Royal Caribbean Hopes to Return to China in 2023-24
CEO Michael Bayley said during an earnings call, “We've had some phenomenal years in the China market, and we've had a very successful operation there."
When the new Royal Caribbean mega-ship Wonder of the Seas was sailing with trade partners last week in Europe Ben Bouldin International Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ben Bouldin would not rule out the Wonder finally sailing in China.
The Wonder of the Seas was originally built for the emerging Chinese market and that market remains closed as a result of the pandemic that had its origination in China
During their first-quarter earnings call last week, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley made it very clear that the cruise line hopes to get back to that market sometime next year.
Bayley told investors, "We've had some phenomenal years in the China market, and we've had a very successful operation there," said Bayley, on the company's first-quarter earnings call.
"The volatilities existed in all markets, including China, for the past two years. I think it's regretful that the China market is still not accessible to us. And I think our current thinking was that in 2023, we would be back in the China market. I'm not sure whether that'll come true or not it could be 2024, but we're ready to go. And we're looking forward to returning to the market," he continued. "I think when you look at the region of Asia-Pacific, it's always been a meaningful market for Royal Caribbean Group," "And our intention is to return to that market and to leverage the opportunities that we have.
"We've spent time building our brand in China. In our space, we're a very well-known brand, we're very liked, and we have very good consumer following with the Royal Caribbean International brand. And we think that when the market opens back up, we'll be able to re-access the market and get back to business. And that's exactly what we're thinking."