Urban renewal projects set to drive tourism in Durban

Durban exceeded one million visitors over the festive period

Winile Mntungwa is Deputy Head of Durban Tourism. We started by asking her how Durban is evolving as a destination.

Durban beach Durban is evolving as quality standards are raised, infrastructural developments increased, new niche markets created, such as culinary and medical tourism, as well as unique cultural experiences. Durban is still a value-for-money destination compared to other cities in the world and the other provinces in South Africa, which makes our city a must-visit destination when planning to visit South Africa. In the 2018/19 festive season (November 2018- January 2019), Durban saw growth of 16% in visitor numbers from 2017, exceeding our one million target for the festive period.


What is new when it comes to activities along the harbour front?

Durban has a number of urban renewal projects that are underway that will see the city’s skyline and offering being transformed in the next 12 months. The city together with its partners, is investing over € 12m in a new passenger cruise terminal, which will be the biggest cruise terminal in the southern hemisphere. Major passenger shipping lines continue to frequent the biggest African Port which is the gateway into Africa. Activities around the harbour range from boat cruises and water activities, one can also find different restaurants in and around the harbour creating culinary paradise for visitors. The construction of the cruise terminal will complement the € 2bn 50 Point Waterfront construction currently underway, which is expected to boost the tourist offering while transforming the beachfront promenade. Key tourism assets have been upgraded and enhanced to meet the visitor’s expectation, including the new Suncoast development and the upgraded beachfront promenade.

What about transport?

Being a coastal city, Durban boasts a world-class modern transport infrastructure which makes it easier to navigate and get around key attractions. Once landed at King Shaka International Airport, you are connected to national and regional highways that are well maintained. Within 15 minutes’ drive you can reach the magni cent hotels and experience the warmth of our destination. To travel around the city you are spoilt for choices. with metered taxis just outside the door of your hotel, and Uber and public transport to connect you to major tourist attractions.

How is cruise tourism evolving in the region and how does Durban fit in?

The evolution of cruise tourism is a global phenomenon which Durban Tourism fully embraces, and, in our view, this move takes us a step closer to our long-held objective of creating a truly global city that is both investment- and tourism-friendly. The port of Durban is the busiest in Africa and one of the key cruise ports servicing the east coast of the continent. It provides a strategic access to key shipping lines to the southern African market and is one of the key successful cruise markets in the region.

How important is ITB Berlin as a promotional platform for Durban and why?

ITB Berlin is one of the strategic platforms that provides opportunities to market our city where we are able to present the uniqueness of our destination to the global trade and media. We view this platform as key to access the European market which is central to our growth strategy and key to attract visitors to Durban. In the past five years, Germany has been in the top five source markets that come to Durban. Our all-round warm weather, cultural and heritage experiences and historical link to Germany ensures our presence at ITB.

Photo: Winile Mntungwa Deputy Head of Durban Tourism

Hall 20 / Stand 138