Durban’s 2020 Vision – On Target

Major infrastructure development and growth in MICE activities puts the city firmly on the tourism map

This year, Durban enters its third year since adoption of its ambitious Visitor Marketing Strategy, aiming to drive marketing initiatives and to position Durban as a global tourism destination. We asked the city’s Head of Tourism – Phillip Sithole to tell us more.

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Phillip Sithole, Head of Tourism, Durban

The 7 year plan is geared at boosting international numbers. The strategy was developed in broad consultation with the tourism industry and using the expertise of an international consultant, aims to attract 5 million tourists to our shores by 2020, a move that will inject R10 billion into the economy and support 74 000 jobs.

How are international feeder markets evolving?

Key new international feeder markets are Germany, UK, USA and the Netherlands. Our traditional markets are normally UK, US, Germany, Australia, China and India – in that order.

How is tourism infrastructure evolving in the city?

The point development, harbour development , focus on cruise tourism and township development will surely put Durban on the map. Entertainment districts in the City and Townships encourage a mix of people to come to these precincts as they offer a mix of products in an upgraded area in a safe and clean setting.

Over the past couple of years, the Province of KwaZulu-Natal has positioned itself and its largest city, Durban as one of the goto destinations on the African continent. Durban is a popular leisure tourist destination that offers diverse tourism products, and was deservedly voted South Africa’s friendliest city in 2013.

DURBAN’S MILD ALLYEAR-ROUND CLIMATE AND 19°C-24°C WATER TEMPERATURE MAKE IT A SUMMER AND WINTER BEACH HOLIDAY DESTINATION

In recent years, the province has experienced significant growth in the events and conventions business which is attributed to its strategic location and well developed developmental logistics such as the brand new state of the art King Shaka International Airport, the continent’s largest convention centre, Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conventional Centre and as well as the world class leisure and sporting facilities including the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium that was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The province is capitalizing on its comparative and competitive advantages to advance its socioeconomic ambitions to become the world’s gateway to the rest of the African region.

KwaZulu-Natal continues to explore new options to position itself as preferred destination for investment and tourism. This includes investing in the development of industrial logistics which includes the repositioning of the purpose-built King Shaka International Airport as the nucleus to develop a new aviation industry inspired conurbation on the northern fringes of Durban under the auspices of an integrated Industrial Development Zone called Dube TradePort.

What sets Durban apart as a destination?

Durban and KwaZulu-Natal have a rich natural heritage and cultural history. The home of the Zulu Kingdom, Big 5 game reserves, battlefield memorials, two world Heritage Sites and rock paintings that are thousands of years old. The Woza eNanda Heritage Trail allows a visit to some of Durban’s most important historical sites, places where South Africa’s future changed for the better because of the bravery of a few individuals. At Inanda, one can visit the Ohlange Institute, founded by the first president of the African National Congress, rev. John Dube; this is also the site where Nelson Mandela cast his historic vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.

Durban has recently achieved the global status of being a New7Wonders City of the World. This achievement is a great honour for the City of Durban and to be positioned amongst other leading global cities of the world, proudly shows the commitment and competitive edge of our city as a leading Tourism , Events and Business Destination. The City has also proudly acclaimed the Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2015 by New York Times. The prestigious global accolades that the city has received recently are a true reflection that the City of Durban is fast becoming a global destination and the increased international marketing efforts have greatly contributed towards this success.