Durban offers warm experience to tourists and World Cup guests

"Durban is the warmest place to be".

This will be the punchline of Durban's campaign to attract tourists during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

At the unveiling of the city's 2010 creative campaign to a group of key stakeholders yesterday, deputy mayor Loggie Naidoo urged business, the media, foreign embassies, students and celebrities to play their part in promoting Durban as the "warmest place to be for the 2010 Fifa World Cup."

"Work with us and each other to make Durban the most unforgettable experience for local and international guests.

"The benefits of returning tourists will be felt for generations to come," Naidoo said.

He urged business and other stakeholders to encourage their employees to get involved in the World Cup by enabling them to follow the matches by providing access to television broadcasts.

"Come up with your own ideas to participate and contribute to this once-in-a-lifetime event," he said.

The 2010 Local Organising Committee has chosen Durban as the venue for the World Cup 100-day countdown celebrations on March 2.

Naidoo urged all stakeholders to participate "by lining the streets with the flags and colours of all 10 visiting teams".

The city will profile each of the 10 visiting countries for the Group Stage matches.

It will also officially open Moses Mabhida Stadium on the day.

Durban will host 10 national teams during the Group Stages of the World Cup. The city will also host the semifinals.

Naidoo also urged foreign embassies and consulates to inform the public about their visiting teams and travelling supporters.

"Please help Durban to welcome your countrymen and women in their home language," he said.

Guest speaker at the event - South Africa's leading scenario planner and author Clem Sunter - urged city bosses and stakeholders to make the most of the recession and to give 2010 Fifa World Cup visitors the option of being at the "cheaper alternative".

Naidoo said overseas visitors would also have less money to spend and should find Durban the "preferred alternative".