DURBAN has put its best wheels forward in the local tourism sector with the launch of two new Ricksha buses on Wednesday.
The new double-decker buses will replace the old double-decker buses that have been transporting tourists to various parts of Durban and surrounding suburbs.
These open top buses are similar to the ones operating on the Cape Town tourism routes.
The buses have pictures of Durban's herbal market, the entrance to uShaka marine world, Moses Mabhida Stadium, traditional Zulu dancers, shark cage diving, Nelson Mandela, the uMhlanga pier and the Durban coastline.
The introduction of the buses which will work from the North Beach tourism offices in time for the influx of tourists to Durban during the festive season.
The Ricksha buses will be ferrying tourists around the city.
Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said tourism is a major contributor in the city’s economy and with summer vacations looming on the horizon, the municipality was pulling all the stops to look after the welfare of all its tourists.
Gumede wants to see Durban increasing its market share of tourists.
“We are a city hard at work. Tourists that come to our city should automatically be our ambassador when they are gone back home. We will only do that by ensuring that we unceasingly meet their needs," she said.
"Hopping on the Ricksha Bus is the most convenient way for them to explore the city’s tourism offerings where one is able to sightsee scenic overviews of a range of Durban’s major attractions while learning about the city’s history, its people and their heritage, cultural diversity and many more. It is going to be an experience that will forever be engraved in the minds of many of our tourists we are very excited,” said Gumede.
The buses will cover new routes including three more regions of the city with more emphasis on township and rural tourism.