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20070823 - Flavors of Durban to Celebrate Durban

Durban, South Africaís melting pot of cultures, creativity, business and leisure, a city that is defiantly like no other in South Africa, a true African city, standing tall and proud on our eastern seaboard. The time has come to celebrate its diversity, to be proud of her achievements, and to show the world who we, as Durbanites really are.

Known as South Africaís playground, this September Durban is dishing up more than a wholesome helping of sun, sea and sand. This Heritage month you'll find the city sizzling in a seasoning never tasted before as the City celebrates the "Flavours of Durban", forming the final celebration in the eThekwini Municipalityís "Celebrate Durban" Heritage Day festivities. "Flavours of Durban" promises to be a truly explosive celebration of Durbanís exotic and often eclectic mix of cuisine. The festival will be taking to the streets in a flamboyant celebration of the cities heritage and diversity.

"Flavours of Durban" in the last weekend of September (September 28 to 30) will bring to the public a sensual exploration of Durbanís finets cuisine. From Aliwal Street to the corner of the historical Royal Hotel, Smith Street will be closed to traffic and turned into an African Wonderland. Showcasing Durbanís top food outlets, each tempting the crowds with culinary delights, pitting their skills against the very best, and challenging Durbanís international sister cities from around the world. As visitors to this scintillating festival you can expect your palettes to be tickled with gastronomical delicacies not only from the cities top food outlets but from countries as wide spread as China, Ghana, USA, Reunion and many more. So for all budding foodies or those who are simply looking for a fun weekend in the city we call home, "Flavours of Durban" is offering it all. A full programme of live bands and even a float parade is planned to keep party revelers entertained, late into the night, with the very best Durban has to offer in musicians, dancers and street performers all coming together for the pride of Durban. Starting from 11h00 Friday evening and running through until Saturday midnight this culinary extravaganza is going to be an event that you wonít want to miss.

Make sure you bring the whole family to the City Hall, September 28 to 39 and get your fingers sticky in this great Heritage week initiative.

Limited access to the area will be granted to the public in accordance with Health and safety regulations. To pre book your entrance ticket contact Maximilian PR on: 082735464, and stand a chance to win an all access pass into the private parties scheduled throughout the weekend and the exclusive VIP lounge.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Max Henderson Maximilian PR 082 735 42 64
From: eThekwini Municipality

20070803 - SA the centre of the universe in 2010
Thousands of journalists who descend on Durban to cover the World Cup in 2010 will not only write about soccer - they will send dispatches around the globe about crime, Aids, racial reconciliation and other stories they stumble across in KwaZulu-Natal. Residents should be prepared for good and bad stories about the province, but if the World Cup is a success the region should benefit from international exposure and growing tourist numbers. This is the word from Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and veteran editor John Hughes, who was in Durban last week speaking about his experience of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the US.

The Zulu Kingdom wins with Loerie Awards
South Coastís reputation shines in the advertising industry...
The whose who of the advertising industry will gather in Margate, this weekend, for the Loerie Awards Festival, the most awaited event on the industry calendar.
For the third successive year the South Coast town is ready to roll out the red carpet for thousands of the countryís most creative advertising and communications gurus who, attend the two-day festival to see who wins a bird and to rub shoulders with advertising hot shots.
"The Loeries earned the local economy as much as R14, 3 million in 2006 up from R11,2 million in 2005, and has brought many other benefits to the South coast, says Ndabo Khoza, CEO of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, one of the major sponsors."
"This year alone three television adverts have been made in Margate, and five films including Hollywood movie Blood Diamond starring Leonardo di Caprio, have been shot on the South Coast in the past three years. The Pop Idols took place in Margate and other projects are in the pipeline," he said.
"There is an growing trend of companies choosing to hold their conferences around the time of the Loeries so they are able to enjoy the Loerie fever, and this year we have won the Exclusive Books conference that would normally go to Cape Town. Also some high-powered people in the advertising industry have bought property in the area as a result of their being here for the event, and others come back for holidays outside of high season," said Khoza.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natalís research shows that of the more than 3000 delegates who attended the event last year, 88% of non-residents were from Gauteng and Cape Town. In 2005 73% of the delegates to the Loerie Awards were non-resident in the province.
While self-catering accommodation at 34% remains the most popular for Loerie goers there has been a big move to using luxury hotels (19 %), family hotels (14%) and holiday flats (15%).
An important aspect of all of this is that the main influence for people to come to the festival was word of mouth, said Khoza.
Deborah Ludick acting manager Ugu-South Coast Tourism said that the Loerie Awards provide Margate and the South Coast with the opportunity to show that they can pull out all the stops for high profile events. This was also made possible by the support for tourism initiatives from the Hibiscus and Ugu District municipalities.
Mandle Ndimande CEO of the Durban Film Office said; "We welcome the opportunity for South Africa's top creative personalities to once again visit our beautiful province, and would like to wish all the nominees the best of luck at the Loerie Awards 2007."
"Over the years, many of these industry masters have demonstrated outstanding ability whilst producing some incredible work on location in KwaZulu-Natal, and we hope that our warm hospitality and sunny skies will encourage them to consider the province as their location of choice for their next project," he said.
From: KwaZulu-Natal Tourism News

