Manzini-Durban Tourism has joined up with the City of Manzini in promoting tourism in the city, this was exemplified when they brought the Durban Tourism Ricksha Bus for the benefit of locals and tourists alike into Manzini.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of Manzini, Quinton Els told the public that “as part of Manzini’s long-term tourism trajectory we envision ourselves having this kind of tour bus in our city in the not-so-distant future. That is the reason we are really grateful to Durban Tourism for choosing the vibrant city of Manzini as one of the cities in the Kingdom of Eswatini to host the Ricksha Bus Parade.”
Els went on to mention that “the visit by Durban Tourism comes at a time when we have taken a decision to position our city as a tourism destination of choice. Through our existing partnership with Eswatini Tourism Authority and Bush Travel Tours we will soon be developing a vibrant tourism strategy, the objective being to take the Manzini’s tourism to the next level. As a city we take pride in our rich historical background. Through this historical information we believe that we are sitting with gold in our hands. All we need to do is to start extracting it.”
Els mentioned that “A total of 26 historical sites have been identified in our city. Some of them have been declared as national monuments while others are still in the process. We have not stopped there, through our partnership with Eswatini Tourism Authority and Bush Travel Tours, we have packaged them into what we refer to as the Manzini Eco-City Tour. What we are now working on is their promotion as compelling must-visit tourist sites. I am happy that we will soon experience the exciting Manzini Eco City Tour. I would like to encourage both domestic and international tourists to make the city of Manzini one of their top tourist destinations. Our city has a lot to off in terms of tourism.
Responding to Els’s comments, the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Moses Vilakati said “what we are witnessing here today is the culmination of Eswatini’s revived relationship with the KwaZulu-Natal province through the East3Route initiative wherein a Statement of Agreement was signed with Mozambique, Durban and Mpumalanga on the 4th of May at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba. We are pleased that the objectives outlined in the agreement have transcended beyond words on paper and manifested into proactive and creative activations such as this one. It is my greatest honour to welcome the City of Durban.”
Vilakati explained that “it is critical that we strategically align our resources and tourism products, and intentionally direct our focus towards being part of their itineraries. Such is the spirit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) vision which seeks to connect almost 1.3bn people across 54 African countries through creating a single market for goods and services in order to deepen the economic integration of Africa.”
The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to boost domestic and intra-regional travel through potential ease in cross-border movement. It is also expected to address transport challenges such as high cost of air transport and the inflexible visa regime.