Durban is getting its very own Monopoly edition and locals are going to have a say on what to put on the famous board game.
Durban is expected to get its own dedicated city game before Johannesburg gets its own edition.
Cape Town already has its own Monopoly game and good sales have been notched up, with residents buying games and sending them overseas to friends and family to remind them of home.
“Durban has long been one of the regions on our list of targets. We have witnessed Durban establish itself as one of the premier destinations of choice for entertainment and leisure and it has also hosted prestigious events,” said Robert Osborne, the London-based sales manager of Winning Moves. The company manufactures the Durban version – and other city editions – of Monopoly, under licence from Hasbro, which produced the Mzanzi board last year.
There are more than 70 city editions in the UK alone.
Osborne will get to choose the local places that go on the board. He pointed out that Monopoly was “something to be treasured” and was usually in households for life.
Monopoly is 81-years-old.
It is played in 111 countries and enjoyed in 43 different languages.
“We want to put places on the board that are iconic, that people love and associate with
Durban – a tourism hot spot, a hotel, a sport, maybe the Natal Sharks, university, a beautiful beach,” he said.
He would look for local phrases too, he said.
There would also be an opportunity for businesses to sponsor locations and to have their properties featured on the board, but Osborne and David Sommer of Epic Games, the distributor, were quick to point out that the board would not be overly commercial because it had to stick to the spirit of the game.
“It’s all about what is representative of Durban,” Osborne said.
The Durban board would be made in Ireland because the tools for the game are in one factory, and 5000 boards would arrive in Durban by November, “just in time for Christmas”, Osborne said.
They would cost R630 each.
Phillip Sithole, the head of Durban Tourism, said: “We are truly honoured to be considered by the Monopoly team to have a board game that is truly reflective of Durban and our key tourist attractions."
“We feel it is a very effective way to get Durban to be a top-of- mind destination and to be remembered through such a challenging and interactive board game."
“We urge Durbanites to get involved and let their voices be heard on which iconic attractions should be on our own unique Durban Monopoly Board,” Sithole said.
* The Tourism Indaba takes place from 16 -18 May. For more coverage of this premier tourism trade show buy The Mercury, Daily News and Sunday Tribune and visit iol.co.za.