Tourism promotion agency Wesgro’s Cruise Cape Town project is optimistic about the 2022/23 cruise ship season, which kicks off in October.
Wesgro confirms that 104 ship visits have already been booked to dock at the Port of Cape Town, made up of 26 cruise ships, carrying more than 195 000 visitors in total.
The preceding cruise season of 2021/22 was set to be the “restart” season for the South African cruise industry, but remained constrained owing to travel bans in various parts of the world.
Only 16 ship visits, made up of 12 cruise ships, were conducted in the 2021/22 season, down from an originally scheduled 32 ship visits.
V&A Waterfront CEO David Green says it is an exciting time for the tourism sector in the province, as a number of recent indicators show pent-up travel demand finally being unleashed in a surge of bookings.
“Cruise ships are a crucial part of the Western Cape tourism sector, injecting millions into the economy each year, and boosting investment into Cape Town and the Western Cape.”
Wesgro says passengers spend about R100-million a year during port visits.
Green continues, highlighting the importance of the Cape Town cruise stopover to the tourism sector.
“The resumption of cruises this year, while largely local, is a positive direction to a full recovery with real prospects of us returning to our pre-Covid-19 growth with international travellers later this year.
“We have successfully integrated the Cruise Terminal into our service amenities such as hotels, attractions and retail offerings and we are eagerly looking forward to showcasing the best the waterfront has to offer,” he explains.