This weekend the South Coast and inland will be cacophony of sound by virtue of thousands of bikers attending the 2015 version of Africa Bike Week which is probably the single most important event for our area.
We welcome all our visitors to this prestigious showcase to which we are a part funder along with the Hibiscus Coast and Ugu District Municipalities.
Bike Week is great for our tourism economy albeit it lasts a few days. Down here there is another motor sport related initiative that to my mind also has future significance for our leisure and tourism industry.
The upgrade and formal introduction of Dezzies Raceway to the South African racing calendar is a huge boost for motor sport in our province.
Centuries ago when I was a boy, I thrilled at watching Graham Hill and Jim Clarke do battle at the then Westmead circuit in Pinetown and when my older brother raced Formula Ford, we would join thousands of enthusiasts at the Roy Hesketh circuit in Pietermaritzburg to watch the famous Dicky Dale Trophy for motor bikes, the formula one championship series and the three hour endurance races.
Then for decades motor racing in KZN went dead. Now and with foresight, our own Desmond Gutziet has put his hand up (and his resources) and blessed us with South Africa’s newest racing venue at Oslo Beach.
We understand that this year, some 25 events are scheduled for this circuit which is good news for our destination. Race entrants, their teams and family will join armies of media and spectators on race days and with them comes the spend on hospitality, consumables, accommodation, retail and leisure preferences.
I believe that we should support this new entrant to our tourism and leisure offering by encouraging more and more people to support events at the raceway. I have no doubt that if we do, race promoters, sponsors and the motor industry will realise that we have a gem of a facility and assist towards its success.
The petrol head market is huge. Just think of the Indianapolis 500, the Isle of Man TT, Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix and one realises that tourism is the ultimate winner in terms of monetary injection into a local economy.
Dezzies raceway gets our chequered flag and with it goes our congratulations and best wishes for future success to the Gutzeit family- Paradise is revving.