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Wednesday Dec 19, 2012

Home port status could net Cape Town billions

If Cape Town became a home port for cruise ships, this could generate R4 billion a year and create thousands of jobs.

This is according to a report by the national Department of Tourism on the socio-economic implications of promoting the international cruise liner industry in South Africa.

Cruise ship MSC Opera in Cape Town harbour.

A new terminal would allow Cape Town to benefit as a home port.

Grant Pascoe, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said one of the benefits of new terminals would be an increase in the number of people taking cruises.

"We would welcome new docks in the city," he said.

"People taking these cruises pay top dollar and its usually older folk who take cruises.

"There are plans to improve terminals and we want to increase the number of people coming in."

Pascoe added that the national government was responsible for the country's harbours.

Cape Town and Durban were identified as the most likely candidates to become home port destinations, with Richards Bay, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay and Saldanha Bay being ports of call.

It was estimated the potential economic benefits of the cruise industry would range from R1.05bn to R4.79bn a year, with the number of jobs created increasing from 2 228 in 2010 to 4 358 in 2025. The report said there was a limited space in the port, with the need to accommodate the cruise sector and other industries.

A multi-criteria decision analysis determined that a terminal with two berths be built at Duncan Dock.

The V&A Waterfront would be used for smaller cruise ships and in the long term, the Duncan Dock terminal could be converted into conference space, with further terminal development in Granger Bay.

The potential alternative sites identified in the study are Duncan Dock, with the Eastern Mole and Granger Bay identified as potential locations for the terminal and the V&A Waterfront as a back-up location for smaller ships.

A home port would typically need facilities for passenger ticketing and processing, passenger luggage offloading, inspection services (customs, immigration, agriculture and health, security screening points, waiting lounges, duty- free shopping and tourist information centres.)

Cape Argus

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