Greece's Piraeus Port luring Chinese cruise visitors
Piraeus, Greece's largest port, is interested in securing more Chinese cruise passengers while acknowledging that the potential of the Chinese market is huge, a senior Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) official said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 5th Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, which opened here on Tuesday, PPA Strategic Planning and Marketing Manager Theodora Riga stressed the importance of attracting more visitors from China and presented a PPA report on Chinese cruise passengers visiting Piraeus.
The survey revealed that the typical Chinese cruise visitor has a budget of some 10,000 euros (11,200 U.S. dollars) and spends more than seven days on the trip. Forty-five percent of all Chinese cruise passengers are younger than 40, while the same age group accounts for only 31 percent of passengers arriving from the U.S.
"The Chinese have various options in the Mediterranean, such as Venice, Barcelona, etc., but Piraeus is also one of their targets," said Riga in her address at the event, which concludes on Wednesday.
"We are constantly seeking to promote Piraeus as a destination for Chinese cruise passengers," she said.
China is the second largest source market for global cruise tourism with 2.4 million passengers per year, a long way behind the U.S. with 11.4 million passengers, said Thomas Boardley, secretary general of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, at the forum.
About 300,000 Chinese tourists are expected to travel to Greece by all modes of transport this year, doubling last year's figure of 150,000, Riga said.