million yuan (US$435,000) to cruise firms that include the city as a port of call in their itineraries and travel agencies that organise sightseeing tours in the city, as well as for outbound travel agencies and ticket agents that operate rented and chartered cruises in Qingdao.
Qualified cruise firms and travel agencies will be able to enjoy subsidies amounting to 100,000 to 500,000 yuan per voyage.
Those offering departures from Qingdao will receive 100,000 to 400,000 yuan per voyage, while cruise firms with formal operations in Qingdao may enjoy 500,000 yuan per every ten voyages.
For companies sailing 50 voyages or more, subsidies of three million yuan are available.
In addition, the Shibei District government, the Qingdao International Cruise Port Services Administration and Qingdao Port Group have jointly issued a notice announcing that outbound travel agencies and ticket agents that rent or charter cruise ships with the base of operations in Qingdao, and who succeed in boarding 5,000 or more passengers per year who then travel abroad, would be entitled to a subsidy of 200 yuan per passenger.
The cruise sector represents huge revenue potential for the city and its economy, The Qingdao Municipal Tourism Development Committee said in a statement.
The committee added that Qingdao – an open coastal city – boasts rich tourism resources, a favourable climate and a deep-water port.
Giving Qingdao the makings of a preferred destination for cruisegoers, the city’s docking facilities for cruise ships are located in proximity to a railway station and downtown area. The city is also recognised for its urban coastlines, and offers opportunities for onshore tours in addition to Qingdao beer and sailing tours.