The oldest and most famous horse race in Africa is going ahead virtually on July 25 for the first time since it began in 1897. The Durban July usually attracts about 60,000 spectators but will go online this year in line with COVID-19 safety regulations.
“Today’s launch of the Durban Virtual July Experience campaign coincides with a moment that ushers in a glimmer of hope, especially to the tourism and hospitality businesses, as we have recently entered advanced level 3 lockdown regulations. Moreover, we remain hopeful that the City’s economic recovery plan, which we presented in April, will go a long way in assisting businesses to recover,” says mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda.
The Durban Virtual July Experience is a concept that will promote the travel experience that the city of Durban has to offer through its attractions and remind people of what it felt like to be in Durban during the Vodacom Durban July weekend. It is also aimed at encouraging our visitors especially locals to explore what Durban has to offer as the lockdown regulations are gradually de-risked.
Further, the 2020 VDJ will be a creative stage for the City’s fashion programme (Durban Fashion Fair) and will prompt the re imagination in the staging of different pillars of the VDJ including the glitz and glamour of the fashion show.
Themed “Butterflies”, this Africa’s biggest horse racing spectacular, will be held on July 25. For the first time in history of its inception, the Vodacom Durban July will be happening behind closed doors due to lockdown regulations that prevents the hosting of mass events and gatherings. But horseracing followers across the world can still be part of the VDJ through various media platforms as they reminisce on their experiences of visiting Durban.
“For us as the City of Durban, we partner with events to market the destination and the Vodacom Durban July is one of those events that have put Durban on the global map and calendar of events. With this strategic partnership, we are saying people must stay home and be safe but remember to visit Durban and various tourism services and products that are of world standards, as the government gradually opens the country’s economy. We have opted to do this by partnering with some of the strong brands, events and media personnel, the Vodacom Durban July is one the events that tick all such boxes,” he said.
The VDJ provides a platform to showcase and celebrate fashion talent, particularly local designers for which the City is known for through the Durban Fashion Fair programme, and as the City, we’ve always embraced VDJ as a platform not just for horseracing, but for its influence on fashion, business, society and culture as well. Highlights of this year’s fashion showcase will be by some of the best talent that the City has to offer, including DFF 2019 winners and designers supplying the DFF emporium.
As part of dispersal destination promotion, Durban Tourism has partnered with some local township and rural establishments in order to host virtual entertainment sessions.