Tourism boosts economy

2016-09-23 06:00
PHOTOS: khaya magenu Never-ending roads of Sani Pass 4x4 territory.

PHOTOS: khaya magenu Never-ending roads of Sani Pass 4x4 territory.

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CREIGHTON and Underberg under Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality is the stuff that dreams are made of for the intrepid tourist.

From steam trains, Umgano Eco Adventure trips to intercultural food, hiking trails, crafts, hotels, B&Bs and various cultural groups, there is so much that captures the imagination.

However, one must not forget a trip from Sani Pass, which is the only vehicle route over the Drakensberg escarpment and into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
It is a spectacular 4x4 track twisting and snaking its way through the rocky cliff to the top of the mountain.

These are just some examples of alternative tourism being offered by a new breed under the Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality.

This area in particular - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality - has an incredibly diverse tourism market and now has been turned into a spectacular tour-guiding area and created stronger connections between the various parts of the travel ecosystem.

The healthy relationship between two municipalities, Msuduzi in Pietermaritzburg and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini­ Zuma, has created many opportunities, especially the Duzi 2 Sani 4x4 expedition, marketing both Pietermaritzburg and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality, while at the same time promoting and uplifting township and rural economies.

The relationship between Harry Gwala Development Agency, Harry Gwala District Municipality and Msuduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association has created a lot of opportunities to previously disadvantaged people as most have now become tourist guides.

These relationships resulted in an event that started on Friday where mayors, tourist guides and municipal officials flocked to Nelson Mandela Capture site where former president Nelson was arrested in 1962 and imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island.

“In only July this year, we had 3 700 tourist from Pietermaritzburg, Durban, abroad and all over South Africa taking a luxury steam train trip,” said Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality Local Economic Development Manager, Dudley Smith.

Harry Gwala District Municipality Deputy Mayor, Ntuseng Duma described the district as an area of love and tourism.
“We have beautiful mountains, streams and species you will never find in other areas,” said Duma.

She said they want people to take tourism seriously and promote it as career choice.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality Mayor Patricia Mncwabe said tourism is the bread and butter of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality and KwaZulu-Natal where they traditionally welcome a steady stream of travellers from across the country, including international tourists.

“While we will continue to enjoy a strong reputation among holidaymakers, I am confident our strength in tourism will also grow. We are constantly looking for ways to ensure the destination becomes competitive year round and continue to represent a peaceful and majestic sight of the country.

“To deliver on the promise of tourism, we have to create the conditions that render the tourism experience and the treasures of our country accessible and affordable to a much greater share of our population.
“By so doing we are creating a platform for tourism transformation in our province, which in turn will be a benchmark for the whole country - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Municipality leads and Harry Gwala District leads.

“As the municipality, by so doing, we are shining the torch into a pit where no helmet has ever shone and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality has undergone a comprehensive makeover and will continue to plough the seeds of hope and change the lives of our citizens.
“We believe that as the municipality we are standing on the threshold of making that happen. We would like to extend a word of gratitude to all our partners who are part of the Duzi 2 Sani initiative for their efforts,” said Mncwabe.

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