Cruising for a schmoozing: honour for SA shipping giant
25 September 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916467
SOUTH African cruise line heavyweight, MSC Cruises has received a Certificate of Recognition for its positive contribution to the tourism, shipping and logistics sectors of the region.
The government backed KZN Investment Awards recognise local and international businesses that have displayed a commitment to economic growth and job creation in the province.
“MSC Cruises is honoured to be recognised by the KZN government in this way,” said 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.”
He added that an important element of a flourishing tourism sector for the KZN province is the construction of the new Durban port terminal that the company had been involved in.
As part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC), MSC Cruises has invested over R200 million in this project.
It is hoped that the new multi-user terminal will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development after it opens by January 2021.
Volk said MSC Cruises had seen a significant growth locally in cruising tourism over the past year, with a 25% increase in guest numbers over their most recent cruise season compared to the 2017/2018 season.
“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.
“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.”
He said this growth in the cruising sector had prompted the company to decide to bring two ships to South Africa 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, bringing the cruising experience to an additional 50,000 passengers.
To cater to the new jobs required by this expansion and the wider global cruise market, MSC Cruises, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, will be opening its Shosholoza Ocean Academy in November 2019. It 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 get 3 000 to 5 000 new placements from South Africa over the next five years, which the company said would bring around R5 billion in salaries back to South Africa.