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Tourism Industry on revival path as cruise liner docks in Mombasa

The port of Mombasa has received yet another cruise liner in its harbours, SH Diana, which docked with 57 passengers and 109 crew members on board.

As the festive season draws closer to its peak, players and key stakeholders in the tourism industry have a reason to smile given the positive way the sector is shaping up.

A glimmer of hope for the recovering industry slowed down in the last few years by the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with prevailing global economic dynamics.

Speaking during the cruises’ stop over at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Head of Corporate Communication Bernard Osero said that the country’s attractiveness to cruise liners is on an upward trajectory and this will, in turn, culminate in reaping fortunes in the tourism sector.

“As a country, we have again begun to attract cruise vessels building the confidence that Kenya remains a major destination for tourists and a key player in the region,” said Osero.

He said that the Authority is optimistic that in the next two months, a few more vessels will dock at Port of Mombasa, indicating the confidence global liners have in the port as a first-choice destination in the region and on the continent in general.

Osero said that in line with the strides to fully transform the port of Mombasa into a world-class facility, plans are in motion to make it a home port for some of the cruise vessels.

“We have state-of-the-art cruise reception facilities that are at par with global standards and working hand in hand with key stakeholders including the Kenya Tourism Board and Cruise Africa Association to see how best we can make our port a modern home port for cruise vessels,” added Osero.

Osero also added that the Authority is pleased that after a long time, a ship has called on the port of Lamu after the liner docked, a significant step towards utilising the port and expanding its portfolio to make it more commercially viable.

Head of Pilotage at KPA Capt. Ali Abdile echoed sentiments by Osero saying the Lamu anchorage is a critical piece of infrastructure that has the potential to strategically benefit the country and the region if fully utilised.

“The Lamu call by this vessel is a very encouraging endeavour, both crew and passengers were impressed by the hospitality shown as we were received by the County leadership. An indication of the importance of the port that can be put to beneficial use” said Abdile.

By Andrew Hinga

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