After the announcement of a RMB 100 million investment to boost its cruise business, the Chinese travel service giant Tongcheng has entered strategic cooperation agreements with Royal Caribbean and Costa Crociere to jointly develop Chinese cruise business.
Founded in 2004, the Suzhou-based company Tongcheng Network Technology Share Co., Ltd. with main business focused on air ticketing, car rental, hotel and cruise booking, has been in partnership and expansion mode in recent years.
Tongcheng has signed separate agreements with Royal Caribbean Cruises and Costa Crociere to explore the possibility of promoting cruise itineraries from China to other destinations in Asia. The agreements put a special emphasis on ships homeporting in Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.
The partnerships signal increasing attention from the travel service sector in China to cruise tourism. The specialism of Tongcheng in hotel booking and air ticketing will no doubt benefit developing Chinese fly-cruise business.
The company has a similar arrangement with Sky Sea Cruises (joint venture between Ctrip International and Royal Caribbean). In 2014 Ctrip became Tongcheng's second biggest shareholder.