Address by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance, Ina Cronje, at the KwaZulu-Natal lunch at the Emirates Holidays world show and the launch of 2010/11 World of Choice brochure, Albaraha Ball Room, Dubai
1 May 2010
Sanibona! Good afternoon!
I am delighted to be part of this team and I bring warm greetings from our Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize and the people of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; thank you Emirates Holidays and Emirates Airlines for inviting us to showcase our amazing province and country as an exciting global destination.
Since Emirates flight EK 775 made history as the first direct flight from Dubai to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal in October last year, our relations have gone from strength to strength. The Dubai to Durban route has proven to be a phenomenal success. It has already established a passenger occupancy rate of 75 percent on average on its daily flights and this rate will grow, especially after this event!
The launch of this year's Emirates Holiday brochure could not have come at a better time for KwaZulu-Natal; coincidentally today, 1 May, our brand new state of the art airport, the King Shaka International Airport, outside Durban, our commercial hub starts operating.
Building a "Greenfield" International Airport gave us the opportunity to introduce cutting edge technology such as:
* The bird radar system which provides real-time information on bird movements in the area to avoid air-strike possibilities
* The sophisticated luggage and cargo handling system
* State of the art security measures and
* Many other technologically advanced facilities which are designed to make your experience of the airport a pleasant one.
The length of the runway will allow the world's largest aeroplanes to use the airport; this will give the world direct access to King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal and vice versa. The airport includes a trade zone, namely the Dube trade port, which offers unique airfreight handling facilities designed to fly fresh produce to any destination in a matter of hours. In six weeks we will be hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and we invite you to fly directly to Durban, the warmest place to be!
KwaZulu-Natal is the preferred holiday destination for South Africans who obviously know that this is the best destination in our country! And with the new direct flights into Durban we will become the number one international tourist destination.
What KwaZulu-Natal will offer you?
* Excellent hospitality, world class hotels, upmarket bed and breakfasts (B and Bs), etc.
* Pristine coastline with beautiful tropical beeches
* Dive and explore the coral gardens
* Catch the turtle season in the Greater St Lucia Wetlands National Park (now called Isimangaliso Wetland Park), a world heritage site
* Spend the day surfing in Durban, South Africa's hotspot for many wave riders
* Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of our world heritage Ukhahlamba/Drakensberg mountain range; a hikers', birders' and fishers' paradise
* Follow the route of the Basotho Traders across the Ukhahlamba/Drakensberg mountain range into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
* Go on a game drive in search of the big five in our many spectacular game reserves, which also offer outstanding birding opportunities and experience the diversity of bird species
Cultural or historical sites
* The battle fields of; Isandlwana (the Anglo-Zulu war), the Blood River (Zulu Boer war), Spioenkop (Anglo Boer war)
* The birthplace of the mighty Zulu king, King Shaka
* The Royal Residences of King Dingane and of King Cetshwayo
* Border Cave which is a rockshelter in the Lebombo Mountains between South Africa and Swaziland in KwaZulu-Natal. This is where anatomically modern Homo Sapiens skeletons and stone tools were found dating back to between approximately 45 000 to 75 000 years ago, an archaeologists dream.
* From Border Cave follow the route to the Cradle of Humankind world heritage site in Gauteng which is where humankind originated
* The multicultural nature of society (African, Indian and European)
* Excellent healthcare and wellness facilities ideal for health tourism. Step down facilities in surroundings of breathtaking natural beauty
* Ideal facilities for sports tourism
* Mayor marathons: Comrades marathon, Duzi and Umzimkhulu canoe marathons, Midmar mile swimming marathon, cycling races, etc.
* White water rafting, scuba diving and snorkling, hiking, etc.
* World class conference facilities
* With plenty to do for rest of your family
* Good roads
* Reliable telecommunications infrastructure
* World class banking facilities
* Clean water (one of the few countries where you can drink directly from the tap)
They say "a vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you have been taking".
So, when you have taken as much as you can, come to us in KwaZulu-Natal. See you there!
Issued by: Provincial Treasury, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
1 May 2010
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury
1 May 2010
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