Royal Caribbean International has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan International Ports Co (TIPC) to invest NT$1bn ($33.3m) in building a pier in outlying Penghu County to accommodate the cruise company’s vessels.
The new facility, scheduled to start operations in April 2016, could host Royal Caribbean’s 225,000-ton Oasis of the Seas, which is currently the world’s biggest cruise ship.
The partnership will mark the single most important foreign tourism investment in Taiwan, Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih said during the signing ceremony in June, adding that a formal contract will be sealed in December.
Royal Caribbean will own a 51% share, while the remainder will be owned by TIPC. A second pier might also be built.
Projected cruise growth in Taiwan is impressive to say the least. “It is projected that next year, no less than 350 cruise ships will include local ports in their itineraries, bringing one million tourists and NT$7bn [$233.3m] in revenue,” a Taiwan International Ports Corp official said. The projection was revealed at a twoday forum held at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center in June.