The cruise industry is making waves in China, with nearly 20 million people taking a cruise last year. The largest global operator Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) has announced plans to double the number of brand operators serving the Chinese market. The company is gearing up to take its Carnival and Aida lines East, starting in 2017. 'China is fantastic,' said CEO Arnold Donald when TheStreet spoke with him back in September. 'It's already growing. The yields are higher than our average fleet. We have significant capacity... and it takes capacity out of other regions of the world which allows for a higher yield in those markets,' he added. Carnival first entered the Chinese market back in 2006 with its Costa division. Since then, demand has been consistently on the up. The company is expecting to see a 43 percent increase in passengers from 2014's numbers as the Chinese middle class spur market growth. The cruise operator also revealed that it is exploring the possibility of constructing some of its vessels on the Chinese mainland. Carnival's brand network is responsible for over half of the global cruise business but other competitors are also looking to China to boost business. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean (RCL) will both be deploying new vessels in 2017 to serve the market.
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