Durban ready to make killing from fan influx

HOTELS and restaurants in Durban are gearing up for the expected influx of visitors and fans ahead of the soccer clash between Germany and Spain at the spectacular Moses Mabhida Stadium tonight.

Warren Ozard, operations manager of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA, said restaurants and hotels would be pumping from this morning until the weekend.

"We expect this phase to bring in the biggest influx of people since the start of the World Cup. We expect a fantastic vibe, with people going to the fan fests, public viewing areas with lunch and breakfast venues in line for a killing," Ozard said.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and Durban mayor Obed Mlaba will interact with the visitors and extend a hand of friendship. They will also encourage them to return to our shores in future.

Dignitaries, including heads of states, investors and key decision makers have attended many pre-match functions.

While they are in the country enjoying the soccer extravaganza, they have been exposed to what the country can offer.

Selected guests will join Mkhize and Mlaba at the Passenger Terminal for cocktails and refreshments while being entertained by dancers and singers to the pulse of the rhythmic beat of leading Zulu performers.

Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium has already hosted six games. Before each match, the premier and mayor's offices have held functions at famous landmarks.

They include the Cargo Hold Restaurant at uShaka Marine World, International Convention Centre, The Moyo on the Pier restaurant and the Playhouse Theatre.

Mkhize's message to the visitors has been: "We urge you to use this opportunity to network with us and realise the many advantages this province has to offer.

"When you are back in your own countries and your thoughts are on business matters, think of South Africa and especially KwaZulu-Natal as an opportunity not to be missed."

Security agencies will be out in full force to keep everyone safe during and after the game, Mkhize promised.