The Tianjin Municipal People’s Government is making the cruise industry a key pillar of its economic infrastructure, according to Zong Guoying, vice mayor.

Guoying delivered an address at the China Cruise Shipping Expo this week in Tianjin, hosted by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association.

With the Tianjin port growing, the local government will make it a new “Pilot Zone of China Cruise Tourism Development,” with the idea that policies in Tianjin will serve as a benchmark throughout China. An industry plan will touch on visa and tax incentives for the cruise lines.

Tianjin is also putting together a China Alliance of Cruise Suppliers, a group that will share best practices in doing business with the cruise lines. That gathering will benefit from procurement briefings this week in Tianjin from Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Genting Hong Kong/Star Cruises.