DURBAN - The eThekwini Municipality says Africa Travel Indaba delegates were impressed with the coming tourism attractions that are set to be launched in the city.
More than 3 700 delegates attended the 2022 Africa Travel Indaba at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre last week.
Nkosenhle Madlala, who is the chairperson of the city’s Governance and Human Capital Committee, represented eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda at the Indaba.
“Durban’s story is one of resilience against all odds. We hosted key target markets to explore the city’s newest tourism products offerings in various regions. Many were impressed and want to come back and fully discover the eThekwini,” said Madlala.
One of the attractions that tourists can look forward to, which the city says will change Durban’s skyline, is the construction of a multimillion-rand ferris wheel called the Durban Eye.
The ferris wheel will be built along the beachfront promenade and is expected to launch in February 2023, ahead of the Easter holidays.
“The developer of the R450 million Durban Eye has been appointed and expected to start on-site in July. This will offer tourists a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of the city,” said a statement issued by the city.
According to the city, this development which will be situated at the southern end of the beachfront, bordering the harbour entrance channel, intrigued many Indaba delegates including international media.
“The site looks toward the Bluff headland and will welcome cargo and passenger cruise ships into the newly built passenger cruise terminal, the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal,” the city said, adding that its position aims to attract visitors to the city centre.
In addition to this, the city said it continues to work with the region’s route development committee to attract more international flights to Durban and to enhance intra-Africa trade.
“The plans include reactivating the Air Namibia flights and reigniting talks with Qatar and Emirates airlines to fly direct to Durban again.”
Meanwhile, Royal Eswatini Air is due to start flying to King Shaka International Airport, Monday to Saturday from the beginning of June while the commencement of direct flights on the Air Link route from Harare to Durban three times a week started in March this year.
The city said the Indaba was a success with a direct projected spend of R29 million.
All together, there were 655 exhibitors, 126 African products were showcased, and 19 countries from the continent, including South Africa, were present.
There were 956 buyers, who buy tourism products and experiences for their customers. These buyers included 450 international and the rest local South African buyers.
The city said more than 22 000 meetings had been logged in the diary system and just over 14 000 meetings were held.
In addition, a total of 377 media from 21 different countries were hosted of which 274 were local, 51 were from African countries and 52 were international media.
The city said the Indaba formed part of its efforts to rebuild the local tourism sector.