Tourism Month is celebrated annually in September with the aim of encouraging our locals to explore their own local destinations. It also provides the tourism industry an opportunity to create awareness on the importance of domestic tourism to drive the economy. September is also Heritage Month and it offers the perfect the time of the year to celebrate our city’s rich cultural diversity and heritage.
Tourism has become a vital part of our regional economy and we are prioritizing a lot of investment and resource’s into tourism and especially into building a strong global travel brand and identity for our city. Tourism Month kick starts in the City of Durban with the ever popular Shisanyama Festival. On Saturday September 2, Eyadini Lounge in uMlazi will be play host to a crowd of over 5,000 shisanyama fans ready to enjoy local flavors and lifestyle.
Phillip Sithole, Acting DCM and Head of Durban Tourism eagerly stated that one of the core messages this tourism month is aimed at developing sustainable tourism, therefore initiatives such as the Shisanyama Festival positively stimulates the local tourism and small business value chain. The eThekwini Municipality has prioritized tourism development as part of a wider tourism development aimed at job-creation and income generation. 
Township Tourism positively contributes to boosting tourism and towards the building of integrated ‘urban places’ which is primarily aimed at giving visitors an insight into the, history, culture, lifestyle and cuisine of our locals. The event is a celebration of the best of South African culture – good food, music, and fashion. In a culmination of all things tasty, KZN’s best open-flame chefs will cook side-by-side to determine who makes the best shisanyama in Durban.
Tourism month will also come alive from 26 September to 1 October 2017, as Durban will be Host City to the Essence Festival Durban, under the theme; Firing Africa with Inspiration. The international festival brings the best of local and international talent to Durban ICC, which takes place in conjunction with the Durban Business Fair. The Festival will bring together voices of influence and power from around the globe and connects with local business communities whilst celebrating excellence, by providing platforms of inspiration to the youth and women through motivational sessions with cultural and business luminaries.

The Essence Durban Festival programme is diverse, informative, thought provoking and fun. It is focused on talent, cultural, economic and business development which connect with many people. We trust that through the hosting of the Essence Festival Durban the City will benefit from the intense marketing and business growth in the tourism sector. Last year the festival drew over 60,000 attendees from across the country. Injecting over R230 million into the province’s GDP. 
The festival mosaic programme consists of Durban Business Fair, business conferences, business masterclass, youth entrepreneurship, women economic empowerment, health and lifestyle, beauty and style and empowerment stages will continue to provide an invaluable platform for businesses to network and build relationships with international experts for local business to be globally competitive.
The festival further provides a platform for the city to invest in SMME’s, through the Durban Business Fair as well as Arts and Culture economy, through a number pre-event activities that are carried out in the build-up and during the Festival, which goes a long way in fuelling the economic engine of the City.
Other Events celebrated this Tourism Month in the City:
Mrs Universe Pageant:  2 September, Durban ICC
Coca Cola Bunny Chow Barometer:  3 September, Blue Lagoon
18th Jomba Contemporray Dance Experience: 1 – 3 September, University of KwaZulu Natal 
Mercury Wine Week: 1 September, Greyville Convention Centre
Durbane Spring Break: 2 September, uShaka Marine World
Bafana Bafana vs Cape Verde, 3 September, Moses Mabhida Stadium 
Durban Port Festival: 9 – 10 September 
KwaMashu Heritage Festival: 24 September
ECR Concert Comedy Craft Festival: 25 September, Botanic Gardens
World Tourism Day: 27 September 2017

For more information: Mayasree Moodley on 031 3224169 or
Issued on behalf of Durban Tourism
Sbusiso Zondi
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
031 322 4160 or 0815290602