Durban and the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal have won the right to host the 2016 World Leisure Congress. This year the event is being held in Italy.
The Secretary General of the World Leisure Association, Dr. Christopher Edginton, made the announcement at the Inaugural Congress of the Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa dinner, which was hosted at the Elangeni Hotel on Durban’s famous Golden Mile.
Key dignitaries in the audience, which included the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Mabuyakhulu, The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ms Saphetha, and Ethekwini Deputy Mayor, Ms Shabalala were elated by the announcement as they were strong supporters of the bid.
“Some 1,500 – 2,000 international delegates are expected to attend this congress. The economic spend of these delegates is expected to be well in excess of $2.5 million,” said James Seymour, CEO of the Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau.
“This will be the first time in the 60 years of this important congress that the event is hosted in Africa. It will be an important opportunity to build the legacy of leisure and recreation education and training in South Africa,” said Seymour.
The Durban Convention Centre continues to lead the industry in Congresses with the city also selected to host the World Association of Co-operative Education Congress for 2013; at which some 700 international delegates are expected to attend.
The bid to host the World Leisure Congress was driven by the Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa, with substantial support from the Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau. The Durban ICC also played an important role in this process.