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Safety a priority as City's tourism sector reopens
​EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, accompanied by
tourism officials, conducted an oversight visit recently to ensure
that safety protocols are adhered to as the City reopens its
tourism sector. Picture: PUMLA KHWELA
IN A show of support for the hospitality industry and to highlight Durban’s state of readiness as the country moved to lockdown level 2, eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda accompanied by tourism officials conducted a walkabout in the uMhlanga precinct to assess the level of readiness as the tourism sector reopened.

The walkabout was conducted on 18 August. The move to alert level 2 has been well received by the tourism industry which has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the national lockdown. Mayor Kaunda said he welcomed the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the reopening of the tourism sector and said that it could not have come at a more critical time.

He urged the public to continue adhering to safety regulations including wearing a mask when out in public, washing their hands frequently with soap or using sanitiser and to always maintain a social distance. “The announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions comes at a time when the City’s
tourism authorities are working relentlessly to ensure that we respond effectively to Covid-19 and as far as possible implement strategies that not only shields the tourism sector against the pandemic but also ensures that the City constructs and sustains a safe and healthy tourist destination status,” he said.

Mayor Kaunda said entertainment hubs such as Florida Road and Chartwell Drive in uMhlanga Village as well as township hotspot establishments are ready to host visitors in accordance to Covid-19 safety protocols. “We look forward to seeing the public enjoying spacessuch as the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the beachfront, uShaka Marine World which is set to re-open on 1 September and the Oyster Box Hotel which recently took third place in the Trip Advisor’s best hotels in Africa,” he said.

A report tabled at an Executive Committee on 25 August outlined the Durban Virtual Destination Campaign. Durban Tourism has embarked on a number of partnerships between July and September
including webinars, the shooting and production of documentaries at strategic attractions and locations, virtual destination excursions and partnering with Durban-based influencers and artists to profile the City.

This includes a live show that will be shown on DSTV’s Mzansi Magic, channel 161. The production of the show will be done at various Durban restaurants. This will promote the City while generating revenue for the restaurants. Meanwhile, the City has also reopened its parks and beaches under level 2 protocols. These regulations allow residents to utilise these spaces for recreational activities such as jogging on the sand, walking, running, yoga and other healthy lifestyle exercises.

The public is advised that while beaches are now open for the public to use, the full protocols are still being prepared and confirmation is being sought for bathing and surfing from the provincial authorities on certain omissions not appearing in the gazetted policy as per the national gazetted regulations.

simphiwe.dlamini@durban.gov.za | sanelisiwe.shandu@durban.gov.za 
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