The rapid growth of South Africa’s cruise ship sector presents a golden opportunity for superyachts, with new coastal infrastructure likely to benefit the entire marine tourism industry.

So says Veda Pretorius, director of Superyacht Cape Town which actively promotes South Africa as a global superyacht destination.

Pretorius sees huge potential benefit in recent efforts to create new cruise ship itineraries and upgrade coastal infrastructure.   She believes South Africa’s established reputation as a sail cruising destination and boatbuilding centre of excellence are marketing opportunities that need to be exploited in the form of a South African pavilion at major events such as  the recent METSTRADE 2023. This year’s MESTRADE had 19 country pavilions, and Pretorius believes South Africa should add its name to the list next year. “South African has never had a pavilion there,” says Pretorius.

Exposure at international showcase events could help highlight the growth of South African marine tourism, particularly in the context of a burgeoning local cruise ship industry and continued expansion of local boat yards.  “Superyachts are getting larger and larger and there is definitely an overlap between superyachts and cruise liners,” says Pretorius. The increase in visiting cruise ships was “a great sign” for superyacht stakeholders, she says. “The growth of the cruise industry is driving investment in infrastructure, in ports and marinas, and that is sorely needed.”

In addition to plans to create a dedicated superyacht quay at the V&A Waterfront there are currently plans to accommodate superyachts in Port Nolloth on the west coast and Richard’s Bay on the east coast.

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