The Hong Kong Tourism Board joined the International Cruise Council Australasia on Monday. The semi-autonomous island handled more than 2 million passengers each year since 2000, and estimates 2.8 million in 2008.

Andrew Clark, regional director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said Hong Kong was anxious to expand the number of Australian and New Zealander passengers.

Hong Kong plans to open a new cruise terminal in 2012.

“With the Hong Kong government committed to building a new cruise terminal, it’s essential that we capitalize on the ongoing expansion of cruising in our region,” Clark said. “Joining the Cruise Council is the ideal way for us to reach the Australian and New Zealand cruise sector, and we’re looking forward to being a fully committed member for the benefit of all.”