An upcoming cruise ship building forum was hailed by China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) as "baby step" in filling gaps following ten years of rapid development in industry.
The forum will be held for the first time this September during the 11th China Cruise Shipping Conference & International Cruise Expo, focusing on a future plan for "made in China" cruise ships.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and China State Shipbuilding Corporation will join the meeting in Tianjin, which the association says shows the government and corporations are in an "advancing mode".
It is estimated that about 1.112 million Chinese tourists traveled overseas via cruise ships in 2015, which increased 5460.5 per cent compared to 2006, the year the first cruise ship docked in China. But for the past ten years, the cruise ship building industry has stagnated.
This year, a company in Shanghai locked down a contract to build cruise ships with Italy, which means China is partnering with a fifth country that can build cruise ships after Germany, France, Italy and Finland.
Zheng Weihang, Vice President of CCYIA, said:
"Shanghai had made the first step in the industry, and as the northern port of China, Tianjin could make full of use of its advantages and start with cruise maintenance and modifications."
Zheng also welcomed visitors to check out the exhibition showcasing the world's largest private-run hospital ship, which was built by Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co, Ltd. for Mercy Ships, operated by an American charity during the expo.
Tianjin, which is hosting the expo for the fourth time, has Asia's largest homeport. In 2015, Tianjin embraced 96 international cruise ships, an increase of 74.5% compared to the same period last year.
He Zhineng, Vice Director of the Tianjin Tourism Administration, said:
"Tianjin is aiming to build a cruise city out of our homeport which includes cruise tourism, cruise logistics, talents cultivationand cruise building and maintenance."