MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday welcomed the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as the newest member of the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC) group.

“The Philippines welcomes the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries of Korea as the sixth member of the Asia Cruise Cooperation (ACC),”

DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito C. Bengzon, Jr. said in a press statement.

Bengzon pointed out that the continued expansion of the ACC comes as a collective effort to enjoin more players to offer more compelling cruise products to the cruise lines.

“It further strengthens our efforts to maximize the full potential of Asia as the world’s next important cruising region,” he added.

According to the DOT, Korea is the sixth and the first in Northeast Asia to join the ACC, which was launched by Taiwan and Hong Kong in 2014 to bring major Asian cruise destinations together to expand the regional cruise market.

Members of the ACC are Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hainan and Xiamen in China.

Taiwan Tourism Bureau director-general Yung-Hui Chou, for his part, expressed confidence that the membership of the Republic of Korea will help the members of the ACC work together to create a better cruise market environment in Asia.

“We enthusiastically welcome the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to our ACC family,” the director-general said.

“Taiwan and Hong Kong opened a new chapter in Asian cruise cooperation in 2014, and after three years of effort together with the Philippines, Hainan, and Xiamen we have seen the opportunities that our alliance brings for the expansion of market scale together with international cruise companies, and how our grouping brings fresh momentum for the development of new cruise routes between ACC members,” he added. (PNA)