Piracy continues to inflict economic damage to the harbor cities traditionally on the annual schedule of port calls, as Zanzibar now once again came to realize. The activities of the ocean terrorists, aka Somali pirates, have driven away a significant portion of cruise tourism to safer waters, and the latest such victim is the Pitu Laut Voyager, which has been diverted to another destination out of safety concerns for both ship and passengers, instead of making the scheduled visit to Zanzibar.
While the recent more robust responses to the problem, most notably the decisive action by the Seychelles coast guard – which could serve as an example to other naval coalition vessels – is encouraging, there is still no naval blockade in place keeping the terrorists marooned in their land bases, nor have more robust rules of engagement been practiced to “show flag” and deal with motherships and skiffs where and when spotted from the air and from the sea and prevent them from reaching their targets.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of US dollars in revenue will be lost through this cancelled cruise ship visit in Zanzibar alone, while millions are at stake for tourism businesses in Kenya, the Seychelles, Tanzania, and Zanzibar and other Indian Ocean islands as long as the ocean terror is allowed to continue.
It is understood from impeccable sources that some cruise lines are now placing added security on board during their voyages through potentially dangerous areas, while others like Star and Olsen have withdrawn their vessels altogether and relocated them to the safe waters of the Caribbean and other cruise destinations.