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Cruise tourism in Africa : Changing the travel paradigm

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Cruise tourism in Africa : Changing the travel paradigm

The cruise tourism market, rapidly rebounding after the health crisis, presents a lucrative opportunity for the African tourism sector. This opportunity entails offering attractive destinations to diversify revenue sources.

Enhancing cruise tourism infrastructure in Africa

In recent years, African tourist sites have taken significant steps to diversify their tourism offerings, moving away from solely relying on safari tourism. Consequently, many are focusing on developing a cruise tourism industry expected to rebound fully by the end of 2025. Countries across the continent are increasing their investments in this sector, anticipating it to be a significant driver of their economy, with a global revenue projection of 15.1 billion USD by 2028.

Kenya is among these countries, with the inauguration of a new cruise terminal in Mombasa that can host several ships each month. Peninah Malonza, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism in Kenya, reports that visitors injected over 800,000 USD into the local economy last December. Kenyan authorities also anticipate the arrival of more cruise ships from various companies at the terminal, which offers duty-free shops and restaurants. « Cruise tourists are a crucial element of our tourism industry, » asserts John Ololtuaa, Principal Secretary of the country’s tourism department.

Cruise tourism in the Indian Ocean

The Seychelles is another African destination that is making significant investments in its cruise infrastructure. According to the agency, the Seychelles Port Authority has inaugurated a new passage for the seasons, providing visitors to the archipelago with a safer entry and exit point.

To enhance passenger reception in Port Louis, Mauritius has decided to construct a 7,500 m² cruise terminal capable of accommodating up to 4,000 passengers by 2023. It is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and this terminal aims to position the country as a hub for the African islands of the Indian Ocean. Undoubtedly, this infrastructure will establish Port Louis as a world-class cruise destination in the Indian Ocean.

Kenya and the Seychelles are seeking to replicate the success of South Africa, particularly Cape Town, in the cruise tourism sector. Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro, the official tourism promotion agency of Cape Town, estimates that this sector generates approximately 16.4 million USD for the local economy. The current cruise season, ending in May, is expected to see nearly 250,000 travelers pass through its terminal.

Cruise tourism infrastructure in Africa

« It is essential to have adequate infrastructure to support the arrival and departure of large cruise ships, including a deep-water port and terminal facilities, » emphasized Stander, referring to the cruise terminal designated as the best in Africa in 2022.

In recent years, Cape Town has been among the many South African ports that have strengthened their presence in the cruise sector. In November 2021, Durban inaugurated a new terminal featuring commercial spaces and facilities for conferences and meetings.

Cruise tourism industry in Africa in figures

  • Revenue from the cruise market in Africa is projected to reach 149.10 million USD in 2024.
  • The market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 8.64 %.
  • By 2028, online sales are expected to contribute 20 % of total cruise market revenue.
  • Internationally, the United States is expected to be the main contributor to cruise market revenue, with projected revenue of 1.5 billion USD in 2024.

Source : https://www.silversea.com/fr/destinations/croisieres-ocean-indien-afrique.html

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