KZN high on the list of must-visit destinations

Picture: Tourism KZN

Picture: Tourism KZN

Published Nov 11, 2019


Durban - KZN continues to be a popular destination for local and international travellers on the continent. The year-on-year increase in international arrivals resulting from the direct flights between Durban and London accelerated to 14.6% percent in December 2018 from 13.8% percent in November and only 4.6% percent in October, when the new service started.

This comes exactly a year after Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s (TKZN) participation at the 2019 World Travel Market (WTM) in the United Kingdom to promote the province to the world comes exactly one year after the launch of thrice-weekly direct flights between Durban and London.

Tourism KZN seized the opportunity to be part of this year’s event to meet and network with travel industry professionals to entice leading tour operators worldwide to package memorable tours for travellers to the Kingdom of the Zulu. 

Over 51 000 delegates with an interest in global travel trade attend WTM London with visitors and exhibitors representing a myriad companies and sectors operating in the travel industry. The event is the globe’s premier gathering of travel industry players under one roof to negotiate, network and conduct business.

Tourism KZN held fruitful meetings with tour operators, media partners and bloggers in the tourism sector. Collaboration with TUI, one of the largest tour operators in the UK, is intended to capture the wider European market with attractive, value for money KZN holiday packages. Robust discussions with ForwardKeys, a global travel intelligence company, seeks to gain valuable insights into UK traveller patterns to KZN. Areas of collaboration with South African Tourism’s UK office are also being explored.

The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) has reported that King Shaka International Airport domestic arrivals grew by 6.7% in 2018.

“KZN’s magnificent landscapes, rich heritage, warm weather all year round, world-class infrastructure, wealth of facilities and friendly people, make holidaying in the province a natural choice for domestic and international travellers. Moreover, value-for money holiday packages make it possible for travellers from all walks of life to indulge themselves a little despite a tough economic environment," said Phindile Makwakwa, Acting Chief Executive Officer for TKZN.

She said ‘’Bleisure’’ tourism which combined business and leisure in a trip had become increasingly popular.

The province is on an aggressive drive to generate sales leads, promote new tourism products, enter new markets, raise destination awareness and conduct market research to grow its international arrivals.

The marketing efforts are beginning to pay dividends - for every US$1 spent on advertising, more than 11 times the return is achieved in bookings to KZN. Staying on top of changing traveller trends has resulted in significant conversions in flight bookings to KZN, an extended length of stay of visitors and a year-on-year increase in overall bookings of over 8%.

Among the exhibitors at the Tourism KZN stand were the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Durban Tourism, Fairmont Zimbali Resort and tour operators, New Frontiers and Thompson Tours.

“Fairmont Zimbali Resort, is a key destination for international markets, and therefore our marketing strategy includes attendance to international trade shows such as WTM London to ensure brand awareness of both our property and KwaZulu-Natal as a whole,” said Mike Jackson, General Manager for Fairmont Zimbali Resort.

“The British market is extremely important to Fairmont Zimbali and with direct British Airways flights to King Shaka International Airport, we need to be at WTM to promote our 5-star beach resort property."

Exhibitors were afforded a golden opportunity to market their products and services to the Who’s Who in the travel industry sector, enhance their brand exposure to an international audience, make meaningful connections face-to-face and convert these into quality business leads.

The Mercury

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