Durban’s hospitality industry has urged the local government to take action to secure the Durban Beachfront area as the new KZN cruise season gets underway.
The multibillion-rand project aimed at giving Durban’s Point precinct and beachfront a facelift will not succeed without a marked improvement in the security situation on the ground, according to the Federated Hospitality Association of SA.
“Tourists need to feel safe to walk the beach for 24 hours because we cannot afford to offer them only daylight packages,” says Charles Preece, east coast operational manager of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA.
“We support this [the development] because it means that we can offer packages with more attractions to our visitors. But security remains a big concern for us and the tourists alike.
“The municipality has been doing a good job in upgrading security on the beach but they need to do even more,” he said.
Durban is redeveloping the entire Point area, with hotels, a new cruise terminal and an 8-kilometre waterfront boulevard planned. The R300-million expansion of the beach promenade is nearing completion, but officials says upgrades to infrastructure is just one part of the problem.
Interested parties say rampant crime along beaches is impeding the city’s potential of attracting millions of tourists and much-needed local and foreign direct tourism investment.
Winile Mntungwa, spokesperson for Durban Tourism, said they are aware of the concerns about safety and security and are upgrading their plans to ensure that the issue is dealt with quickly.
“The metro police hired more than 200 officers and many of these will be stationed around this area so that our tourists are safe,” she said in comments carried by Business Day.
But she also emphasized that the upgrades being made to the city’s Beachfront area would enhance its appeal as a cruise and tourism destination.
“There is no doubt that these new facilities will change the face of the Durban beachfront and the Point precinct. We are very excited … because these facilities … will be a drawcard for local and international tourists and there will be many activities and ample parking so that people can move in and out with ease,” she said.
The first phase of the R1.3-billion project, a R300-million beach promenade will allow visitors to walk from Blue Lagoon beach in the north to the Point harbour mouth in the south. Development of the new Durban Cruise Terminal, meanwhile, is expected to be completed before next year’s cruise season.
Categories: SA Cruise News