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Cape Town could get R2.2m tourism boost from Queen Mary 2

Jan 26 2018 10:20
Carin Smith

Cape Town - The Queen Mary 2 ocean liner sailed into Cape Town harbour on Friday morning for a quick one-day stopover.

If past research is anything to go by, Cape Town's tourism sector could gain a R2.2m boost.

The giant luxury ship boasts 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a full-size theatre, a casino, a spa, a 3D cinema, a planetarium and a very large dance floor.

Lavish nightly balls are hosted with a live orchestra.

Should you be lucky enough to stay in one of the Queen's Grill Suites, a personal butler will see to your every request.

Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Fin24 that cruise ships bring thousands of visitors to the city each year and that means new money flowing into a variety of tourism related businesses.

"The Queen Mary 2 has been here before and this return visit is a strong indication that Cape Town retrains its appeal at the top end of the international tourism market and that is very positive for now and the future," she told Fin24.

"We hope that the development of the planned cruise ship terminal will bring even more visitors to the city, boost the local economy and create jobs. One of the best things about the Queen Mary 2 and the other ships like her, is that they bring their own water. We hope they will leave some behind when they resume their voyage."

According to Western Cape official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency Wesgro, the Queen Mary 2's visit to the Mother City is great news for tourism in the region.

"It is estimated that tourism supports over 300 000 jobs - direct, indirect and induced - across the province, and contributed nearly R40bn to the provincial economy," Wesgro told Fin24 on Thursday.

"Tourism is, therefore, vital for our economy."

Wesgro urged all tourists who arrive in Cape Town to abide by water restrictions, to ensure that Day Zero is pushed back.

"We thank all those who are currently visiting and exploring our beautiful province who are already enthusiastically doing so,” the agency said.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy told Fin24 it is encouraging that the luxury cruise ship market is alive and well in Cape Town.

He pointed out that, on a global scale, the market has burgeoned over the past 17 years from about five million passengers to more than 20 million.

"Having a vessel as renowned as the Queen Mary 2 berth locally is of great benefit to the city since cruise ship passengers and crew contribute to the tourism economy," said Duminy.

Figures for Cape Town show that the industry has grown from 6 050 passengers in 2012 to 14 754 passengers in 2013, climbing to 29 269 in 2016. The year 2017 is set to represent further growth as passenger figures currently stand on 28 845, excluding the passengers for November and December - traditionally good months for cruise arrivals.

A 2011 City of Cape Town report found that cruise ships carrying around 2 000 passengers result in spending to the value of R2.2m per day.

According to Duminy, this kind of economic boost is exactly what is needed to enhance the city’s infrastructure.

"We welcome our visitors ashore to explore Cape Town’s attractions, and trust that they’ll join locals in playing their part to save water while in the city,” he said.

Cruise season

The arrival in Cape Town of the luxurious Queen Mary 2 marks the peak of a strong cruise season for the Monther City, according to the Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde.

A total of 1 546 passengers on board the Queen Mary 2 are expected to disembark in Cape Town.

Another 11 ships are expected to dock in the city between now and the close of the season on 24 April. These include the Costa Neo, the Silver Cloud, the Seven Seas Navigator and the Queen Elizabeth.

Last year over 31 000 passengers and 15 000 crew arrived in Cape Town on board cruise ships.

Winde said business modelling shows that the cruise ship industry could be worth R220bn between 2017 and 2027. Traditionally, the cruise season runs from October to April, and so far this season, 14 671 passengers have disembarked in Cape Town.

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.

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cape town  |  travel and leisure  |  tourism  |  cruise
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