The truth about the China cruise bubble

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Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald runs 10 brands including Carnival, P&O, Cunard and Costa, and 101 ships.

He recently signed a deal with China’s state owned shipbuilding company to build vessels in China.

He believes his competitors are not other cruise lines – but land based products like hotels.

Cruise cabin numbers represent just two per cent of rooms available around the world,  once hotels and motels are included.

“So cruise is very small – and persuading people to want to cruise is the challenge.”

Mr Donald has a big stake in SE Asia and China.

But in this fascinating interview with Skift (www.skift.com) he gives valuable lessons for any travel agent selling cruise.

On China, he says analysts worried about a burst bubble and excess capacity need to get things in perspective.

The market is in its infancy – 26% growth is just one ship.

“We have 101 ships around the world. So we could absorb one ship without a problem.”