uShaka Marine world’s diverse attractions, high standard of service excellence and contribution to the local economy resulted in it being voted the province’s top tourism brand and the second most popular overall brand during the KZN Top Business Awards 2017.
Speaking shortly after the awards ceremony, excited CEO, Stella Khumalo, thanked the staff at uShaka Marine World for their contribution. “We believe that these awards are partly due to the offering provided and the fact that uShaka Marine World is home to the largest aquarium in Africa, the only place in South Africa where one can see dolphins, a one-of-a-kind venue with 100s of things to do, and has also attracted over a million visitors each year, however, it is the hard work and dedication of the management and employees at uShaka that have not only kept guests returning for more but have also encouraged them to vote for it,” she said.
The awards – regarded as a highlight of the provincial business calendar – celebrated successful companies and organisations in both the public and private sectors and showcased their achievements.
“We trust that our guests, staff and other stakeholders voted for us because, even after 13 years, uShaka Marine World continues to be a relevant part of the city’s tourism sector and a major draw card to Durban’s Golden Mile as well as an appealing destination in its own right,” she said.
Khumalo added that awards such as this, together with a steady stream of compliments from local and international guests, inspired all at uShaka to go that extra mile.
Two years ago, uShaka implemented a “Good-to-Great” programme and, a year ago, employees also completed a Guest First programme.
“The Good-to-Great program ensures that we continue to create an internal culture that encourages a contribution from the hearts and minds of staff members. This is based on the principle that people support what they create and reject what they feel excluded from. Acknowledging that everyone has a unique contribution to make is at the core of team-work,” she said.
According to Khumalo, an attraction like uShaka needed to continually maintain a balance between providing attractions for which people return again and again – from the largest aquarium in Africa with more than 10 000 marine animals under its care to Wet ‘n wild with 18 water slides as well as uShaka Kids World – and adding new attractions such as the Rope Adventure Park and the current refurbishing of our world famous Cargo Hold restaurant.
Above all, Khumalo said that she was mindful of the fact that “local guests make great ambassadors for local attractions” and thanked all who had voted for uShaka Marine World.
“Our local guests are very important to us because of the mandate upon which uShaka Marine World was founded – to be a catalyst for urban renewal around the Point precinct and a strategic tourism facility for Durban and the KZN province. For this reason, we want to ensure that our performance positively impacts the local economy through a meaningful contribution to tourism while contributing towards a better society through the employment and business opportunities we provide,” she said.
To add, Khumalo emphasized that uShaka Marine World would continue to offer locals good rates as part of its off-peak strategy. This includes #BoredomMustFall which attracts an average of 6000 guests per day during low season, as well as honour the uShaka CSI strategy, which enables the park to provide access to members of the community who would not ordinarily be able to visit a world-class theme park.Tags: Top Business Awards, uShaka Marine World