Derek Hanekom. Picture: GCIS
Derek Hanekom. Picture: GCIS

The department of tourism plans to co-ordinate the development of a strategy to maximise cruise tourism in the country.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question by DA MP Greg Krumbock, tourism minister Derek Hanekom said the strategy would aim to ensure more cruise liners docked for longer periods at the country’s ports.

Another aim would be to leverage economic spin-offs for tour operators, hotels, game reserves, lodges and attractions and related industries. Collaboration with neighbouring destinations along SA’s two coasts would be sought.

The development of cruise tourism would promote the growth of the tourism sector and related products such as wine outlets, jewellery and arts and crafts in close proximity of arrival facilities, Hanekom said. It would also create opportunities to support trained chefs through an incubator programme to establish and run their own restaurants.

Hanekom said all relevant stakeholders — port cities, provinces, harbour authorities, local tourism authorities and tourism associations — would be involved in the development of the cruise tourism maximisation strategy.

Cape Town has a cruise liner terminal at the V&A Waterfront and in 2018 state-owned transport operator Transnet announced the construction of a R200m cruise-ship terminal facility in Durban by the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) company.

KCT and Transnet National Ports Authority concluded an agreement in April for a 25-year concession project to finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer the terminal.

KCT is a joint venture between investment company Africa Armada Consortium and MSC Cruises SA, a subsidiary of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. Operations are expected to begin with the start of the 2020-21 cruise season in October 2020.

The new infrastructure is expected to see cruise calls rise from 60 to more than 150 a year, which should see passenger numbers grow from 200,000 to more than 700,000 by 2040.