Indaba 2010 will see a tourism event of considerable national importance when the eThekwini Municipality and Durban Tourism launches the Inanda Tourism trail on Sunday, May 9.

Foreign and local media attending Indaba, as well as a number of high ranking dignitaries and community leaders will converge at the historic Dr. J.L Dube house in the heart of Inanda for the launch of a new branding for the area, as well as for the unveiling of a life-sized bronze sculpture of President Nelson Mandela casting his first democratic vote here in the historic 1994 elections.

“The Inanda Trail is one of South Africa’s most significant destinations”, said Acting Durban Tourism Head, Mr Philip Sithole. “Although Durban is famous for its beachfront attractions, there are numerous other attractions in the city. Some of these are located within communities that have never previously had access to marketing opportunities and are not well known. Durban Tourism intends to change all that and this high profile event in Inanda is evidence of that commitment.”

“Inanda is the cradle of democracy in South Africa with the Gandhi settlement; the birthplace of John Dube, founding father of the ANC; and the spiritual home of the Shembe religion. Dr Nelson Mandela cast his first vote here in the first democratic elections,” he said.

The area is also home to the huge Inanda Dam, offering more leisure opportunities to tourists and locals alike. In addition, large natural areas of pristine bush give the experience of rural Africa just a half hour from the city centre.

“Durban Tourism is excited to be launching this tourist route and we expect it to be a big success. We intend to further develop this area as one of the most important tourist assets, in the eThekwini Municipal area, and elevate it to a much-needed higher profile. We expect to pour tourist development into the area over the next few years to make this a must-see experience.”

If we put tourism in its rightful place as a significant contributor to the GDP, bringing tourists to all our communities will contribute to the development of our city. We will actively seek to promote a wider range of tourism products across the city, and we believe this is just the start of a new approach to marketing the cosmopolitan assets of the city,” said Sithole.

The Chairman of the City’s Economic Development Committee, Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, said, “Inanda and its neighbouring townships of Kwa Mashu and Ntuzuma have been prioritised by the government for accelerated development. The Inanda Heritage Route is an exciting area for tourists and will generate many economic spin-offs for residents when its development is complete. The intention is to extend the route to the Inanda Dam where tourist can have refreshments. This will introduce them to our rural areas and help create job opportunities. “

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