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ITB Berlin News 2019 - Day 3 Edition

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34 REGION AFRICA DURBAN

34 REGION AFRICA DURBAN IS EVOLVING AS QUALITY STANDARDS ARE RAISED AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENTS INCREASED Winile Mntungwa Deputy Head of Durban Tourism Urban renewal projects set to drive tourism in Durban Durban exceeded one million visitors over the festive period Winile Mntungwa is Deputy Head of Durban Tourism. We started by asking her how Durban is evolving as a destination. Durban is evolving as quality standards are raised, infrastructural developments increased, new niche markets created, such as culinary and medical tourism, as well as unique cultural experiences. Durban is still a value-for-money destination compared to other cities in the world and the other provinces in South Africa, which makes our city a must-visit destination when planning to visit South Africa. In the 2018/19 festive season (November 2018- January 2019), Durban saw growth of 16% in visitor numbers from 2017, exceeding our one million target for the festive period. What is new when it comes to activities along the harbour front? Durban has a number of urban renewal projects that are underway that will see the city’s skyline and offering being transformed in the next 12 months. The city together with its partners, is investing over €12m in a new passenger cruise terminal, which will be the biggest cruise terminal in the southern hemisphere. Major passenger shipping lines continue to frequent the biggest African Port which is the gateway into Africa. Activities around the harbour range from boat cruises and water activities, one can also find different restaurants in and around the harbour creating culinary paradise for visitors. The construction of the cruise terminal will complement the € 2bn 50 Point Waterfront construction currently underway, which is expected to boost the tourist offering while transforming the beachfront promenade. Key tourism assets have been upgraded and enhanced to meet the visitor’s expectation, including the new Suncoast development and the upgraded beachfront promenade. What about transport? Being a coastal city, Durban boasts a world-class modern transport infrastructure which makes it easier to navigate and get around key attractions. Once landed at King Shaka International Airport, you are connected to national and regional highways that are well maintained. Within 15 minutes’ drive you can reach the magnificent hotels and experience the warmth of our destination. To travel around the city you are spoilt for choices. with metered taxis just outside the door of your hotel, and Uber and public transport to connect you to major tourist attractions. Durban beach How is cruise tourism evolving in the region and how does Durban fit in? The evolution of cruise tourism is a global phenomenon which Durban Tourism fully embraces, and, in our view, this move takes us a step closer to our long-held objective of creating a truly global city that is both investment- and tourism-friendly. The port of Durban is the busiest in Africa and one of the key cruise ports servicing the east coast of the continent. It provides a strategic access to key shipping lines to the southern African market and is one of the key successful cruise markets in the region. How important is ITB Berlin as a promotional platform for Durban and why? ITB Berlin is one of the strategic platforms that provides opportunities to market our city where we are able to present the uniqueness of our destination to the global trade and media. We view this platform as key to access the European market which is central to our growth strategy and key to attract visitors to Durban. In the past five years, Germany has been in the top five source markets that come to Durban. Our all-round warm weather, cultural and heritage experiences and historical link to Germany ensures our presence at ITB Hall 20 / Stand 138 © Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 8 th March 2019 www.itb-berlin-news.com

AFRICA REGION 35 Hon. Najib Balala, EGH, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Kenya says improved security has been a driver for the increased number of tourists to the country. We asked how Kenya’s tourism infrastructure is developing. The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has enabled movement of tourists between the key cities of Mombasa and Nairobi, an impetus to tourism business. The expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has made it possible for the launch of a Nairobi to New York direct flight with increasing passenger traffic. The expansion of Malindi airport and Manda Airport in Lamu are geared to attracting more passengers through heavier aircraft. The development of new hotels, including international brands, has increased confidence among investors. The Diani Airport will also be expanded to accommodate more and bigger flights into Diani, the leading beach in Africa. What are the key travel trends in 2019? Kenya is focusing on the following priorities in 2019 as envisioned in our tourism transformative agenda: product diversification to cater for different needs of the traveller, as well as enhancing the customer experience. Visitors are keener now on experiences and we are looking into immersing visitors into some of these, like culture and adventure. Hon. Najib Balala EGH, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife Infrastructure investment drives Kenya tourism ahead Airport expansion and increased flights are making Kenya more accessible for tourists seeking an immersive experience What are your key source markets for tourists into Kenya? Europe is a key source market, which has continued to record yearon-year growth. The United States is the leading market. Kenya is also focusing on emerging markets as well as Africa, India and China. AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROJECT KENYA AS A RESILIENT DESTINATION READY FOR BUSINESS What are you showcasing at ITB Berlin? Kenya is showcasing the destination through more than 40 travel trade members that are exhibiting at ITB Berlin. The message of resilience and business continuity is what the travel trade is showing to the world. ITB Berlin is a platform for business deals with the international buyers, an opportunity to create awareness of the destination among the travellers as well as an opportunity to project Kenya as a resilient destination ready for business Hall 21a / Stand 122 St Helena Island: it’s not just about Napoleon Populated by only 4,500 inhabitants on an island set in the midst of the South Atlantic Ocean, discover the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, which is now luring the global travel market. One of the reasons for their presence at ITB Berlin carries a name: Napoleon Bonaparte… If there was an award of the most exotic destination to be present at ITB Berlin, it could well be St Helena Island. Imagine a territory that stands almost in the middle of nowhere in the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean. St Helena is a 16 by 18 km volcanic tropical island located some 4,000 kilometres east of Brazil’s coastline and 1,900 km west of Namibia. The Island was discovered by the Portuguese and changed hands many times to finally end up in the hands of the British Crown. An important port of call for British for centuries, it turned into a place to exile key prisoners such as Bahraini Princes, Boers and the most famous of them, former French Emperor, Napoleon. This explains the presence of the British Overseas Territory for the first time at ITB Berlin. Dive St Helena “2021 will mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death in St Helena and European visitors have a huge interest for this place,” explains Helena Bennett, Director of Tourism. “At ITB Berlin, one can learn about ways to promote the destination,” she explains. Napoleon’s presence can be remembered through a dozen of sites, including the two original houses in which he resided as well as his grave. “But Napoleon is not the only attraction that St Helena wants to promote. We are blessed with a pristine nature, ideal for trekking and hiking, clear waters perfect for diving and a rich marine life with whale sharks and dolphins. And above all, it is a place to truly relax away from the urban life”, adds Bennett Hall 22b / Stand 212 © By Rainer Schimp ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 8 th March 2019

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