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal media statement June 29, 2007 Contact: Phindile Makwakwa Ė 082 850 9559
Mid-year tourism earns an estimated R2 billion for KZN
KwaZulu-Natal is geared up to welcome at least 2 million domestic tourists and an estimated 150 000 international tourists during the July holiday season with many varied activity programmes to ensure a happy and memorable season.
The total economic impact of these tourists on the provincial economy is just over R2 billion, said Phindile Makwakwa, Tourism KwaZulu-Natalís GM for PR & Communications.
The July holiday period is fast becoming as important as the Easter holiday period for the Zulu Kingdom. In July 2006 hotel occupancy in the province was as high as 80% and in Durban 85%, making it by far one of the best holiday seasons.
While Gauteng schools have already closed KZN schools officially close tomorrow (Friday) and thousands of visitors have already headed towards the Zulu Kingdom and more are expected to be on the roads during the week.
The action packed programme of entertainment has already started with the International Film Festival with more than 200 films on its programme, which runs until the start of July.
Last night (Wednesday, June 27) the MTN Durban Fashion Show started and runs to June 30, enabling visitors to catch up on the latest fashion trends being created by SAís top designers as well as those that are up-and-coming. The event, which attracts international attention, takes place at the Suncoast Casino and promises to wow the audience.
To further whip up the excitement and offer visitors more, TKZN in conjunction with the Ugu Municipality and the Natal Sharks Board have created a Sardine Festival on the South Coast.
"The festival will ensure that visitors are spoilt for choice as we have put together a host of activities for them including the South Coast Cultural Celebration, Shelly Beach/Mallards/Mercury Ski-Boat Festival, Powerade Sardine Half Marathon, LIONS Show (exhibition and arena events), Ugu Jazz Festival, Sardine Festival Multi-Sport Challenge and Mardi Gras," said Makwakwa.
If this is not enough take in the Vodacom Durban July Africaís premier horse racing event, on July 7. This event, which gets hearts pumping in tune with pounding horse hooves, traditionally attracts a crowd of around 55 000 spectators of which more than 10% are from Johannesburg.
Durban Beach Festival, which is said to be the biggest beach event of its kind in the world, takes place from June 29 to July 8. It is a fusion of sport, music, food and shopping enhanced by our beautiful warm weather at this time of the year, while other regions are cold.
One highlight of the beach festival is the Mr Price Pro, which carries prize money of more than R1 million, making it the richest ASP World Qualifying Series event in the country this year.
"Our mandate is to attract tourists to the province and events are one method of achieving this that has proved successful. Events such as the Comrades, top rugby, soccer and cricket and other sports matches that attract television coverage are important as Durban and the province is projected into the homes of millions of international viewers. This provides an opportunity to showcase what we offer as a destination and what we are capable of achieving," said Makwakwa.
The core destinations that tend to be visited by domestic tourists over this period are Durban Central, South Coast, Pietermaritzburg and Midlands, North Coast and the Drakensberg.
Tourism is important to Durban and KwaZulu-Natal and TKZN asks residents to continue living up to our reputation of providing a warm welcome to all our visitors, concluded Makwakwa.

