Developing strategies to boost cruise tourism



Strategies to improve the competitive edge and market share of the eastern and southern African cruise tourism industry within the international cruise business are being developed in a workshop being held at the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA).

The Seychelles Cruise workshop is in line with the African Union’s Maritime Strategy (Aims) 2050 which seeks to exploit Africa’s Blue Economy and a follow up to a recent study on the potential for cruise development in the Port Management Association for Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) region.

It has been organised by the PMAESA in collaboration with Cruise Indian Ocean Association (CIOA), SPA and the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism.

Key speakers were PMAESA secretary general Nozipho Mdawe, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan and Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange.

Also present at the opening ceremony yesterday were chief executives (CEO) of port authorities, tourism boards, cruise operators, stakeholders from within the Indian Ocean Islands and Africa.

Stakeholders involved are working together to deliberate on strategies to market the region as a cruise destination.

Minister Morgan said cruise and super-yacht tourism is characteried by bringing large numbers of people to concentrated areas of the destinations for brief periods.

“This conference seeks to present a case for the development of cruise tourism strategy, spread awareness of sustainable development in cruise tourism, catalyse collaboration across the region and stimulate the strategic implementation of best practices and innovations,” he said.

He said the objective is to strengthen the capacity of PMAESA ports and inland waterways and inner islands for handling cruise ships in the region and to enhance peripheral infrastructure and services by adding value in their supply chain to improve the latter’s productivity, standards, marketability and create increasing spill-overs in our respective economies.

Minister Morgan also elaborated on key areas which include strategies that manage the lifecycle economic impacts and to build frameworks to integrate the ship and shore cruise passengers experience as well as crews.

Minister St Ange said as Seychelles is one of the key promoters of the Blue Economy and the tourism industry depends on that Blue Economy, therefore cruise ships coming to Seychelles is part and parcel of the Blue Economy.

He said Seychelles acts as a bridge between African and Asian ports and countries which creates diversity.

“For us it is the area that offers the biggest diversity possible for cruise shippers, we know that the Caribbean’s have positioned themselves as a region dependent on cruise ships but do they have the diversity that the Indian Ocean, which is the block of Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands and then on to Asia can offer to the World and cruise shippers,” he said.

He also highlighted the ways which Seychelles has been trying to increase the number of cruises which come here through the recent agreement signed by the Vanilla Islands and Costa cruise and the ongoing negotiation with Silver Sea Cruises.

The general manager corporate affairs of Kenya Ports Authority Edward Kamau discussed the role of cruise terminal design in the Indian Ocean emerging markets while the CEO of SPA Col. Andre Ciseau went through the milestones achieved in enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the executive in communication of Toamasina Port Raharimalala Monica Hasina talked about trends and challenges faced in marketing and distribution of cruise tourism destinations.

The approach on cruise tourism strategy by Marseilles was presented by SPA board member Monica Bonvalet, while the matching the shore excursion experience to the aspirations of cruise passengers was deliberated by the director of sales and marketing MSC Cruises South Africa Allan Foggit and the secretary association of African Maritime Administration South Africa Bernad Bobinson-Opuko talked about bench marking of past seatrade conventions and operation ‘Phakisa’.

Today during a brain storming session being attended exclusively by CIOA and PMAESA members, they are expected to come up with a cruise strategy for the Indian Ocean region.

The cruise workshop and the strategy session give way to the CIOA and PMAESA Mid Term Board meetings.

 A cruise ship in Port Victoria. Stakeholders are meeting here to develop strategies to improve the competitive edge and market share of the regional cruise tourism industry within the international cruise business


Source: NATION 6-15-16