Media Alert – Tourism sector rebuilding itself

Reputation & Crisis Management Gaining Ground
Media Alert: A Meander to the Midlands and a chance to explore some unique tourist gems

Media Alert – Tourism sector rebuilding itself

Dear valued colleague

Top TV presenters and famous actors Siv Ngesi and Jonathan Boynton-Lee popped into the Zulu Kingdom this week (February 11-12, 2021) to enjoy some of the province’s magnificent tourism treats in the wake of the easing of some of the lockdown regulations.

The pandemic and subsequent restrictions have hit the hospitality industry hard over the months and there have been spiralling losses in income, jobs and businesses.

Ngesi and Boynton-Lee toured the North Coast with Durban couple Bongiwe and Sipho Ntshangase, who were guests of Tourism KZN after they won an-all expenses paid trip in a Valentines competition hosted by Gagasi FM.

They toured the Dolphin Coast visiting various attractions including the Sugar Rush Park , Ballito Microlighting and Ballito Ski Park. They caught up with Ilembe Enterprise acting CEO Cheryl Peters where they tasted wine at the newly established winery Seventeen 87.

Captions and pictures are enclosed herein of the activities.

Byline: Pics supplied by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal

1.     Caption for pic slugged ballitokids

Children take lockdown break: Taking on extreme water sports at the Ballito Ski Park this week, were North Coast cousins, Kesley and Kair Sheppy, and Liam Van Der Berg. The youngsters were like fish in water. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal caught up with the children and their mothers, Yolande Engelbrecht and Estie Sheppy at the park owned by Rachel and Jan Janse Van Vuuren. TKZN is on an aggressive drive to restore tourism to its former glory. Visit for best deals and packages to make your holiday plans.

Also see separate picture of Liam Van Der Berg landing off the water slide with a splash

2.     Caption for pic slugged funinthesun

Duo actors turn into water babies in the Zulu Kingdom: Actors and television hosts Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Siv Ngesi got more than they bargained for when they took on adventure water activities at the Ballito Ski Park on the North Coast. They braved the park’s fatboy, wakeboarding, tube rides and jet skis, enjoying an awesome experience. The two are part of a whirlwind tour of the North Coast, invited by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which has severely affected the tourism sector. Visit for best deals and packages to make your holiday plans.

Also see pic of Jonathan Boynton-Lee (alone) wakeboarding.

3.     Caption for pic slugged winery

Relief for business as alcohol ban eases: Acting CEO for Enterprise Ilembe, Cheryl Peters, together with viticulturist Daniel Maerkl, are welcoming guests to the newly opened winery, Seventeen 87 at Sugar Rush Park in Ballito. This vineyard project of Enterprise Ilembe, was started months ago and forced to close during lockdown. It employs almost 40 people and Ilembe aims to work closely with communities who may eventually own the vineyard. With the alcohol ban now eased, the winery is back in business for tasting and sales. Seventeen87 is the locally produced wine, named after King Shaka. “We are hopeful that more tourists coming to the area to enjoy the oceans and adventure sports can pop in for a wine tasting. The north coast, the northern jewel of the Zulu Kingdom, has a lot to offer,” said Peters. Ilembe District is working closely with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal to restore tourism to its former glory. Visit for best deals and packages for visitors.

4.     Caption for pic slugged valentineswinners

Falling in love with the Zulu Kingdom this Valentine’s Day: Durban couple Bongiwe and Sipho Ntshangase were spotted at various hot spots on the North Coast this weekend after winning an all-expenses vacation sponsored by Tourism KZN and Gagasi FM. The getaway for the romantics could not have come at a better time. The parents to three children had welcomed a Valentine’s Day getaway after being stuck in lockdown for several months. The couple won the competition after their 17-year love story resonated with the listeners on the radio station. “With us winning this trip we are rediscovering our love for KZN. We visited the Sugar Rush Park where we tasted wine at Seventeen 87, a winery overseen by Ilembe Enterprise, rode bicycles, and then soaked in the sun and splashed about at the Ballito Ski Park. What we have found is that despite the lockdown and restrictions there are stringent safety protocols in place in the tourism spots, so guests can enjoy their stay without any worries,” said Bongiwe. As businesses re-open their doors once more, TKZN, is on an aggressive drive to restore tourism to its former glory, hoping that guests travel far and wide to support the trade. Visit for best deals and packages for visitors.

