The KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority, which operates under the name Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, is responsible for the development, promotion and marketing of tourism into and within the province. The Authority’s statement of intent and direction is drawn from the mandate vested in the Organisation by the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Act, 1996 (as amended, including No. 2 of 2002).
Prior to 1994, tourism marketing was a function of national government. However, following the installation of a democratic national government in that year, this responsibility was devolved to the provinces. Provinces are now responsible for both tourism product development and the marketing of their regions both domestically and internationally. At the national level, the National Department of Tourism utilises South African Tourism as its marketing arm with its role to market the country generically to international markets.
The vision of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal is to position the province of KwaZulu-Natal as Africa’s leading tourism destination, nationally and internationally. The mission of this organisation is to initiate, facilitate, co-ordinate and implement:
- strategic tourism marketing, and
- demand–driven tourism development programmes
- Which grows tourism and thereby serving to achieve: the transformation of the tourism sector within the province, providing economic benefits to all stakeholders and the province.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal was the first Destination Management Organisation (DMO) in Africa to be accreditted as a United Nations World Tourism Organisation S'Best DMO, and to receive the prestigious UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Tourism Governance. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal received this award as a result of its Knowledge Management Programme. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal is an associate member of the UNWTO and a member of its Destination Council.