Durban’s Golden Mile – the popular stretch of beachfront that runs from uShaka Beach to Suncoast Casino Hotels & Entertainment in the north – has received a R1.6 billion investment, courtesy of Tsogo Sun’s refurbishment of Suncoast.

Tsogo Sun’s footprint on the Golden Mile includes five hotels spanning 3.3km and represents a total investment of R370 million in renovations in the last five years. The Suncoast redevelopment project is Tsogo Sun’s largest single investment into a property in its history and provides Durban with a world-class entertainment destination that will attract both local and international visitors.

Commenting on Tsogo Sun’s strategy of unlocking growth through capital investment, Glenn Joseph, COO of Tsogo Sun Gaming, says, “Tsogo Sun has spent over R4 billion on casino and hotel refurbishments in the past five years, R1.6 billion of which has been invested into Suncoast in the last 24 months. It has been the bulk of our capital expenditure focus and is testament to our confidence in South Africa and in Durban in particular.”

When it was originally constructed in 2002 at a cost of R1.4 billion, the Suncoast development represented the biggest single investment on Durban’s beachfront. Today, Suncoast has an annual footfall of almost 6 million entertainment-seekers and the eThekwini Council has broken ground on construction to extend Durban’s Beachfront promenade, which will support the R35 billion Point Waterfront development project. Suncoast’s redevelopment project – which includes a floor to ceiling refurbishment of the entire property, the addition of 7 new restaurants, 3 retail outlets, increased casino space, a newly located Salon Privé with 180-degree sea views, a Barnyard Theatre, a multi-purpose event venue and increased underground parking – has added 8 000 square metres of space to the Golden Mile.

“Through this investment, we are proud to support Durban Tourism’s vision to market the city as a “must visit” destination to the domestic and international tourism markets, and in so doing achieve economic development and facilitate job creation”, Says Joseph

According to research released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) earlier this year, travel and tourism was forecast to contribute more to the South African economy in 2018 than in any other year, with predictions that the sector would contribute R424.5bn to the overall SA economy in 2018 – about 3% more than in 2017. Travel and tourism create jobs, drive economic growth and help build better societies.

“Investment, both in terms of product and people, is integral to the success and growth of our business. We are a proudly South African company with a Level 1 BBBEE status and 65% Black ownership.” Tsogo Sun employs 14 369 people directly and a further 8 900 through outsourced services. In the last year alone, the Group has contributed R57 million to CSI initiatives by way of education, sport and environmental awareness, in addition to supporting 242 emerging businesses in the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme.