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African Renaissance Conference 2017

                                                  

     

    Taking Durban to the World:
    Durban tourism
     

    Durban, situated on the eastern seaboard of Africa on the edge of the warm Indian Ocean, is a modern vibrant cosmopolitan city as well as a leading tourist destination. Marketed globally by
    Durban Tourism, a unit of the eThekwini Municipality, its current visitor strategy, launched in November 2013, focuses on taking “Durban to the World”. Durban Tourism also has a role in maintaining excellence in visitors’ experience through promoting traditional tourist attractions,
    such as the beaches, malls, night life and exciting events. 

    Over the past twenty years considerable progress has been made in positioning the city as a tourist destination. Assets such

    as the King Shaka International Airport, Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Durban ICC, uShaka Marine World, the upgraded beach promenade, the Umgeni Green hub, are investments that are considered
    major draw cards, which boost the tourism industry. Phillip Sithole, Head of Durban Tourism said, “As a result of these products Durban has been elevated from nowhere to something that can proudly compete with any destination in the world.”

    These ongoing multi million Rand developments in Durban have sparked a number of private sector investments. With an investment of R220 million, the recently revamped Southern Sun Elangeni
    & Maharani hotel, well represents Tsogo Sun’s continuing commitment to Durban’s Golden Mile. Following the success of the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani \Hotel upgrade, the next project to be
    undertaken by the Group is the R100 million refurbishment of the Garden Court Marine Parade, one of the most iconic buildings on the beachfront. Tsogo Sun also has plans for an ambitious R1.5
    billion expansion of its highly successful Suncoast Casino and Entertainment complex, which is a key attraction on the Durban beachfront. The Hilton Durban hotel is also getting a major investment as
    a R150 million overhaul of its facilities is underway, which is a further indication of the confidence in the city’s tourism sector. A substantial investment of R50 million in tourism infrastructure in the township
    areas has also started to see positive results. These projects include upgrades in Claremont, the Inanda Heritage route, and the Umgababa Beach facilities.

    The strategic focus of Durban Tourism is to make full use of the opportunities offered by events and sport, as well as meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentives to drive tourism and make it
    a key contributor to the local economy, thereby promoting economic upliftment for all its communities. Already a number of events attract much attention. Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing
    events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the
    global calendar. The Mr Price Pro Surfing Competition, Vodacom July Handicap
    Horse Racing (along with its trendy fashions), the Top Gear Festival, the Tour Durban cycle races as well as test matches in rugby, cricket and soccer also attract spectators and interest globally.


    Durban offers a number of shopping malls which attract many visitors. These include the Pavillion, Gateway and The Galleria and which have great food courts, movie complexes, large popular
    supermarket chains, right through to specialty and novelty shops. Grey Street and the Warwick Triangle markets offer unique experiences of local culture and products. A key component of the city’s strategy
    focuses on growing “brand Durban”, highlighting the majestic infrastructure and showcasing the visitor experience to new markets. The city wants to attract more tourists from Gauteng while rolling out its brand to the United Kingdom, America, Germany, India and China. They also plan on developing potential new markets in Namibia, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, France, Singapore and Mozambique. These markets will be reached through Durban Tourism’s partnerships with National Geographic Channel, SABC CNBC Africa and other international platforms.


    Phillip Sithole said that his vision for Durban is, “In the next seven years to see thousands of international tourists every day in Durban because if we see them our economy will grow along with the creation of sustainable jobs. Durban Tourism has a target of increasing the total number of visitors from 3, 8 million to 5 million by 2020 and to inject approximately R10m into the economy, which will support
    74 000 jobs. We believe this target is realistic and achievable.“