The KZN South Coast is Primed for Tourism Development Through its Investment Attractiveness
Home to world-class dive sites, 11 quality golf courses, numerous nature reserves, game reserves, gorges, lagoons and the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the province, it’s no wonder the KZN South Coast is a leading tourism destination. And this tourism hotspot is now being primed to offer further investment opportunities through established local support services.
To facilitate engagements and unlock the tourism investment potential in the region, South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) is working with stakeholders to remove ‘red tape’ barriers and create an environment conducive to business engagements.
“The natural resources, rich cultural heritage, and proactive local community make the KZN South Coast a top tourism destination. But we believe there is so much more opportunity for investors looking to create new tourism offerings or provide tourism support across the sector,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE, the official economic development arm of the KZN South Coast. “We’re on hand to facilitate meetings between interested investors and local establishments, eliminating any hurdles, and encouraging incentives that promote growth in the region.”
SCTIE has partnered with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to establish a One Stop Shop office on the KZN South Coast. This aims to improve the efficiency of doing business, ensuring investors have access to municipal incentives in the district, such as those being offered through Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality (RNM).
The KZN South Coast is primed for investment in leisure, accommodation, events and adventure tourism opportunities, with the recent launch of two trails indicative of the area’s potential. The Umzumbe River Trail, launched earlier this year, is a 70km, week-long hiking adventure led by local trail guides with overnight homestays. Just recently, SCTIE launched the 8km Weza Hiking Trail which traverses two Amakhosi areas, KwaMachi and KwaJali in Umuziwabantu, finishing at Mkhoba Waterfall. These are in addition to several other Great Drives Out experiences such as KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails.
To ensure the success of these ventures, SCTIE partnered with the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) to upskill local tourist guides with CATHSSETTA-accredited qualifications, as well as partnering with SEDA Port Shepstone Branch to train homestays in customer care, food handling and housekeeping.
The KZN South Coast also boasts massive potential as a filming destination, with SCTIE ready to assist in networking opportunities. The region plays host to the annual Ugu Film Festival which attracts the industry’s best, as well as being the chosen site for several international film crews, among them Discovery, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild. The Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom is also the location for local series and films, with popularity continuing to grow.
The ocean economy of the region holds a wealth of tourism development opportunities, with the KZN South Coast home to three Marine Protected Areas, two of which are world-class dive sites: Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. The annual Sardine Run, considered the world’s greatest biomass migration, is a huge drawcard for international visitors, with the annual humpback whale migration only growing year-on-year as these populations increase. Diving, ocean safaris and deep-sea fishing excursions are all thriving, with ample opportunity to grow.
Along the 120km coastal stretch are 58 golden beaches, six of which hold international Blue Flag status and another five earning pilot status. Beyond the attraction of swimming and relaxing, this is considered one of the country’s top surfing destinations with investment opportunities in national and international surfing competitions and events.
With Oribi Gorge and Umtamvuna Gorge; Lake Eland Game Reserve; and numerous nature reserves, the KZN South Coast sets the scene for adventure tourism! The destination is already home to the award-winning Wild 5 Adventures which includes The Wild Swing into the gorge, the Wild Slide abseil adventure, quad biking, white water rafting and more. The trend in adventure tourism is only set to grow, and the KZN South Coast is proving the ideal location.
There are also many cultural gems hidden along the KZN South Coast just waiting to be unearthed by keen-eyed investors. The Nightingale shipwreck in Trafalgar; the São Joao shipwreck and monument in Port Edward ; museums, art galleries and the Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre are just a selection of the historic sites within the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom.