Jeff Bent

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is set to help drive growth for the Asia-Pacific market, offering a multi-berth megaship terminal in Hong Kong.

Better yet, numbers are growing by leaps and bounds and major infrastructure projects could help drive source market potential for ships homeporting in Hong Kong, according to Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals, manager of the Kai Tak complex.

"The numbers are up quite a bit," Bent told Cruise Industry News. "In 2015 we had nine different lines and this year we will have 17."

Traffic expectations are about 330,000 passengers in 2016, growing to 660,000 passengers in 2017.

"We have a diverse base of certain source markets to work off of," said Bent, noting 30 percent of embarking passengers were mainland Chinese, 30 percent from Hong Kong, 30 percent from long-haul destinations and the balance from other nearby Asian source markets.

"I think the local and Chinese source markets will continue to grow," Bent said. "The long-haul market will be always be a good segment too, if everything stays on schedule by the end of 2017 there should also be the new bridge across the Pearl River Delta to Macau. That will make it so much easier for people to come and take a cruise. It will also make shore-ex to Macau much easier."

The end of 2018 will see the introduction of high-speed rail, bringing 300 million people within a four-hour train ride of Hong Kong.

"The source market could just explode," Bent noted.

The state-of-the-art Kai Tak Terminal hosts other events, including concerts and corporate outings.

Among other highlights, Bent has worked to add ferry service to the terminal, with a ferry pier set to open soon.

"Something I've been striving for is to have ferry access to the terminal," Bent said. "Now, it will be running in about two weeks." The ferry will connect the Kai Tak Terminal to other parts of Hong Kong.