A white yacht departed from Shenwan Yacht Dock in Zhongshan, a city of China’s southern Guangdong province, and sailed along the West River, a tributary of the Pearl River, for about one hour into Port Coloane of the Macau Special Administrative Region.
This is a sightseeing trip between the Macau SAR and Zhongshan under the Individual Yacht Visit Scheme. The scheme, which was officially launched two years ago, started the individual tourism cooperation between Guangdong province and Macau.
Unlike the yacht sightseeing in the niche tourism market, mass- market tourism cooperation in the Greater Bay Area has long been mature. The ferry routes between the Bay Area regions and the newly built Hong Kong- Zhuhai-Macau Bridge weave a transportation network that facilitates the development of tourism and leisure in the region.
According to the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area, the participating cities can develop a variety of tourism products involving culture, history, leisure and health. They have been instructed to explore transportation options such as cruise lines, yachts and high-speed railways, so that the area can be built into a world-class destination for tourists.
Zhu Fuming, president of the Genting Cruise Lines – which has its home ports in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and offers at least one cruise line trip in the Pearl River estuary – said as the Greater Bay Area has favorable geographic advantages, a vast population, and a relatively-high economic development level and spending capacity, there is potential for developing the cruise line business in the region.
However, as the Greater Bay Area has three customs jurisdictions, three currencies and three legal regimes, it still needs in- depth coordination between the three places to break the barriers maintained by different policy and legal regimes.
Zheng Weihang, vice-director of China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association, said that, if these barriers can be overcome, the Greater Bay Area has the capability to link the industrial chain in Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Huizhou and Dongguan with the science and technology research capacity in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Doing so could allow it to become a base for manufacture and maintenance of cruises and yachts. DB/Xinhua