The cruise industry has done great things for the Garden Route economy. Image: canva

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Cruise industry boosts Garden Route tourism

The Western Cape’s cruise tourism industry has significantly boosted tourism growth in Garden Route towns like Mossel Bay.

04-07-24 11:54
The cruise industry has done great things for the Garden Route economy. Image: canva

Cruises promotes small town

The Garden Route’s Mossel Bay has seen increased activity in terms of tourism due to the impressive growth of the Western Cape’s cruise tourism industry.

According to Tourism Update, the 2023/24 cruise season, which recently closed at the end of May, saw 65 ships visiting, attracting an estimated 90 000 two-way passengers to the Garden Route.

This has translated to a boon for the regions economy, with the coastal town of Mossel Bay seeing 26 scheduled visits this past season, bringing in over 16 000 tourists who generated approximately R3 million for the town’s economy.

Lieschke Steven-Jennings, COO of Mossel Bay Tourism, said that the arrival of these cruise ships in Mossel Bay was a joy to behold but, more importantly, an invaluable part of promoting the town’s stellar rise on international tourism maps.

“Building key relationships during this time was vital to the success of cruise tourism for our area. Contributing to the allure is the overall growth and products on offer in Mossel Bay. It is no longer a small sail-by coastal town but fast becoming one of the favourite destinations to anchor,” Steven-Jennings as per Tourism Update.


In other cruise industry news, after an incredible summer season done and dusted on the MSC Splendida, which saw close to 120 000 passengers, MSC Cruises South Africa’s managing director Ross Volk has said that they were eagerly anticipating the return of the newly-renovated MSC Musica to South Africa for the next season.

According to Bizcommunity, Volk said that the current trends were looking positive, with many South Africans seeing cruising as the best value proposition for holidaying because of its’ all-inclusive price for a unique experience.

“Cruising is not just great value, it’s also increasingly being seen as a way to experience destinations in a new way, to get under the skin of the locals, so to speak,” Volk said.

“This emphasis on experience is particularly a mark of Generation X and Millennials, who are turning towards cruising in greater numbers.” he added.