DURBAN CONTINUES to be the tourism destination of choice for many -both locally and internationally.
This fact was further enhanced by MSC Cruises SA, who this week was honoured by the KwaZulu Natal Government for the role it played in the construction of the new Durban port terminal, amongst others.
For their unwavering support and efforts MSC Cruises was presented withCertificate of Recognition for positive contribution to the tourism, shipping and logistics sectors of the region for its investment and commitment to the province.
The KZN Investment Awards recognise local and international businesses that have displayed a commitment to economic growth and job creation in the province.
As part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC), MSC Cruises has invested over R200 million in the project- the multi-user, state-of-the-art terminal that will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development.
It will be operational by January 2021.
“MSC Cruises is honoured to be recognised by the KZN government in this way,” says Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa. “As a company, we are committed to seeing tourism flourish in this country, as we know it is a key component of job creation and economic prosperity for South Africa.”
The growth in the cruising sector convinced MSC Cruises to bring two ships to South Africa’s shores for the 2020/2021 cruise season, marking the first time that two MSC Cruises’ ships will be deployed in the country simultaneously. It will mean that one ship will be homeported in Durban for the entire season, and that an additional 50,000 cruise passengers can discover why cruising in South Africa is booming.
The Cruise in mzansi has seen a significant growth in the cruising tourism over the past year, with a 25% increase in guest numbers over most recent cruise season compared to the 2017/2018 season.
During his address to members of the press Volk, noted that most of their market is drawn from Johannesburg.
In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, the company will be opening its Shosholoza Ocean Academy in November 2019, which will provide free three-month training courses for young South Africans who qualify through MSC Cruises’ medical requirements.
Those who successfully complete the course will be eligible to be employed on MSC Cruises’ ships across the world. MSC Cruises plans to place 3 000 to 5 000 new cadets from South Africa over the next five years, which will bring around R5 billion in salaries back to South Africa.
This is a vote of confidence for tourism in the City and the province in its entirety, in that jobs, especially youth stand to benefit significantly.
A game-changer in the world of cruises, the Switzerland based company has achieved 800% growth in its first ten years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea.
MSC Cruises has been bringing bigger and better ships to this country and enriching our itineraries as more South Africans are realising that a cruise is an affordable, convenient and exciting holiday option,” says Volk- fluent in isiZulu.
“This has knock-on benefits for the tourism sector for each of the cities we cruise to, particularly Durban, as most of our cruises depart from this port. These benefits are of course enhanced by increased passenger volumes”.
Both KZN and Durban Tourism representatives did not provide commentary at the time of publishing.