A letter of intent was signed by Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines on forming the Asia Archipelago Cruise Alliance Feb. 17 in Taipei City, spotlighting the government’s efforts to boost marine tourism in the region, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Inked by Taiwan’s Maritime and Port Bureau under the MOTC, Taipei City-based Association for Cruises Development of Taiwan, the Korea International Cruise Research Institute and the Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority, the LOI stated that the AACA will launch by the end of this year.
During the signing ceremony, MPB Director-General Yeh Hsieh-lung said countries in East Asia have rich and diverse resources with great potential for advancing cruise tourism. Taiwan aims to work with its neighbors to promote island-hopping activities that will help attract international cruise lines to the region, he added.
According to Yeh, Japan is also considering joining the alliance. The AACA will integrate marketing and resources among member countries, he said, adding that the government anticipates island-hopping trips to become a new driver of marine tourism in Taiwan.
Witnessing the ceremony, MOTC Deputy Minister Chi Wen-jong said reinvigorating the tourism sector is one of the ministry’s primary missions, with the goal of attracting six million tourists this year.
Island-hopping activities can tap unmet demand in the international cruise market, Chi said, adding that with Taiwan’s key location in the region’s archipelago makes it a prime partner for Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia to work with in expanding cruise lines.