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The Rs 900 M Port Louis Cruise Terminal Inaugurated

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The Port Louis Cruise Terminal was officially inaugurated yesterday afternoon. Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, who attended the inauguration, reiterated his government’s objective of welcoming 1.3 million tourists by 2023-2024. Since 2015, Pravind Jugnauth said, major investments totalling Rs 8.4 billion have been made to improve port services. The new terminal will be able to accommodate 4,000 passengers.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Minister of Tourism, Mr Louis Steven Obeegadoo, several Ministers, the Chairperson of the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA), Mr Jérôme Boulle, and other personalities were present.

The Prime Minister highlighted that this facility will give a new surge of vitality to the tourism industry by significantly boosting the cruise business segment.

Inauguration of Port Louis Cruise Terminal

Government, he stressed, is strongly committed to the continued development of Port-Louis harbour as a leading cruise hub and the preferred regional maritime gateway in the Indian Ocean region and has, to this end, injected some Rs 8.4 billion since 2015 to improve port services. These services include: the extension of berths, implementation of modern CCTV system, and introduction of a new vessel traffic system. An additional amount of Rs 2.5 billion has been earmarked for the procurement of more tugs and infrastructure works at Fort William.

The Prime Minister reiterated that Government is geared towards achieving the objective of welcoming 1.3 million tourists for the ‪2023-2024 period. For him, the inauguration of the Port-Louis Cruise Terminal is taking place at the most opportune time when the tourism sector is bouncing back.

Mauritius, he indicated, has recorded a total of 1,086,358 tourists’ arrival from January to mid-November 2023. The objectives set by Government for a full recovery in that sector is on track, he remarked. He moreover attributed the success reached so far to the close collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Inauguration of Port Louis Cruise Terminal

Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that in view to further enhance the industry, the Ministry of Tourism has embarked on the preparation of a ten-year blueprint which is likely to be ready by the end of this year. The development of inland tourism including nature-based tourism is also being foreseen, he added.

He likewise noted that the MPA is updating its 2040 Master Plan which is expected to be finalised early next year.

He also spoke about the impact of the COVID-19 on the cruise sector, and mentioned that only two cruise vessels called at the port during the pandemic period ‪2021-2022. The cruise sector is gaining momentum, he said, indicating that 14 new ships have entered into service worldwide in 2023. Speaking on the number of calls, he pointed out that they have increased to 22 for the present cruise season and that some 36 vessels are foreseen to call at Port-Louis for the forthcoming season.

Prime Minister Jugnauth also mentioned that the Vanilla Islands are in demand and luxurious cruise liners are planning to include the Vanilla Islands circuit in their itineraries in the near future. Mauritius is, therefore, well poised to attract cruise ships as well as offer rich travel destinations to enrich tourists’ cruise travel experience, he said.

Inauguration of Port Louis Cruise Terminal

As for Mr Boulle, he highlighted that cruise tourism will bring substantial benefits to the local community and that it will also be integrated in the waterfront development proposed over the Les Salines site. He expressed optimism that the Port-Louis Cruise Terminal will consolidate the country’s leading position as the regional home porting destination for cruise in the Indian Ocean.

The cruise terminal is a project of the MPA constructed to the tune of around Rs 900 million. It comprises the terminal building with a footprint of 7500 m2 over a land area of 4.5 hectares and can accommodate 4,000 passengers per day. It also provides for a lounge area, reception counters, restaurants, duty free shops and parking for passenger cars, taxis and shuttle buses.

Its main objective is to ensure passenger handling operations from cruise vessels and inter-island vessels calling at Port-Louis. This facility will be capable of accommodating up to 4,000 passengers, including the inter-island traffic.

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