SA Cruise News

Cape Town cruise sector expected to inject R220-billion into local economy

Cape Town’s current 2019/2020 cruise season is not only the biggest on record in terms of the number of cruise ships using Cape Town as an embarkation port, but also because of the amount passengers are forecast to spend while ashore.

And it’s only going to get better, according to Alderman James Vos, Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management.

“We are working with our tourism partners and the V&A Waterfront to promote the city as a destination of choice globally for cruise tourism,” said Vos.

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“We have witnessed a steady increase in cruise passenger arrivals, from 47,145 during the 2017/2018 cruise season, to 52,580 during 2018/2019,” he added, in comments published by Fin24.

According to Voss, a cruise ship carrying 2,000 passengers injects around R2-million per day into the local economy (that’s purely passenger spending, and doesn’t include port fees, taxes and ancillary services like bunkering and chandlery).

This season alone (which runs from November to March annually), 30 cruise ships are expected to make 49 port calls in Cape Town, with many of them treating the port as a turnaround destination.

Meanwhile, 32 cruise ships are expected to make 67 port calls during the 2020/2021 cruise season.

The projected value of the cruise tourism industry between 2017 and 2027 is estimated to be in the region of R220-billion, according to Cape Town Tourism.

According to Vos, the increased air connectivity to Cape Town, thanks to the efforts of the Air Access initiative, increased the opportunities for cruise passengers to either join or disembark in the Mother City.

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He added that the dedicated cruise terminal, funded by the V&A Waterfront, helped tap cruise tourism opportunities even more.

The V&A Waterfront invested R59-million in the redevelopment of the Cruise Terminal in 2015 and cruise passenger numbers have been on the rise ever since.

Although a dip was recorded in the 2016/2017 season as a result of the drought, by the close of the 2018/2019 season passenger numbers increased by 19% to 66,601.

For the current cruise season, the 30 cruise ships from 11 cruise lines are expected to bring roughly 100,000 passengers and 30,000 crew to Cape Town.

According to Andre Blaine, the V&A Waterfront’s executive manager marine and industrial, Cape Town is fast becoming known as the “turn-around” port for both inbound and outbound international arrivals and departures.

“Our objective is to become the number one port in Southern Africa for cruise liner business,” he said.

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