The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Siboniso Duma, has challenged local government to drive tourism through investment in socio-economic infrastructure.
“Our view is that local government is where tourism happens, and this is why local government is best placed to create a memorable experience for tourists,” he said.
Duma was speaking at the Provincial Tourism and Investment Committee (PTIC) meeting, held at Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre on Tuesday.
The PTIC, which includes representatives of KZN metropolitan, district and local municipalities; CEOs of public entities and private sector organisations, seeks to deliberate on radical industry transformation matters. The meeting aimed to assess progress in relation to investments in socio-economic infrastructure in various municipalities across the province.
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In his opening remarks, Duma said the goal of local government is to ensure that KZN is amongst the top tourist destinations.
“Each one of us here has a special role to play in making this a reality…in one way or another, we have a direct impact on the future of tourism,” the MEC observed, adding that the KZN province is lobbying and bidding to host the national and international events, as part of the stimulation of tourism.
“We hosted, successfully, the MTN 8 Finals over the weekend. We will be hosting the South African Music Awards around 17 to 18 November at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
“KZN will be put firmly on the map as we host the jewel of the creative industry. We will be doing destination marketing and activations in various parts of the province,” Duma said.
To achieve this, he pointed out that all municipalities must play a role and maximise the considerable job creating potential of the tourism sector.
“The tourism sector is a national priority sector with enormous potential to promote economic development, thus requiring of municipalities to promote it and support it.
“We must pride ourselves on a responsible, sustainable and transforming sector,” the MEC stressed.