Phillip Sithole, with beautiful Durban in the background.

Picture: Peter Bendheim
Phillip Sithole, with beautiful Durban in the background. Picture: Peter Bendheim
Aqua fest
PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA
Aqua fest PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA

Durban – With a record 1.2 million visitors hosted over the festive season, Durban has also made an influential top 10 global list of places to go in 2015.

The new accolade is from The New York Times, which has published its list of 52 places to go this year.

And Durban comes in at number seven.

The top 10 destinations, in order, are: Milan, Cuba, Philadelphia, Yellowstone National Park, Elqui Valley in Chile, Singapore, Durban, Bolivia, Faroe Islands and Macedonia.

“This is very exciting. Durban Tourism has worked hard in positioning Durban as a global destination,” said Phillip Sithole, the head of the tourism body, last night.

“We have hosted many international tourism writers and tour operators and taken part in so many international trade shows and it is now paying off.”

Durban Tourism will take part in the New York Times trade show on January 23, and to be named in the Top 10 confirmed that the city was an appealing destination.

“This is great for us and a good start to the year,” Sithole said.

And why were the 52 places chosen for the coveted list?

According to the story in The New York Times, they were “once-avoided destinations” that had become must-see cities offering new reasons to visit.

Writer Sarah Khan said Durban was often scoffed at by Capetonians and Johannesburgers for being “a touch gauche; well, enough of that”.

Last year, CNN named Durban one of the top under-rated cities in the world. The global news channel said Durban was the coolest city in South Africa. Then, at the end of the year, Durban was voted a New 7 Wonder City of the World.