The event, usually held the first Saturday of July, will take place at the Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, July 25. Picture: Supplied
The event, usually held the first Saturday of July, will take place at the Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, July 25. Picture: Supplied

How the virtual VDJ hopes to revive KZN tourism

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jul 24, 2020

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The Vodacom Durban July is one of the biggest horse-racing events in KwaZulu-Natal, attracting thousands of tourists to the province every year.

The event, usually held the first Saturday of July, will take place at the Greyville Racecourse on Saturday, July 25.

Only this time, everyone will be watching virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there will be no tent town this year, the July’s die-hard fans will celebrate with champagne and canapes at home when the day’s races are run. Some will even dress to the nines, even if it means they will parade their looks in their backyards.

Despite the changes this year, the province is doing everything they can to market KwaZulu-Natal, and it seems that the event is a step in the right direction for hospitality and other businesses to recover.

Besides the main virtual event, the Fact Durban Rocks show will be streamed live on Channel O on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Tourism KZN’s Destination KZN video will also be screened on Channel O to entice travellers to visit the destination post-lockdown.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said despite the province losing millions of rands for the hospitality industry in KZN due to the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual VDJ would ensure the spirit of excitement and entertainment still prevailed.

“The hosting of the virtual VDJ should also be viewed within the context of saving one of the 60 000 jobs that are at risks in the Gaming and Betting Sector. We applaud stakeholders for working together to ensure adherence to health protocols regarding the management of the spread of Covid-19.

“To remind the public that it will not be too long before they can travel and tour again, Tourism KZN’s Destination KZN video will also be screened on Channel O to ensure it fuels the wanderlust of travellers and inspires post-Covid-19 travel. The one-minute-long video showcases some picturesque locations and attractions the Zulu Kingdom is famed for," she said.

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