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The concept of the cruise supply chain and its characteristics: an empirical study of China's cruise industry

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 08:54 authored by Zhou, J, Shu-Ling ChenShu-Ling Chen, Wenming ShiWenming Shi

Purpose: The cruise industry has witnessed steady growth, with passenger volume increasing from 17.8 million in 2009 to 30 million in 2019. In the context of global competition and an uncertain business environment, competition in business has changed dramatically from battles of “firm versus firm” to “supply chain versus supply chain”. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to understand the cruise industry from a chain perspective, which has not drawn widespread research attention.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper brings together the insights, opinions, concepts and frameworks from a literature review of different disciplines (maritime shipping, tourism management, logistics management, operations management and supply chain management) and analysis results from 22 semi-structured interviews to make an early attempt to conceptualise the cruise supply chain (CSC).

Findings: The cruise supply chain is elaborated on the process, the role of each entity and its characteristics by comparing with the maritime supply chain and tourism supply chain. Based on the understanding of the CSC, two specific characteristics of the Chinese CSC are examined, which need further investigation.

Originality/value: The CSC is articulated with detailed processes and characteristics based on the literature review and empirical study. The findings of this paper not only advance the knowledge of the supply chain in the cruise industry but also highlight the importance of further research on the CSC.


Publication title

Maritime Business Review






Australian Maritime College


Emerald Publishing Limited

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2022, Pacific Star Group Education Foundation

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

International sea freight transport (excl. live animals, food products and liquefied gas)

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