A cruise ship terminal will be built just 5 km from Incheon International Airport west of Seoul by 2021.
Incheon International Airport Corporation said the terminal is expected to boost passenger traffic at the airport and increase the number of visitors to two new resort complexes near the airport. The cost is estimated at between W200 billion and W500 billion (US$1=W1,130).
Cruise ships that dock at the terminal are expected to boost annual passenger traffic in and around the airport to 100 million by 2023 and to 130 million by 2029. An IIAC staffer said, “The airport is getting bigger, so we need to ensure that more passengers use it”.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is about half an hour from a cruise ship terminal, while Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Dubai International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport are half an hour to 50 minutes from the nearest cruise ship port.
Airport officials believe the terminal will also boost business at a nearby casino resort and another one set to be built there as there seems to be no letup in the Chinese appetite for gambling breaks.
IIAC officials plan to develop cruise ship tours linking the port city with Shanghai, Tianjin and Xiamen in China and connect 100 cruise ships with the route. Industry insiders expect the number of Asian cruise ship passengers to rise from 910,000 in 2010 to 5.32 million by 2020, 47.4 percent of them Chinese.
IIAC officials believe a single 100,000-ton cruise ship will generate around 1,000 new jobs, while each stop by a cruise ship will generate W2.4 billion in tourism revenues.
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