Kenya’s tourism stakeholders have expressed optimism about the growth of cruise tourism next season which begins in September.
The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Coast Executive Director Sam Ikwaye said the arrival of six cruise ships at the Kenyan coast is a sign of confidence for the destination.
Ikwaye said the current season, which started on September 2017 and is coming to an end in March has been able to bring in over 4,747 high-end tourists at the Kenya coast through the Indian Ocean.
Since October 2017, a total of six cruise vessels have docked at the port, with international guests from Britain, United States, Canada and other nationalities.
“When cruise liners come to your destination, it brings in two things; the high-end tourist who spend good money on their arrival and gives the destination an endorsement,” said Ikwaye.
He spoke at the port of Mombasa after receiving, MS Isgnia with 1,066 tourists, which includes 680 passengers and 386 crew members. They are from Zanzibar heading to Seychelles.
He urged Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to finish up the cruise ship terminal in the record time in readiness for the next season and Mombasa County government should ensure a clean city and supporting infrastructure for the cruise ship tourism.
“We are now asking KPA and the Mombasa County government to put up supporting infrastructure to support cruise ship tourism. We need good roads and cleaner city,” he said.
Kenya Ports Authority Head of Corporate Communication, Bernard Osero said this season has been the best in the recent years.
KPA management is working round the clock to finish the construction of the 4.5 million U.S. dollars state-of-the-art, world-class cruise ship terminal at berth number one.
The new terminal will have state-of-the-art security features, an immigration center, a hotel and accommodation facility and other social amenities.
Osero said they are sure that the terminal, which allows simultaneous berthing of two Oasis-class cruise ships (world largest passenger ships), will be completed by July.