NELSON MANDELA BAY TOURISM TO HARNESS BENEFITS OF GROWING CRUISE LINER TOURISM
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) joined the welcome of the first cruise liner for the 2017/18 season into our port this morning, 13 November 2017 with the docking of MS Albastros. Approximately 650 passengers and 340 crew members will have the opportunity to disembark and enjoy a wide variety of the destinations attractions and offerings.
Nelson Mandela Bay wowed passengers as a school of dolphins ushered in the vessel, showcasing why the destination is known as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World. MS Albatros Captain Robert Fronenbroek announced the sighting to passengers allowing them to be awed by the marine species which inhabit Algoa Bay.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, Ms Mandlakazi Skefile reiterated, “Cruise liner tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the tourism industry. It is particularly significant for South Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay, as the cabinet accepted The Coastal and Marine Implementation Plan in 2017. This gives raise to the important part the sector plays in marine and maritime tourism and aligning itself to the agenda of Operation Phakisa.”
There are 20 passenger liners heading to Nelson Mandela Bay for the cruise liner season of 2017/18 with last docking being MS Queen Elizabeth who brings in 2 547 passengers on the 21 April 2017. Last year there were 18 passenger liners who visited our shores and therefore the new season brings an additional two vessels, whilst for the 2018/19 season 8 dockings have already been confirmed and the numbers are still to increase.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism offers a hospitality desk onboard allowing passengers access to destination information upon arrival and offering last minute bookings should passengers not have pre-booked excursions. Popular excursion includes Addo Elephant National Park, Route 67 as well as craft and heritage routes.
The National Department of Tourism has advised that the coastal and marine sector will contribute about R21.4 billion to the GDP and create about 116 000 direct jobs by 2026, thus reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment, while contributing to sustainable livelihoods and development.