It is the Durban July weekend, and that means that the province of KwaZulu-Natal will be attracting thousands of visitors from across the globe.
The prime equine event is a key horse racing event in the Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) calendar. Over the years, the VDJ has become a must-attend event of the year with racing enthusiasts, punters and celebrities.
Around 40 000 visitors are expected to descend to KwaZulu-Natal for the Vodacom Durban July this year, which will contribute to an estimated R300 million to the event.
TKZN hosted 35 tour operators and media from Zambia, DRC, Namibia and Botswana. They have estimated that at least 20 % of the patrons coming to the VDJ will be from outside the province and hotel occupancy is expected to well over the 85% mark.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube will also welcome the arrival of the award-winning The Blue Train, which will arrive as part of the VDJ for the first time in 72 years.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Acting CEO, Phindile Makwakwa said the VDJ is already very popular with the domestic market.
"Africa is a big key source for us and we want to be more aggressive in positioning KZN as a must visit tourist destination. Our insights show us that this market enjoys such prestigious and glamorous events, and therefore we want to start positioning the VDJ as a Pan African event,” she said.