Boost for local tourism as cruise ship docks with 895 tourists on board
The government is seeking to make Kenya a cruise tourism hub riding on infrastructure development such as the cruise terminal that has been constructed at the Mombasa Port.
This comes after the third cruise ship, MV World Odyssey with 895 tourists docked at the port Thursday from India.
Within the last two months, Kenya has received 3,000 visitors on board three vessels as the tourism sector continues to post strong recovery after COVID-19 related effects.
Tourism Principal Secretary John Ololtuaa said the development of the terminal was significant with more cruise planners now targeting Kenya within their itineraries.
“This is a clear indicator of the growing interest by cruise companies in our destination and in particular the Coastal region which forms a key component of Kenya’s multi-dimensional tourism product. It also shows that infrastructure development is key for tourism to thrive. The expansion of airports and the road network across the county is critical for tourism to grow and thrive,” said PS Ololtuaa.
According to Ololtuaa, Kenya wants to capitalize on the niche cruise tourism market as part of its diversified tourism marketing strategy.
He also noted that cruise tourists form a crucial part of the tourism industry owing to their high spend thereby generating additional crucial revenue to the destination.
“Cruise tourism is a high value market worth billions of dollars especially for destinations that have invested heavily in the relevant infrastructure as well as marketing their destinations globally. We want to ensure that this segment continues to contribute significantly to Kenya’s tourism sector as well as leverage on this potential by ensuring that we diversify our maritime products,” added Ololtuaa.
The vessel, operated by Semester at Sea, had its maiden call to Kenya in November last year marking a return of cruise ships to the Mombasa Port since the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was followed by the MS Nautica which made its inaugural Kenyan call a month later on the 25th December 2022.
“The return of MV World Odyssey to Magical Kenya shows that the destination has tourism opportunities that suit every visitor who lands here. With the enhanced experiences at the Kenyan Coast and other parts of the destination, we take pride in being able to accommodate global visitors of diverse interests and tastes. We are certain that the voyagers will enjoy their stay here,” said Kenya Tourism Board Ag. CEO John Chirchir.
The tourists are expected to embark on safari and visiting various attraction sites across the country before the ship sets sail for Jordan.