On Friday January 18 2019 both the MS Queen Elizabeth and the MSC Musica luxury cruise liners docked at the Cape Town harbour. The City warmly welcomed the vessels and their passengers, as well as the various economic opportunities they bring with them.

In recent years, the Mother City has had the pleasure of receiving numerous cruise ships. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Assets Management, Alderman James Vos, visited the ships to personally welcome them in on behalf of the City.

The Queen Elizabeth cruise liner is no stranger to Cape shores and has a carrying capacity of 2 068 passengers and 996 crew members.

The MSC Musica meanwhile has 1 268 passenger cabins which can accommodate 2 550 passengers in double occupancy, and is served by about 990 crew members.

“Cape Town is fast becoming the preferred port of call for inbound and outbound international cruise travellers to South Africa. We had the honour of welcoming the Aida Aura from her world cruise last week and she was carrying 1 200 passengers and 390 crew members. Today, we welcome two cruise liners who have collectively brought in over 4 000 visitors to our shores. We trust they will enjoy the day in Cape Town and take time out to visit some of the city’s world-class tourist attractions,” said Vos on Friday.

The cruise industry has experienced significant growth year-on-year, from just 6 050 passengers arriving from various cruise ships in 2012, to 29 269 passengers in 2016, to 31 035 passengers in 2017. During the 2016/17 cruise season, approximately 19 vessels visited the Cape Town harbour. There is also a significant increase in local cruising along the South African coastline.

Cruise tourism makes a substantial contribution not only to the city’s economy but the South African economy at large.

“This sector has the potential to grow even further with huge economic spin-offs for the city and its residents. I will work with our tourism partners and the V&A Waterfront to promote the city as a destination of choice globally for cruise tourism. For every 12 tourists visiting our shores, one job is created. We will continue to invest in tourism programmes and projects that drive demand and make business sense, as tourism sustains about 150 000 jobs in Cape Town,” said Vos.

The recent construction of a dedicated cruise terminal, funded by the V&A Waterfront, has proven to be a worthwhile venture and is already showing a massive return on investment, with the cruise liner industry offering enormous potential growth for the tourism sector in Cape Town.

On average, tourists spend between R501 and R1 000 in the Mother City daily (excluding accommodation).

The average spend of an international tourist per trip is R8 400 during their time in Cape Town and R10 600 that they spend before arriving on our shores.

The domestic average spend per trip is R1 280 and can be broken down as follows by purpose of travel:

– R2 780 for business purposes

– R2 290 for holiday visitors

– R1 740 for medical expenses

– R890 when visiting friends and relatives.

Figures from Cape Town Tourism indicate that the projected value of the cruise tourism industry between 2017 and 2027 is estimated to be in the region of R220-billion.

Councillor James Vos also said that the cruise industry has the potential to provide substantial economic benefits. These economic benefits arise from a number of sources such as the spending power by cruise passengers and crew, the shoreside staffing by cruise liners for tour operations, the spending by cruise liners for goods and services necessary for cruise operations, and the spending for port services and maintenance.

“Based on the number of confirmed bookings for the 2019/20 cruise season, we can already see a dramatic increase in the number of vessels due to visit our port and city,” added Vos.


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