Wallem Group Managing Director for Ship Agency Services, Dickson Chin, has joined Hong Kong’s highly influential Advisory Committee on Cruise Industry (ACCI), where his extensive logistical support expertise will help ensure that the number of cruise ships calling at the territory continue to flourish.
Established in 2008, ACCI advises the government of Hong Kong on measures aimed at developing as a leading cruise hub in the region. Its remit includes fostering cooperation with locations throughout Asia on itinerary development, growing demand for cruise tourism and making sure that terminals and associated infrastructure are sufficiently resourced to cater for ships and passengers.
The committee boasts a roster of cruise line giants, major travel agencies and tour operators, whose extensive experience and in-depth understanding of the background services that ensure cruise ships enjoy a problem-free arrival, stay and departure in Hong Kong are second to none.
Wallem has held a position on the committee since its inception in 2008, but Dickson Chin’s appointment is expected to result in new levels of innovation in devising initiatives to meet ACCI aims. Since joining Wallem in 2008, he has overseen many ‘firsts for Hong Kong’, including the first anchoring in Junk Bay and the first Central Fairway transit after docking at commercial terminals for Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) and Modern Terminals Limited (MTL).
Wallem was also closely involved in the trial berthing of Celebrity Millennium at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal three months before the facility officially opened its doors for business in June 2013. Last year, KTCT received a cruise ship on average every other day, according to HK Tourism Board figures. Dickson’s most memorable experience was completing a complicated turnaround for the Queen Mary 2 in Junk Bay which entailed baggage staging and supervising disembarkation/embarkation via tender boats.
Joining the ACCI board represents a unique opportunity to collaborate with government agencies and departments, says Dickson Chin. “It will allow Wallem to provide input on proposals intended to enhance Hong Kong’s offering to cruise lines from an operational perspective and to provide input on regulatory changes to shape the cruise industry in Hong Kong.”
Wallem’s cruise agency business within the Asian region is a fast growing part of overall group activities, now amounting to over 500 cruise calls per annum. In addition to its core services, Wallem participates in itinerary coordination, and planning for turnaround operations and transit calls.
“The cruise industry is enjoying phenomenal growth across Asia Pacific region – both as a destination and as a source of new demand especially from an increasingly affluent China,” adds Dickson. “Hong Kong is blessed with natural advantages of location and deep water, but also cosmopolitan and cultural attractions, as well as modern infrastructure and regional hub status. Against this backdrop, ACCI is more relevant than ever as Hong Kong seeks to consolidate its position as the cruise Gateway to Asia and Wallem looks to expand its services into cruise industry consultancy.”