File photo: The world's top five cruise liner giants have all made forays into the Chinese market.

Beijing - China looks set to be the largest cruise tourism market in the Asia Pacific region as marine tourism gains steam among domestic travellers.

China's cruise liner ports reported 629 cruise liners leave for trips in 2015, up 35 percent, with cross-border cruise travellers up 44 percent, according to Li Shihong, deputy head with China National Tourism Administration.

The world's top five cruise liner giants have all made forays into the Chinese market, helping China to become the largest and most dynamic cruise tourism market in the Asia Pacific region, Li explained during a conference on cruise tourism cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macaw.

The government is looking to develop cruise tourism, with ports at Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao as important bases, according to Li.

South China's largest cruise liner home port Prince Bay in Shenzhen opened on Saturday, which can support cruise liners with up to 220 000 tons of displacement.

Xinhua