Durban has made it to the Top 21 List and is a strong contender to become the next New 7 Wonder City of the World, competing with other leading finalist cities like Bangkok, Barcelona, Beirut, Chicago, Doha, Havana, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz, London, Mendoza, Mexico City, Mumbai, Perth, Quito, Reykjavik, Saint Petersburg, Seoul, Shenzhen and Vigan.His Worship the Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo eagerly expressed that this achievement is a great honour for the City of Durban. “To be positioned amongst other leading global cities of the world like London and Mumbai, proudly shows the commitment and competitive edge of our city as a leading Tourism, Events and Business Destination. We have recently been voted as the Friendliest City in South Africa and CNN voted Durban as one of the World’s most Underrated City’s, we are delighted that the World finally recognises the great potential of Durban”, says Nxumalo. Phillip Sithole, Head of Durban Tourism states that this is a huge accolade for Durban, the tourism impact for a city to achieve this global status is tremendous, as visitors tend to visit cities that have been nominated on the 7 Wonder Lists.
“We are optimistic to be a finalist city and we show gratitude to all the voters that had confidence to vote for Durban. Contributing to the success of the New7Wonders Cities initiative, the campaign needs to be more aggressively marketed and supported on a continent level, as we are the only city from Africa to have made it to the Top 21 List. The next phase is critical and the city will do its utmost to increase the awareness and votes for Durban, to ensure we become a New 7 Wonder City of the World”, says Sithole.
The New7Wonders Cities campaign now enters its penultimate voting stage, which will run until 7 October, when the list of 21 will be reduced to 14. The 7 Official New7Wonders Cities will be revealed on 7 December 2014. Durban has found itself on this esteemed qualification list and has many significant offerings. The architectural masterpiece The Moses Mabhida Stadium, uShaka Marine World, one of the largest aquariums in the world, the International Convention Centre (ICC) is the leading conference centre in Africa, the warm hospitality, the rich cultural diversity and the vibrant urban lifestyle that reflects the energy and culture of the city all add to Durban’s well deserved positioning of being nominated to be on this list.
“The timing of this great achievement could not have come at a better time as the city prepares to launch its new Smart Cities Campaign, a documentary that forms part of the National Geographic Campaign in Washington on 16 July 2014”, says Sithole. The NATGEO Partnership was launched in April 2012 and designed to encourage travel audiences to re-evaluate South African cities and see Durban as a 21st Century relevant ‘Liveable’ cities. National Geographic has created an engaging campaign of relevant and impactful content delivered across multiple global platforms to a curious, engaged audience of global traveller and thus far has reached an audience of 469 million global viewers.
The World’s Smart Cities Programme will feature up to 18 of the world’s most liveable cities, cities capable of adapting and thriving with the growing urban trend, providing the best cities to live, visit, study and do business. The 1 hour long documentary is hosted by Digital Nomad Andrew Evans and Phindi Gule and will focus on Destination Durban as a Smart City. The documentary will also bring to life unique and rich personality’s to share their stories and global icons like Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be profiled. The Launch will also be used as a platform to infiltrate a key source market, the USA to Durban and strategic partnerships will be forged to aggressively market the destination on a global level.
To cast your vote for Durban, visit www.new7wonders.com/en/cities