The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) operated Ports of Durban, Cape Town, and Elizabeth have been nominated for the Africa & Indian Ocean segment of the 25th annual World Travel Awards in the category of “Africa’s Leading Cruise Port 2018”.
Founded in 1993, the World Travel Awards seek to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Global travel and tourism industry leaders will be recognized at the various World Travel Awards gala ceremonies, with Durban hosting the Africa and Indian Ocean segment for the third time.
TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge, said, “To have been nominated for the annual World Travel Awards is a huge honor for TNPA. It means that the work we have put into positioning Durban and Cape Town as stimulus cruise home ports is being recognized, while the Port of Port Elizabeth is also taking its rightful place on the map for luxury world cruise tourism.”
South Africa’s growth as a cruise destination sees its ports increasingly featured on the itineraries of luxury cruise line operators. Annual escalations in the number of visitors and liners have increased tourism development, job creation, skills development and supplier development.
TNPA recently finalized its Terminal Operator Agreement with Kwa Zulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT) for the design, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of the new Cruise Terminal Facility in the Port of Durban. Durban is one of the busiest ports in Africa and is the leading port in the SADC region serving as the premier trade gateway between South-South trade, Far East trade, Europe & USA, East & West Africa regional trade. Durban is used as a home port by MSC Cruises, which will introduce its MSC MUSICA vessel on the route in the 2018/19 season, following remarkable success with MSC SINFONIA sailing regionally over the last few years.
The Port of Cape Town’s location on the southern tip of the African continent near the Table Mountains has made it popular with cruise liners and global cargo holders. Further growth prospects are anticipated at the Port of Cape Town as the V&A Waterfront (Pty) Ltd was granted a concession from TNPA in 2015 for operation, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the Cape Town passenger terminal back to TNPA after a period of 20 years.
Port Elizabeth in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality provides a big boost for the local economy during the cruise season, allowing tourists on stopovers to access tourism, leisure and wildlife experiences in and around the Metro. One of the highlights of this cruise season was the visit of the Queen Mary 2, the biggest passenger vessel to have visited the port.
Public voting for the title continues until midnight on August 19, 2018, with the gala awards ceremony taking place on October 6, 2018 at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center.