A signing ceremony is held to officially acknowledge the participation of Korea in the Asia Cruise Cooperation.

The South Korea Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has joined the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC), according to a statement. The newest member joins forces with the Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Philippine Department of Tourism, The Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and Xiamen Municipal Tourism Development Commission.

Korea is the sixth member of the ACC (and the first in Northeast Asia), which was launched by Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2014 to bring major Asian cruise destinations together in a common effort to expand the regional cruise market, according to a statement.

Luo Yan, Director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission, said, “Korea, joins ACC as a developed country, which will enhance the influence of ACC greatly, also can reduce the cost in promotion, and enhance the international competitiveness of ACC members. That’s conducive to further promoting the rapid development of cruise industry in Hainan.”

“I am delighted to welcome Korea as the sixth member of the ACC,” said Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). “Our partnership now spans tens of thousands of square kilometres of Asia and the inclusion of Korea gives us an important new strategic dimension. This powerful alliance gives us more opportunities to promote Hong Kong’s appeal as a cruise destination, and the HKTB will continue to reach out energetically to key source markets to attract more cruise visitors to Hong Kong. Together, we have the opportunity to explore exciting new horizons in travel and tap the vast potential of Asia’s fast-growing cruise market.”

Yoon Hyun-soo, Director of the Shipping Policy Division of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), said, “In Korea, the cruise industry has set sail in a full swing as the “Cruise Industry Development and Support Act” was enacted in February, 2015. And, last year, the government launched a cruise promotion event for the public to experience cruise tour and pushed ahead with broadcasting promotion activities in order to increase outbound passengers to over 200,000. And, it speeds up to reinforce infrastructures so that more ports in Korea are welcomed as a homeport of cruise ships. By joining the ACC, the MOF of Korea will double its efforts to bring the Asian cruise industry up to the next level, not to mention the cruise industry in Korea. Port-of-calls in Korea are looking forward to seeing more cruise routes and ships come from the member states in a near future. I would like to ask for your continued support and cooperation.”

Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., Undersecretary for Tourism Development of the Philippine Department of Tourism said, “The Philippines welcomes the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries of Korea as the sixth member of the ACC. The continued expansion of this regional alliance comes as a collective effort to enjoin more players that will widen our market and offer more compelling cruise products to the cruise lines. It further strengthens our efforts to maximise the full potential of Asia as the world’s next important cruising region.”

“We enthusiastically welcome Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to our ACC family,” said Dr. Yung-Hui Chou, Director-general of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. “Taiwan and Hong Kong opened a new chapter in Asian cruise cooperation in 2014, and after three years of effort together with the Philippines, Hainan, and Xiamen we have seen the opportunities that our alliance brings for the expansion of market scale together with international cruise companies, and how our grouping brings fresh momentum for the development of new cruise routes between ACC members. We are confident that the membership of Korea not only realizes the original purpose of the ACC’s establishment--that competition will be replaced by cooperation—but that it will also help the members of the ACC to work together in using their unique attractions and advantages to create a better cruise market environment in Asia and heighten the interest of international cruise companies in our regional market. In this way, working together, we can build a brighter future for the cruise market in Asia.”