In response to Northeast Asia’s rapidly growing attractiveness as a cruise destination, the port of Busan (S Korea) is bringing new facilities on-stream this year and has unveiled plans for further developments in the future.
In September, the port will officially open a new cruise terminal to complement the current facility – Yeongdo Cruise Pier, opened in 2007 – to accommodate the trend for larger vessels. The new terminal is located in the re-developed area of Busan Old Port and has excellent connections to central Busan and is directly connected to the bullet train station. This facility will take cruise ships up to 130, 000t and has 360m of quay length with 12m of water depth. The new terminal facility is a six-story building with total area of 93, 932 square meters.
BPA has announced further plans to extend this new facility by adding an additional 75 meters of quay in order to accommodate vessels up to 200, 000t. The extension will be operational by 2018. In the interim, Gammam Pier – an existing container berth – will be made available for the larger cruise ships.
The cruise developments at Busan port are fully supported by the Korean government which has recently re-confirmed its commitment to developing the nation as a cruise hub and marine tourism destination. Plans include constructing additional cruise terminals nationwide to enhance facilities from the current three terminals to nine by 2020. In addition, the government will support initiatives to promote the Korean cruise industry, attract more passengers and port calls and offer support to the domestic cruise industry, including state owned cruise carriers.
President of Busan Port Authority, Mr LIM Ki-tack, said:
“Cruise markets have traditionally focused on the Mediterranean, Europe and the Caribbean but we are now seeing passengers developing a taste for Northeast Asia. We can offer luxurious yet inexpensive cruise itineraries.”
“Cruise is a complex industry involving ports, tourism, customs, immigration, quarantine, ship supplies, ship agencies and more. We have listened to each sector so that we can enhance and develop Busan into a leading cruise destination. Last year we created the Busan Cruise Community comprising all those with an interest in this sector and we will use this forum to gather opinions and ideas to further develop the Busan cruise industry.”
The port of Busan has seen cruise passenger throughput increase 28 fold since 2004 and cruise ship calls grow by a factor of six. Busan is expecting to welcome 280, 000 passengers and 135 cruise ships in 2015.
Additionally, BPA will be hosting the Seatrade Cruise Asia event 11-13 June together with Busan City Government, Korea Tourism Organization and Korea Marine Leisure Network. This event will showcase Busan’s efforts to enhance its cruise sector and promote it to the general public. It will also act as a forum to set out future cruise strategies involving cruise lines and government agencies.