26 February 2020

China’s rising tourism tide lifts Genting cruises

The mass migration across China over the National Day “golden week” has become something of an annual rite, releasing an outpouring of tourism spending. During the weeklong break this year, about 31.25 million mainland Chinese packed their bags for destinations either within the country or overseas, up nearly 7 percent from a year earlier.

The growing number of Chinese tourists, coupled with their rising spending power, has attracted keen interest from foreign travel players, not the least of which is Genting Hong Kong Ltd. (00678.HK). As a sign of its faith in this trend, the cruise operator announced on Monday that it planned to place a 707 million euro (US$957 million) order for a luxury liner.

Genting has made it clear that the new mega vessel and its 1,682 passenger cabins will be used to cater to the ever-expanding high-end leisure and entertainment market in the region, which is mainly driven by the growth of affluent mainland clientele.

As China’s leadership underscores the importance of frugality and rooting out corruption, Genting’s gambling cruise trips on the high seas offer mainland high rollers an alternative to Macau, which has come under the close watch of Beijing.

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