The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) has expressed excitement at the potential the Nelson Mandela Cruise Terminal can present for South Africa’s cruise tourism sector.
This follows the inauguration of terminal by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal recently.
TGCSA Chief quality assurance officer Bronwen Auret believes that these new developments to cruise tourism in the country can bring value to the industry’s economic chain, and that it has a lot of growth potential.
“At the moment, South Africa is said to have less than 1% of the global share of cruising and as such, South Africans generally don't have a culture of cruising,” she said.
“This presents a great opportunity for SA Tourism and all tourism stakeholders to not only showcase the exceptional value for money matched with a variety of experiences on board, but it also allows us to work closely with provinces and products on the ground to bring forward our breathtaking hidden gems in and around the coastal cities for cruise passengers to enjoy.”
The Nelson Mandela MSC Cruise Terminal was launched in Durban ahead of the South Africa’s 2023-24 cruise season and speaking at the inaugural event, the president highlighted that the global cruise tourism market is worth an estimated 174 billion USD.
Ramaphosa added that alongside the Cape Town, Durban is perfectly placed as a destination of choice for cruise ships.
“Port cruise terminals provide a multi-modal connectivity to the region and the rest of the world, thus contributing to the growth of the tourism industry,” Ramaphosa said at the inauguration.
He added at the event, that as more cruise liners visit Durban, more tourists will inevitably come.
“As part of their homeport itineraries, passengers visit local attractions, shop and spend, and more money is injected into the local economy,” said Ramaphosa.
“As a result, more jobs are created for South Africans and more local businesses supported, especially small businesses,” said Ramaphosa.
Also commenting on the launch of the cruise terminal, MSC Cruises South Africa managing director Ross Volk said that they are fully committed to help drive the country’s tourism industry.
He added that the cruise line were also determined to create employment opportunities and that this will have a positive economic impact on the nation as a whole.