THE city of eThekweni has scooped four coveted awards, with the ICC receiving the honours for being Africa’s leading meetings and conference centre, while the Port of Durban received the trophy for being Africa’s leading cruise port at the prestigous World Travel Award (WTA).
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala congratulated the provincial winners and said he was honored and humbled to receive the award on behalf of the people of KZN.
“KZN has now cemented its position as the darling of excellent international mega events. This particular award recognizes the work done by our Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. The award is a solid acknowledgement of the never-ending excellent service that tourism players offer to the province’s guests and delegates when hosting international events,” he said.
Zikalala added that current estimates indicated that in the next three years the total direct impact from MICE would be in the region of R1.1billion. He said Tourism KZN was on an aggressive campaign to increase the number of international tourists.
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Phindile Makwakwa, acting chief executive of Tourism KZN said the WTA awards, which cut across the geographical spread from Durban to Hhuhluwe, were a testimony that the industry had worked hard. “These awards once again throw the spotlight on our provincial tourism assets and this international recognition can only auger well for the future,” she said.
Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane expressed his delight at the Port of Durban scooping the title of Africa’s Leading Cruise Port.
“Durban is already well entrenched as one of the busiest ports in Africa from a cargo perspective, but accolades like this demonstrate how versatile we are and most importantly show that the work we are doing to develop our cruise tourism sector has not gone unnoticed globally.”
In 2017, 185 390 embarking and disembarking passengers were processed through the Port of Durban during 56 vessel calls. Durban is used as a home port by MSC Cruises which will introduce its MSC MUSICA vessel on the route in the 2018/19 season, following remarkable success with MSC SINFONIA sailing regionally over the last few years.
Meanwhile, Durban made it into British Airways’ list of the top 19 must-see destinations for 2019. The list includes, Pittsburgh, Marrakesh, Barbados, Toronto, Edinburgh, Sofia, Salzburg, Malta, Cologne, Sydney, Croatia, Kos, Cancun, Dubai and Tokyo.
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