JOINT STATEMENT BY THE MEC FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS, MR SIHLE ZIKALALA AND ETHEKWINI MAYOR CLLR ZANDILE GUMEDE DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON LAUNCH HELD IN DURBAN, 15 NOVEMBER 2018

Again KwaZulu-Natal and Durban are set to take their rightful place in the sun this festive season as the province and the city gear up to welcome an influx of thousands of tourists and visitors to our shores.

The province of KwaZulu-Natal which has become synonymous with the South African summer period will again offer an unforgettable holiday season experience along its coastline from Kosi Bay in the East to Port Edward in the south.

Today Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala with eThekwini mayor Cllr Zandile Gumede official launched the festive season, literally opening floodgates to interminable tourist experience.

MEC Zikalala and Cllr Gumede showcased a number of delightful activities awaiting the visitors.

MEC Zikalala said the Kingdom of the Zulus is endowed with two World Heritage Sites; namely the spectacular uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site and Isimangaliso Wetland Park.

“Our Midlands provide a unique tourism experience ranging from energy driven activities such as hiking, gorge swings, rock climbing, as well as 4x4 mountain driving through the fascinating Sani Pass that links the province with Lesotho. We have also organised a series of activities and events in all the parts of the province to ensure that our visitors have a fulfilling and rewarding stay in KZN,” said MEC Zikalala.

He revealed that last year the province had 600 000 domestic visitors and 138 000 international tourists. However, the MEC was sanguine that for the 2018 festive season period the KwaZulu-Natal wanted to surpass this figure.

He said his department was working on attracting no less than 850 000 domestic visitors and 150 000 international visitors a feat that will see R2.4 billion injected into the provincial economy.

“Over the next two years, we want to grow the tourism impact on the province’s GDP in the region of R65 billion and R98 billion. This will enable us to reach our target of creating 183 000 direct jobs over the same period. By 2030, we want to attract at least 3.4 million international visitors. We urge our holiday makers to use registered and graded tourism accommodation establishments. And if they need information about KZN’s exciting tourism products, they can go to our information offices where our friendly staff members will assist them,” said and adding that all safety precautions will be undertaken to ensure the safety of the bathers.

An equally excited eThekwini Mayor Gumede stated that Durban was ready for millions of visitors who will be coming from all corners of the world.

“We are rolling out the red carpet for everyone who will be coming here in the festive season. It is the red carpet that is full of love. This is the reason we have themed our campaign as Durban Summer love campaign. Over the past few years, the municipality has been working with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and many other stakeholders to market this city,” said Gumede.

Cllr Gumede revealed that about 3, 8 million local and international visitors flock to the city of Durban each year, as it is known for its warm climate and exciting warm waters. For the 2018 Summer season which starts from 1st December 2018 and ends in February 2019, it is projected that 1.1 million visitors will set foot on Durban shores, she said.

While promising a safe and incident-free experience, Gumede said the City was eagerly awaiting a host of activities that will include the upcoming Bafana-Bafana Mandela Match, Soweto derby, Crown Gospel awards, #FillUpMabhida, January 8 statement, Durban Jazz, Durban Braai Day and Maskandi festival.

ISSUED JOINTLY BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY. FOR MEDIA QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT BONGANI TEMBE ON 082 327 2600 OR MTHUNZI GUMEDE ON 071 412 7701.