Durban - Durban Tourism head Phillip Sithole said they were concerned that the recent shooting of a businessman outside Max’s Lifestyle restaurant in Umlazi would affect visits to township attractions, which were an important part of Durban’s tourism offering.
He said the city’s programmes and initiatives had yielded positive results and township venues had now become must-visit attractions with positive economic spin-offs.
Sithole noted that security was strong in the area where the incident occurred.
The Umlazi Community Tourism Organisation said that high-level security measures had been set up in the township nodes to ensure that visitors were safe and that they felt comfortable visiting township restaurants.
In Umlazi the key nodes were secured with CCTV cameras and there were satellite police stations close to the key attractions.
The owner of Maxi’s Lifestyle, Brian Mnyamezeli Mqadi, popularly known as Max, emphasised that the venue had established a reputation for placing a high premium on the security and safety of its patrons.
Sithole said the city made tourism development in historically disadvantaged areas, including Inanda, Umlazi and Clermont, a priority.
Recent statistics had proved that township tourism products were among the most frequently visited attractions by overseas visitors to Durban.
A survey that had been conducted by Grant Thornton revealed that there had been a significant increase and interest in township tourism offerings.