Dedicated cruise-liner infrastructure could serve as a platform upon which further port facilities can be developed. This could have a beneficial impact, not only on the port city, but the national economy, through an increase in maritime trade and cruise tourism.
The V&A Waterfront has been awarded preferred bidder status by the Transnet National Ports Authority for an estimated R179-million investment that will cover the construction and operation of a dedicated cruise terminal.
DA shadow minister of tourism, James Vos, told delegates attending the Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference, THINC Africa, “… we must continue to invest in products and infrastructure that ensure our country’s tourism landscape remains innovative and attractive to visitors.”
Vos said some of these investments would be directed to niche sectors with high growth potential such as the cruise industry, “which also generates significant spillover economic benefits for ground handling services, bunkering, and ship repair. It is also an example of public-private partnership to diversify product offerings and pursue new avenues of growth.”
According to Vos, the global growth in outbound tourism had presented South Africa with a “magnificent window of opportunity” but “growth potential does not just happen because conditions are favourable – we have to work together to make it happen.” The cruise industry is big business with conservative estimates set at about 10 000 visitors to the province each year, generating around R200m for the local economy.
“The V&A Waterfront’s vision for the cruise terminal is to scale the retail offering up or down in response to demand, in addition to baggage handling services, immigration desks and infrastructure and customs facilities. Plans for upgrades to the existing facility are currently being finalised,” he said.
“Dedicated cruise-liner infrastructure could also serve as a platform upon which further port facilities can be developed. This could have a beneficial impact, not only on the port city, but the national economy, through an increase in maritime trade and cruise tourism.”
Source: HVS SA and THINC Africa.