After suffering a tough blow, cruise tourism to South Africa’s shores can now resume after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s move to adjusted alert level 1, and we don’t know who’s more excited – the tourists or the locals! The first ship is scheduled to dock at the Port of Cape Town Cruise Terminal on November 18, 2021.
This is according to a statement by Wesgro, which outlines how ecstatic the Cruise Cape Town initiative is to have Cape Town and South Africa re-join the global cruise scene.
“The reopening of cruise tourism is something we called for as one of several barriers that need to be urgently removed to ensure a successful summer season and provide much-needed relief for the tourism and hospitality sector,” said Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier.
In the same vein, Chief Strategy Officer and official spokesperson for Cruise Cape Town, Labeeqah Schuurman explained that 37 ships are already expected to visit our glistening shores between November 2021 and May 2022. A big win indeed!
The Port of Cape Town, situated at the V&A Waterfront is already gearing up to welcome back visitors with its state-of-the-art cruise terminal, following a R59 million redevelopment.
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said: “It’s been a long wait, and we’re pleased that we will be able to have a cruise season start this year. We’re excited and ready to welcome back international guests and crews to Cape Town and to pick up where we left off in growing this sector of our tourism.”
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management cited some important figures to demonstrate how the city’s cruise industry witnessed significant growth year-on-year: “In 2012, 6 050 passengers arrived on cruise ships to the Mother City and by the 2018-2019 season, this figure reached 52 580,” he said.
“As global markets and industries start to emerge from the pandemic and with tourists itching to travel again, this is a critical time to activate platforms that will re-ignite tourism in Cape Town and make it better than ever,” Alderman Vos adds, stating that this sector has potential to reach greater heights.
The Wesgro statement goes on to explain that the cruise industry holds major economic benefits and opportunities for supporting sectors as well.
“With the growing trend of combining work and leisure, cruise liners are geared to tap into this burgeoning market with Wi-Fi, desks and work-friendly cafes incorporated into liner offerings, ensuring passengers can still do business while enjoying a cruise vacation,” it reads, citing around 30 million passengers which helped generate $72 billion in direct cruise sector revenue at destinations around the globe in 2019 alone.