Relief for tidal areas
Local Government MEC Mike Mabuyakulu says heís trying to fast-track efforts to get national help for areas in the province that have been badly damaged by high waves.
Mabuyakulu also says national government officials may visit the province to make their own assessment of the situation by as early as 4 August.
Mabuyakuluís apparently confirmed that those areas affected by high waves in March have been declared provincial disaster areas and said their application to have the regions declared national disaster zones is being processed.
"The provincial cabinet has indeed now formally approached national government to declare the damage caused by the tidal waves. National government is currently considering our application. It is estimated to run into about R2.4 billion."

Old news from The Mercury, October 13, 2005 Edition 1, but worth mentioning here for future guests at Inyoni Rocks Cabanas:
South African Durban beachfront and inner city are to benefit as developments to transform Durban into a mega city are laid open:
The development of Durban into a mega city is no longer a pie in the sky concept - the eThekwini Municipality has laid open plans to make the city the world's playground.
The 2010 World Cup has provided the catalyst to speed up development in Durban, and city engineers, town planners and the private sector are planning strategically for the second-largest sporting event in the world.
Developers are working towards meeting Fifa standards but city leaders have begun looking beyond 2010.
Mass-development plans for the beachfront and the inner city were presented to the eThekwini Municipality executive committee by the head of strategic projects, Julie-May Ellingson, this week.
Ellingson said that during a recent visit to Germany, city officials had found that Durban was one of the few sporting destinations in the world that had a beachfront, hotels and sporting facilities all in close proximity.
After 2010, the city plans to maximise the proximity of the Kings Park sports district to hotels and a newly developed beachfront to attract sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics, as well as other smaller events.
To accommodate an expected influx of tourists into the city, Ellingson announced a mass hotel development project, which will see 20 new hotel sites being released for development in Durban during the next few years.
Three of these sites - Hoy Park, a site near the International Convention Centre and the drive-in site - will be released in the next few weeks.
The city plans to complete the first phase of development of the West Street beach node by December and will then proceed to develop the uShaka interface node near the uShaka marine and theme park.
The city has proposed to expand the width of the promenade along the front edge of uShaka. A proposal was also made to demolish existing lifesaving and club facilities on the beachfront and to replace them with retail/commercial and club facilities that cater for the greater public.
The city is also still to decide on the future of Addington Children's Hospital, which will either be transformed into a children's museum - with the back of the hospital turned into an upmarket residential complex - or a hotel.
The third node to be developed is the Ocean Sports Complex precinct near the South Beach paddling pools, which until now has not been self-sufficient.
The centre has apparently achieved very poor returns from tenants who pay high vacancy rates and are only allowed short-term lease arrangements. The city plans to transform the complex into a retail facility with a parking deck leading from upper Marine Parade.
The city is also considering the construction of rooftop restaurants that will be available on long-term leases.
The final interface is the Film Studio/Natal Command node, which will make Durban the film capital of South Africa.
The city's next pilot project is the people mover, scheduled to be unveiled in December. The people mover will be an interim bus service with two routes.
The first will link uShaka and Suncoast Casino, and the second will go from the beach into the city as far as Victoria Market.
Logan Moodley, the eThekwini Transport Authority's Deputy Head of Strategic Transport and Planning, said fare levels had not yet been finalised but the service would enhance accessibility for tourists and the general public to key nodes in the central
business district and beachfront.
"There will be 10 buses which will be put in operation at a cost of
R1.5 million each," he said.
"The buses are high quality, have low floors accessible for wheel chairs, are airconditioned, and will run at 15-minute intervals using a ticketing system."
But the buses are only intended to serve until the city is ready to unveil its multimillion-rand transport system. The system, which will include different modes of people movers, such as monorails, trams and road trains, is expected to cost in the region of R220 million.
The city is also planning mass-densification of the inner city by turning a number of vacant buildings within the city into residential blocks.
Ellingson said the restoration of the Tong Lok block was on the cards and was perceived to be the key to the regeneration of the Point area.
More than R1 billion has been spent on the Point redevelopment and R750 million on uShaka Marine World.
The Point development is expected to cost R1.2 billion and this is expected to increase to R1.5 billion when residential sales are taken into account.
eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba appealed to developers to consider the possibilities of natural disasters and to ensure that a disaster management plan was put in place when development started.

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Informative blogs to help keep our guests up to date!


Updated: 2007/08/03

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