5.  Caption of pic is slugged- Jonathan Boynton-Lee

As free as a bird:  Actor and television presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee is an adrenaline junkie who took sight-seeing in KZN to the next level as he took flight in a microlight this week in Ballito, North of KZN. He described his experience as “exhilarating, yet breath-taking.” “It’s the closest you can get to flying. You are like floating on a pocket of air. Being in flight is a bird’s eye view of the coastland. KZN is a gem. I could feel the wind gushing through my hair. This is one of the most daring things I have done, but I felt safe under the wing with pilot, Ron Can Brede.” TKZN is currently working with various trade partners on an aggressive campaign to showcase the hidden gems of the region, restoring the region’s tourism industry to its former glory amidst COVID-19 regulations. Visit for best deals and packages to make your holiday plans.

6. Caption for pics slugged – Siv and Jonathan together, and Siv and Jonathan in KZN, and Jonathan and Siv in flight

Soaring to greater heights: All eyes were on the North Coast this week as actors Siv Ngesi and Jonathan Boynton Lee joined Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) to explore the northern jewel of KwaZulu-Natal, the North Coast. The duo are part of a tour with TKZN, to showcase how fun can be had in the face of Covid-19 restrictions. The north coast offers a tranquil way of life with its natural luxury. The authority is currently working with various tourism entities to ensure the region’s tourism industry regains it top position, growing it even further. Visit for best deals and packages for visitors.

Please also use at your discretion Q&A session conducted with Ms Peters.


Q: KZN is known to be one of the popular destinations for the Easter season. In previous years the province has seen more than a million tourists visiting. Will that still be the case this year? Seeing that we are facing a serious pandemic?

A: We are confident that we will see visitors return to the North Coast again this Easter. The past year has not been an easy one, with many tourists having to cut short their December holidays due to the 2nd wave of the coronavirus, so many are in desperate need of some time away from it all. We have been receiving a lot of enquiries.

Q: What’s the estimated number of people expected in the North Coast this year?

A: We usually receive in the region of just over a million tourists per annum, and around    80 000 over the Easter holiday period, we are hoping for at least 80% occupancy this year.

Q: How is tourism looking like in lockdown on the North Coast?

A: The tourism sector here on the North Coast has unfortunately also not been immune to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown with several businesses having to close their doors and many jobs lost.

Q: How do you make sure that the North Coast stays very much treasured as a leisure destination?

A: It was and still is important to ensure that we continue to remain top of mind as a destination so that when it’s time to make that decision to take a holiday, the North Coast is first choice. We have worked closely with our provincial partner Tourism KZN using various marketing strategies to ensure that this happen, the key one for us being the #seeyousoon campaign. It was through these efforts that we managed to see higher occupancy levels between September and November 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Local product owners have also come to party and have been offering some fantastic lockdown specials. In addition, we also embarked on a #supportlocal campaign, encouraging locals who couldn’t take their usual destination holidays to rather explore their own backyards and support local.

Q: What kind of events are set up for visitors/ what attractions should they consider visiting during Easter?

A: Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, there are no planned events. The attractions and activities however remain open (following all protocols) and these include golf, museum visits, microlighting, ziplining, beach activities, nature activities, beauty spas, local cuisine and off course our very own Seventeen87 Wine Cellar and Tasting room.

Note: FBI Communications is working with Tourism KZN to conduct media and public relations. For more information contact Sne Ndudula on 0627378407

For more information contact Sne Ndudula on 0627378407

  • Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Siv Ngesi
  • Jonathan Boynton-Lee
  • and Siv and Jonathan in KZN
  • Jonathan Boynton-Lee
  • Siv and Jonathan together
  • winery
  • valentineswinners
  • valentineswinners
  • Liam Van Der Berg landing off the water slide with a splash
  • Jonathan Boynton-Lee
  • Siv Ngesi and Jonathan Boynton-Lee
  • Siv Ngesi and Jonathan Boynton-Lee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.