Hospitality industry and government leaders have long hankered for a beach resort, enabling the region to compete with international destinations and attract more tourists.
With kilometres of pristine coastline, a lagoon, indigenous coastal forest and being in a key location in KZN’s primary growth corridor, “Tinley Manor is uniquely positioned to accelerate tourism development”, said Tongaat Hulett, which is behind the initiative.
In fact, the prediction is that the destination will become the next tourism hot spot.
As well as the proposed new coastal resort, picturesque Tinley Town, 10km north of Ballito, will also get mixed-use developments, being further unlocked in collaboration with other stakeholders to cater for the international and domestic tourist markets.
“While the Durban and uMhlanga areas cater very well to the business and leisure tourism markets, there is still a gap to be filled by a large-scale international resort operator,” said Michael Deighton, managing director of Tongaat Hulett Development, the developer behind Zimbali Coastal Resort, the uMhlanga Ridge Town Centre, Cornubia and the Sibaya Coastal Precinct.
“Tourism has been identified as both a national and provincial priority and together with the associated ancillary economic activities, will have a significant impact on socio-economic growth and development in the region,” he said.
“We have been working closely with the local and provincial government to present the opportunity to solicit national and international brands looking at opportunities to establish themselves in KZN.”
Tourism KZN acting chief executive officer, Phindile Makwakwa, said yesterday: “We warmly welcome this development in getting an operator for Tinley Manor. We have been working for years with Tongaat Hulett together with Trade & Investment KZN which saw us engaging with various international investors, and we look forward to Tongaat Hulett finalising this deal.”
She said that the feedback from major international tour operators had always indicated that the destination would be even more attractive internationally with a beach resort.
The environmental impact assessment is under way and the name of the selected international operator will be announced soon.