Hosted by the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, it is the first time the event will take place in Africa, a new frontier for growth. The event attracts the most senior representatives from airlines, airports and tourism authorities, who wish to meet, plan and discuss new and existing global air services. The 2015 event expects to see up to 3,000 delegates, 300 airlines, 800 airports and 200 tourism authorities.
A thriving tourist destination and aviation hub, Durban is fast becoming the most important gateway for Africa. South Africa’s third-largest city claims to be the country’s sporting capital, with a number of stadiums, venues and golf courses. The beachfront was completely redeveloped for the 2010 World Cup, and the city is built around one of the busiest ports in Africa.
The city’s port is busiest container port in Africa, and the King Shaka International Airport, completed in 2010, is the primary airport serving Durban.
10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Durban
- The site of Durban was visited in 1497 by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who named it Rio de Natal. Natal means ‘Christmas’ in Portuguese.
- Durban Harbour is the 9th largest in the world
- The Gateway Shopping centre is the largest mall in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, and includes a theme park, skate park (designed by Tony Hawk) and over 350 stores
- The spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Ghandi began his political journey in Durban.
- Ushaka Marine World is the 5th largest aquarium in the world
- The first steam railway in South Africa was opened in Durban in 1860. The line was only 8 km long (between the Point and Pine Terrace).
- Durban is host to one of Africa’s largest horse races – The Durban July. The first official horse race took place there in 1844.
- Durban is one of the top surfing destinations in South Africa and there was once a movement by the KZN government to move sand (excess left over from the current widening of the harbour) to increase the quality of waves.
- The famous Timeless cricket Test match between England South Africa took place in Durban, lasting over ten days.
- British colonisation of the region began in 1824
Watch this independent timelapse video production below, produced by Kierran Allen & Matt Wilkes, which captures Durban in a unique way.