The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has been plagued with inaccessibility, with very little public transport links for ordinary Hongkongers and a location that is remote to shopping malls and MTR stations.
The terminal is operated by Worldwide Cruise Terminals, a consortium jointly owned by Worldwide Flight Services, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Shun Tak Holdings.
Jeff Bent, managing director of Worldwide Cruise Terminals, said with more development in the Kai Tak district, accessibility will improve.
“The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is the first development in a large area, and as more land in the Kai Tak district is developed, such as an MTR station, six luxury hotels, stadium and pediatric hospital, transportation will improve,” he said.
Most of the terminal’s revenues come from cruise operations, with retail and event venue leasing as alternative revenue streams.
“Over time, as cruise operations increase in frequency, event venue leasing will decrease,” Bent said.
87% of the 5,600 square-meter retail space has been leased and Bent says this will remain more or less consistent.
He added, “Our cruise business is primarily B2B, but we will consider some targeted tactical promotions to support the retail side as well. Our tenants are also conducting their own promotional activities, such as marketing the 80-table Chinese restaurant as a wedding venue.”
The brand image he hopes to promote is as a beautiful and enjoyable place for park visitors, event and wedding participants and for people embarking on a cruise. He says most cruise terminals close when a ship is not at berth but this is not the case at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which is unusual.
But the greatest source of growth is still expected to come from cruise operations, according to Bent.
“As international cruise lines increasingly order new ships and deploy more of their fleets to Asia, and as local Asian cruise lines acquire ships and enter operation, this part of the business will ramp up substantially over the coming years,” he said.