Durban poised to be Africa’s smartest city by 2020

The city of Durban, one of South Africa’s vibrant tourism hubs has set its sights at becoming Africa’s smartest city in terms of tourism by 2020.

And to achieve this, the city’s tourism department is embarking on a comprehensive campaign to turnaround its tourism fortunes..

Durban, located in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa, is a tourism haven filled with several tourist sites and impressive beach(es).

The beaches – known as The Golden Mile – is a long stretch of pure fun and excitement with several of the world’s biggest hotels and jaw dropping structures that lined up the beachfront.

The tourism sites set Durban apart from some of the tourism sites around the world. Some of its sites include the uShaka Marine World, which has the latest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere; the PheZulu Safari, with its 95-year-old crocodile; the Valley of a 1000 Hills; the Uchanga Train Ride; and Inanda Heritage Route.   

Phumlani Qwabe, Tourism Information Officer for Durban Tourism, speaking in an interview with said one should not miss a visit to the uShaka Marine World when he or she visits Durban because “it is the only attraction [where] you can spend a whole day.”

According to him, Durban, the home of the Zulu tribe, offers tourists adventure tours including a memorable trip to the Valley of a Thousands Hills, and Inanda Heritage Route, which is projected to be one of the best tourist sites in Durban.

In their quest to become the “smartest city in Africa”, the Durban Tourism office has come up with a series of pragmatic strategies to “encourage local people to visit local attractions” in Durban and South Africa as a whole.

To address the issues of security and safety of tourists, “After every three minutes you will see a security guard. In the city centre, every two minutes you will see a security guard,” Phumlani Qwabe revealed.

“We want to ensure that tourists firstly feel safe that is the most critical part. This is why we have deployed so many security [guards],” he added.

In South Africa, Durban is number two when it comes to tourism but Phumlani says that is about to change soon.

“We are chasing them (Cape Town) that is why we have come with a turnaround strategy [and] by 2020 we are going to be number one and Africa’s smartest city,” he noted.

In Durban’s quest to become number one, they are creating about 276,000 jobs in the tourism sector alone and they also pushing an agenda to restore their historic sites and also sustaining their rich heritage.

In 2011, about five million tourists visited Durban alone and while Phumlani Qwabe says he could not readily give 2012 and 2013 figures as they are still being audited, projections are impressive.

Most of their clients are from Britain but interestingly, a lot of Africans are trooping to Durban to patronize tourism in South Africa, he added. Story by Ghana | | Ernest Dela Aglanu (Twitter: @delaXdela / Instagram: citizendela)

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