Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde on cruise ship season
The arrival in Cape Town today of the luxurious Queen Mary ocean liner marks the peak of a strong cruise season for Cape Town.
The Queen Mary, operated by Cunard, is arguably the world’s most famous liner. She will spend Friday night in Cape Town before departing again on Saturday January 27.
A total of 1546 passengers on board the Queen Mary will disembark to enjoy Cape Town’s hospitality.
Another 11 ships are expected to dock in Cape Town between now and the close of the season on 24 April- including the Costa Neo, the Silver Cloud, the Seven Seas Navigator and the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2, affectionately known as the QE2.
Last year over 31 000 passengers and 15 000 crew arrived in Cape Town on board cruise ships.
Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said: “We are delighted that Cape Town is becoming a regular fixture on the Queen Mary’s route”.
“Our focus with Project Khulisa is creating as many tourism jobs and opportunities as possible. Our business modelling shows that the cruise ship industry could be worth R220 billion between 2017 and 2027. This is a substantial contribution to our economy. Traditionally, the cruise season runs from October to April, and so far this season, 14 671 passengers have disembarked in Cape Town,” Minister Winde said.
The Cruise Lines International Association industry report released this week shows interesting trends in cruising behaviour. The report indicates that people from all income levels are now looking to cruising for their holidays. Cruising is also no longer seen as catering just for older markets- with almost a quarter of millennial respondents in the survey indicating that they had cruised at some point in the previous three years.
The survey also indicates that many see cruising as a way to sample holiday destinations for future vacations.
“Passengers might only disembark in our city for a day or two, but we know that they are using the opportunity to window shop for future holiday destinations, and Cape Town is ready to impress”.
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the arrival of cruise-ship season is great news for tourism sector in the Cape. “The Queen Mary ocean liner’s arrival today shows that Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business. It is estimated that tourism supports over 300,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) across the province, and contributed nearly R40 billion to the provincial economy. Tourism is therefore vital for our economy. Wesgro urges all tourists who arrive in Cape Town to abide by water restrictions, so that we can ensure that we push back Day Zero. We thank all those visitors who are already enthusiastically doing so.”
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044