DURBAN TOURISM INDUSTRY “NEVER SAY DIE” ATTITUDE ON A WINNING STREAK
DURBAN’S inaugural Tourism Business Awards have boosted confidence and pride in the industry which is still recovering from a string of unprecedented hard knocks.
When Durban Tourism decided to recognise and reward tourism and hospitality businesses-who overcame the triple challenge of COVID-19, July unrest and the recent floods- hundreds of entries poured in.
Excitement gripped the industry as the worthy hopefuls realised that their efforts to do Durban proud during extraordinary times, were going to be lauded.
Judges had a tough time whittling the entries down to 51 and there was a buzz of anticipation at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) last night during the ceremony. There were ten categories in the overall awards and five in the Mayor’s Special Achievement Award.
Judge and Chief Executive Officer of the Durban ICC Lindiwe Rakharebe said: “The response to the awards showed Durban’s tourism businesses have a ‘never say die’ attitude. When life throws them lemons, they make lemonade.”
Rakharebe said every entrant was a top performer. “When the finalists were chosen, the task of judging became even more difficult.”
Among the categories, the ricksha pullers was particularly unique to Durban. These popular beachfront figures, complete with their colourful regalia, have stood the test of time. The winner, Mfanafuthi Nxumalo brought the crowd to their feet when he collected his prize.
EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said: “What had to be considered in each of the Mayor’s Special Achievement categories were each winner’s consistent business retention and expansion, the business model and brand sustainability. We looked at how the business remained competitive with its offering as well as the extent of the radical economic transformation role the business has played,” he said.
Deputy City Manager for Economic Development and Planning Phillip Sithole commended the winners for their perseverance.
He said Durban, which had a long list of international accolades, was on a winning streak.
“We have decided to go on an aggressive infrastructure drive and have invested billions in major catalytic projects to enhance our appeal to both tourists and investors,” he said.
Sithole mentioned the Point Waterfront Development, the Durban Eye and the international port terminal as some of the City’s projected key economic generating projects.
Attached is a list of the winners with their contact details.