“We are focused on delivering a world-class vacation experience for Chinese cruise passengers,” said Genting and Genting Hong Kong Chairman Lim Kok Thay.
Genting Hong Kong plans to expand into the “underserved” Asia-Pacific cruise market, according to a news release. It already operates seven ships under its flagship brand, Star Cruises.
It bought into four shipyards from Lloyd Werft and Nordic Yard and spent over 100 million euros in upgrades in order to build the ships it wanted faster, according to local daily The Edge. The newly established shipbuilding company, the Lloyd Werft Group is expected to deliver the first ship around 2019-2020.
Two mega cruise ships, over 200,000 gross tons each, will be built for Star Cruises which is focused on the contemporary cruise market. The rest, at a size of 50,000 gross tons each, goes to Crystal Cruises to cater to the international luxury market. Genting Hong Kong also owns Dream Cruises.
The cruise business is growing among technologically savvy, younger Chinese consumers, according to Euromonitor data which charted a 58.4% increase in the size of the market from 2009 to 2014 to $8.1 billion. The Chinese government encourages cruising as it wants to create domestic cruise brands on top of honing shipbuilding capabilities.
The two largest cruise companies in the world, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, are also aggressively targeting Chinese consumers by either adding additional cruise brands or ships in China.
Malaysia-based Genting’s diverse global businesses include leisure, property, power generation and oil and gas. Genting Hong Kong is part of Genting Malaysia, which is in turn 49% owned by Genting. Malaysia accounts for 41% of Genting’s leisure and hospitality revenue, while the rest is from Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.