The Department of Tourism (DOT), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) formally signed this October 10, 2017 the Memorandum of Agreement for the formulation of a feasibility study and master plan for the development and operation of a Cruise Port, a 5-hectare site owned by the CCP where the present terminal used by Suncruises is located.
The project underlines the need for such facility to serve the growing number of cruise passengers brought about by increasing port calls by cruise ships to the country. With the implementation of the National Cruise Tourism Development Strategy (NCTDS), TIEZA has been designated by the DOT as the lead agency responsible in the construction and development of the cruise-dedicated port in Manila and in other priority ports in the country to harness the potential of cruise tourism as an emerging tourism product and vital engine for tourism growth. TIEZA is tasked to do a feasibility study in a span of 18 months that will form the basis of cruise port construction.
According to the DOT, the international cruise calls to the Philippines have been growing at an average rate of 27.8% over the past years, with 56 calls in 2014, 70 calls in 2015, and 72 calls in 2016. This year DOT is expecting to record more than 100 port calls, primarily due to the Star Cruises’ Superstar Virgo that made Manila its homeport from March to May this year. Its sister ship, the new Genting Dream, is scheduled to visit Manila and Boracay in November in its first regular run.