SA Cruise News

Cape Town Tourism launches Cruise Cape Town partnership to boost tourism

Cape Town is looking to support the recovery of its cruise sector with a new partnership between key government departments and businesses.

Cape Town Tourism, the city’s destination marketing arm, has partnered with Transnet National Ports Authority, the V&A Waterfront and others to launch Cruise Cape Town, which will aim to bring more cruise lines to the city.

Cape Town, South Africa

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The new initiative is part of a range of measures aimed at supporting the recovery of the city’s tourism sector, which Alderman James Vos, mayoral committee for economic opportunities and asset management, says is hugely important.

“The sector contributed nearly 3%, or R130 billion, to GDP in 2018 and 4.5% of those employed in South Africa worked in the tourism industry, while 113,000 tourism jobs were held in Cape Town in that year,” he told Biz Community.

“And that is not even taking into account the indirect value of tourism to other industries such as retail and manufacturing,” he added.

Cruise Cape Town is a partnership with Wesgro, Transnet National Ports Authority, the Western Province Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the V&A Waterfront, and the South African Maritime Safety.

Cruise ships are scheduled to resume cruising to and from South African ports in November, making this is a critically important time to boost Cape Town’s destination profile in this high value market.

It’s previously been estimated that cruise tourism is worth around R100 million to the local Cape Town economy, which each ship representing several million rands in foreign spending.

Upcoming 2021 cruises from Cape Town in November and December at risk of cancellation

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The launch of Cruise Cape Town is part of the city’s new Tourism for Inclusive Growth plan, which includes several campaigns and strategies that include increasing air connectivity between Cape Town and key overseas markets, and collaborating the the national government for the roll out of a remote work visa, e-visa and other measures.

South Africa’s tourism sector was hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with visitor numbers down by 72.6% in 2020 compared to 2019, while its cruise tourism sector saw the entirety of the 2020/21 cruise season cancelled.

Cruise ships are due to return this year, with several major cruise lines homeporting in Cape Town for the 2021/22 cruise season that runs from November to March, but with COVID-19 remaining high throughout the country, and vaccination proceeding slowly, there’s a growing risk that these cruises might also be cancelled due to travel restrictions imposed by key cruise markets.

The City of Cape Town has urgently appealed to the UK government to remove South Africa from its so-called red list and has similarly appealed to other nations to also review their travel restrictions, particularly for vaccinated travellers.

The UK, Germany, Italy and the United States are key overseas cruise tourism markets for the South African cruise sector.

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