CS Najib Balala launches UK co-funded Mombasa Cruise Terminal development

Cruise terminal Mombasa launch
Najib Balala at the launch of the state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa. Photo: Twitter/tunajibu

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala was at the ground breaking ceremony of the first ever cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa port.

The project, which will cost Ksh 350 million ($2 million), is jointly funded by UKaid supported TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) who will provide $1 million each.

Witnessing the launch of the construction which will develop ultra-modern cruise ship terminal facilities at berth 1 alongside CS Balala were H.E. Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa County Governor), David Stanton (TMEA Director General), Lisa Karanja (Senior Director, Business Competitiveness), Ahmed Farah (Kenya Country Director) and Catherine Mturi-Wairi (KPA Managing Director).

“With the Government’s commitment and investment in developing cruise tourism in the country, the cruise tourism industry can achieve its potential and contribute to the creation of employment opportunities.

“We thank TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) for their generous support”

– CS Najib Balala

Travel services or tourism is a key services area for the country, and a priority in Vision 2030.

Najib Balala Port of Mombasa
Najib Balala speaking at the launch of cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa. Photo: Twitter/tunajibu

Today, cruise tourism is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing segment of the leisure industry worldwide, generating $38 billion in 2015 alone.

“The upgrading of the cruise ship terminal facilities will not only sell Kenya abroad as the main tourist destination in East and Central Africa, but will also increase the number of tourists in the country.

“These and other developments taking place at the Mombasa port will position us as the choice port to serve this region”

– Catherine Mturi-Wairi, KPA Managing Director

Currently, the Port of Mombasa has been attracting a growing number of tourists sailing along the Indian Ocean rim.

Port of Mombasa Cruise terminal
A model of the future cruise terminal at Port of Mombasa. Photo: Twitter/tunajibu

5 vessels called at the Port in 2015, bringing over 5,000 passengers to the region. This is a major comeback after piracy setbacks discouraged cruise lines from the Mombasa port for the previous five years.

“Tourism is critical to the economy of the country with the potential to impact a large number of the poor and women, directly and indirectly, representing over 500,000 jobs in the country.

“Tourism currently contributes 10.5% to the Country’s GDP and is projected to grow at 5% per annum up to the year 2025. We are excited by the growth of the sector and its enormous potential.

“This fits well with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) vision of improved prosperity through creation of sustainable jobs” – David Stanton, TMEA Director General

TMEA in partnership with Ministry of Tourism has committed to support a Consultancy Study to prepare a comprehensive Tourism Development Strategy for Kenya up to the year 2030 at a cost of $200k.

The primary focus of the strategy will be Kenya, and will involve a diagnosis of the tourism industry as a whole including assessing and reviewing the existing Vision 2030 Tourism Sector Plan and implementation framework, reviewing the institutional framework, undertaking a Tourism Supply and Demand side analysis, Tourism Product delivery, Tourism Sector and Product performance and competitiveness, Kenya Tourism Strategy 2030, Implementable Road Map, and Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.

Najib Balala at Port of Mombasa
Najib Balala and David Stanton at the launch of cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa. Photo: Twitter/tunajibu

Cruise tourism has huge potential in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Under the Indian Ocean Cruise Tourism circuit, the region is yet to tap the potential of Cruise tourism which can serve as a critical engine for economic development, trade in services, job creation and poverty alleviation.

The attractive beaches, safari parks and other diverse tourist attractions in the region offer a perfect opportunity for the growth of both inbound and outbound cruise tourists.

Promoting cruise tourism will however require not only world class facilities and infrastructure to receive cruise ships and passengers but also development of products, marketing and joint efforts under the Indian Cruise Tourism circuit.


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