New solutions for improving the reception of cruise activities in The South-Western Indian Ocean
A study by the Observatory Cities and Port of the Indian Ocean
Comparative survey covering Durban (South Africa), Le Port (Reunion – France), Mombasa (Kenya), Mutsamudu (Comoros), Port-Louis (Mauritius), Toamasina (Madagascar), Victoria (Seychelles)
The offer for cruise products has known quite an evolution in the last three decades. The emergence of world-wide shipping companies, the manufacturing of always more performing and bigger cruise liners along with the development of new marketing strategies have enabled the cruise business to become one of the most dynamic segments in global tourism over the last few years.
Undoubtedly, the two main navigation basins constituted by the Caribbean and the Mediterranean areas have reached a fairly intensive level of exploitation that can still provide growth margins but it could not be compared with the years of tremendous expansion the cruise industry experienced on these historical markets. Even if the level of expansion keeps increasing there, mainly due to the growing world-wide demand, this very expansion offers strong opportunities for developing cruise activities in other navigation basins.
Among these secondary basins, the Western part of the Indian Ocean is positioning itself in order to capture part of this activity. Until recently, the regional market there was mostly operated by the traditional segment of luxury cruises running middle-size ships. The launching of targeted products in the Western Indian Ocean area along with the emergence of new shipping companies in the Indian Ocean environment reveals the existence of potential development for cruises as the emergence of local demand contributes to rooting the activity in the region thus comforting this prospect in the medium term. Nevertheless, geographical, geopolitical and economic constraints lead to adapting the general conditions for receiving cruises on a regional and local scale.
The port cities of Durban, Mombasa, Mutsamudu, Port-Louis, Port-Réunion, Toamasina and Victoria are working in this direction. The development of cruise activities lies with the setting-up of a comparatively homogeneous and coherent package in terms of reception of cruise liners calling and cruise tourists in the town and its hinterland, be the various actors public or private.
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