Neighbourhood News Update: V&A Waterfront’s Cape Town Cruise Terminal is Africa’s best

V & A Waterfront’s Cape Town Cruise Terminal is Africa’s best

Cruise tourism injects R1.2 billion into Western Cape Economy – Wesgro study

The Cape Town Cruise Terminal has scooped the Africa’s Leading Cruise Port 2023 prize at the World Travel Awards, an accolade that recognises the best travel, tourism, and hospitality brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

“The cruise ship industry is an important part of Cape Town’s ocean economy and of our city’s proud maritime heritage. As beautiful as Cape Town is, if a cruise passenger’s experience on arrival is unpleasant, it can affect their entire perception of the city,” says David Green, V&A Waterfront CEO.

“From international experience we know that the cruise line industry offers enormous potential for tourism growth, and are determined to extend the world-class experience the V&A Waterfront is known for to the Cruise Terminal.”

According to a recent Wesgro economic impact study for the 2022/23 cruise season, cruise tourism injected an estimated R1.2 billion into the Western Cape economy between November 2022 and May 2023, marking the biggest cruise season the Cape Town Cruise Terminal has seen to date. For every 30 arriving cruise passengers, the Western Cape cruise industry created one full-time job. This resulted in a total of 1 800 local jobs being created during the 2022/23 season alone.

Wrenelle Stander, Wesgro CEO and spokesperson for Cruise Cape Town, says: “We are delighted that the Cape Town Cruise Terminal has been recognised with this prestigious award. The Western Cape cruise industry is growing and together with our partners, we look forward to a sustainable and responsible future for the tourism industry and South Africa as a whole, as we anticipate even greater achievements in the seasons to come.”

International visitor spending recorded an excess of R612 million, compared to local visitor expenditure of R132 million over the same period, with cruise lines contributing over R648 million to the Western Cape economy, according to the Wesgro study. An overwhelming 63% of cruise passengers said they would revisit a destination they had encountered through cruise tourism.

The Cruise Terminal was first announced eight years ago, when the Transnet National Ports Authority named the V&A Waterfront as the preferred bidder to develop and manage the city’s cruise terminal for multiple use to ensure year-round activity.  By 2018, the Waterfront had completed two phases of development and upgrades to the cruise terminal building and was ready to unveil Makers Landing, a R63-million investment, in partnership with the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund to support Cape Town thriving food community with a kitchen incubator and food hub, in which small food entrepreneurs could prosper and grow their businesses. An additional that introduces cruise visitors to the best of the city’s food talents as they set foot onto dry land.