On Dec 16, 2016, Tourism minister Najib Balala officially launched the construction of the first cruise ship terminal at the port of Mombasa at a cost of Kshs 350M, of which he stated that 250M would be funded by Kenya Ports authority while the remaining 100M will come from Trademark East Africa.
The project will involve modernization of an old building, Mombasa Shade 1 & 2 established in 1926 and which has been handling cruise liners. It will be rehabilitated into a world-class cruise terminal and will provide services to tourists when they arrive at the port or when departing for other destinations. Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho affirmed that his government would fully support the project until its expected completion time in July 2017 as hinted by Mr. Balala.
Upon completion of this project, cruise ship tourism is expected to grow by at least ten folds from what it currently is. This will boost the tourism industry and the economy as a whole as tourists who visit end up visiting the Mombasa excursions as well as the national parks.
During the launch, Balala requested the Kenya Tourism Board to tirelessly market cruise tourism in Mombasa to enable other ships from around the globe to cruise to Mombasa. Tourism being an economic driver in Mombasa, this would help to create more jobs for the youth.
The construction of the facility comes at a time when Mombasa is experiencing a rise in the number of ships arriving at the port. It is also expected that the facility will contain amenities to service cruise ships and tourists docking at the port.