In the Cross-Strait ferry segment, Cosco Star’s Keelung - Taizhou / Xiamen route increased in terms of passenger numbers from 29,000 in 2017 to 36,000 in 2018, a one-year rise of 24%. The main trend in passenger numbers changed from Mainland Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan to an increasing number of Taiwanese tourists traveling to the Mainland.
During 2018 there were other milestones as well, such as:
- The first Keelung-based, round-the-island cruise by MS Caledonian Sky;
- The first chartered cruise from South Korea to Taiwan by Costa Serena;
- The first visit to Taiwan by a ship in the Mediterranean-based MSC Cruises fleet;
- The signing of a trilateral cooperation agreement between Keelung, Okinawa, and Jeju Island;
- The first installation in a Taiwan sea or airport of a fully automated international currency exchange machine.
For 2019, the overall numbers are expected to match or slightly surpass 2018. Four cruise ships will make their first visits to Keelung this year. The Port of Keelung will also strengthen wharf and terminal infrastructures to provide moer vitality into the Taiwanese economy.