JEJU, July 5 (Korea Bizwire) – Jeju Island is expected to see more than 1.5 million cruise visitors next year, in line with the scheduled opening of a civilian-military tourist harbor in the island’s southern city of Seogwipo.
The Jeju Provincial Government announced on Monday, July 4, that a total of 26 cruise ships will enter its ports a total of 747 times after finalizing its schedule with cruise companies that applied for a call assignment at Jeju’s new port.
The Port of Jeju is expected to see 21 cruise ships make 570 entries, carrying more than 1 million visitors. Twelve cruise ships will make 177 visits to the new port in Seogwipo, which will open July 1 next year, carrying more than 500,000 visitors.
Four cruise ships larger than 150,000-tons including the ‘Quantum of the Seas’, ‘Ovation of the Seas’, and ‘Norwegian Joy’ will enter the new port 134 times instead of the Port of Jeju, which cannot accommodate cruise ships of that size.
The new tourist port is the second largest cruise port in Jeju, and will serve as both a naval base and a cruise ship port.
The local government is expecting cruise ships to dock at the island at least 700 times considering weather conditions such as typhoon and fog. As over 1.5 million cruise tourists will be visiting Jeju Island, the government is working to be fully ready to provide convenience and a great travel experience for all visitors.
Cruise ships calling at the port for more than eight hours received docking priority. Cruise lines offering tour programs at local attractions will receive incentives in order to boost the local economy.
In 2010, 55,000 visitors came to Jeju Island on 49 cruise ships, but the figure increased more than ten-fold to 620,000 visitors and 285 ship entries in 2015. This year, 501,595 cruise tourists have visited thus far, and 207 port entries have been made. The number of visitors is expected to exceed 1 million by end of the year.
“We are focusing on changing shopping-oriented tourism to focus on cultural experiences, and attracting individual tourists in order to improve the quality of cruise tourism as more and more visitors are coming on board. We will cooperate with cruise lines and local travel agencies so that tourists can visit local commercial areas,” said Yang Hee-beom, director of Marine Industry department of the local government.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)