The Cruise Cape Town Initiative – a strategic project housed within Wesgro - welcomes the resumption of Cruise Tourism with the arrival of the MSC Orchestra scheduled to dock on local shores tomorrow morning.
Having made her way from Durban to Port Elizabeth, to dock at Cape Town’s recently revamped terminal, the Mother City and surrounding regions will benefit from the disembarking passengers. The ship is then expected to embark passengers and depart for a 5-night cruise to Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, returning to Cape Town on the 18th of January 2022.
With Cape Town and the Western Cape ready to welcome tourists, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has continued to work in partnership with industry bodies as well as the National Department of Tourism to ensure that the local industry proudly complies with globally aligned COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Through their ‘Destination Readiness' drive, the Western Cape Government together with local municipalities has activated season readiness plans to ensure that tourists can travel safely and with confidence.
Globally, the demand for cruising reflected a 20.5% growth in the last five years, with the Cape Town Cruise Terminal performing exceptionally well with 206 Cruise ships recorded over the last 5 cruise seasons (2015-2019). Vessels which docked at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal during the November 2018-April 2019 cruise season collectively contributed over R2 million in spend from ship crew members. The highest spend was linked to hotels, handling processing, transport and meals for crew members.
“The economic boost to be gained from cruise tourism is massive, holding huge potential to further drive regional tourism, create jobs in both downstream and upstream industries and boost investment into Cape Town and the Western Cape. We welcome the resumption of the cruise season and the promise it holds in positively impacting our local economy,” said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier.
James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities at the City of Cape Town, went on to say: "We will continue to work closely with partners across the public and private sector who share our goal of creating opportunity. A recent example is the official launch of Cruise Cape Town, a partnership between the City of Cape Town, Wesgro, Transnet National Ports Authority, the Western Province Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the V&A Waterfront, and the South African Maritime Safety Authority. The Mother City is fast gaining recognition as a prime destination for cruise liners and we want to capitalise on this. This is a market that has potential for huge economic spin-offs, both in terms of passenger and crew spend, and for maintenance of cruise ships."
Welcoming the arrival David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, added: “MSC’s return gives confidence and good news for the tourism sector that we may still have a cruising season left of our summer. The cruise industry is one of the last sectors to resume operations and we’re excited and ready to safely welcome back local and international guests and crews to Cape Town. We expect that we can look forward to more operators resuming their operations to call into Cape Town for the 2022-2023 season, with a real prospect of us returning to our pre covid growth.”
“Through attracting more cruise ships to the Mother City, other passenger ports in South Africa and on the Continent stand to capitalise on cruise tourism. Despite getting off to a slow start because of COVID regulations and Omicron, the Cruise Cape Town Initiative remains dedicated to promoting and enabling this highly profitable tourism sector in the upcoming months – to benefit our province, the rest of the country and the African continent," concluded Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and official spokesperson for the Cruise Cape Town Initiative.