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Club Med: the catalyst KZN needs

Article by: Adele Mackenzie

ON TRACK for its July 2026 opening, operators and tourism officials have voiced optimism that the R2bn (€103m) Club Med Tinley resort will be a major catalyst for international tourism to KZN. Club Med MD, Oliver Perillat, told media and delegates at Africa’s Tourism Indaba that the resort – located north of Ballito along the Dolphin Coast – was already attracting significant global interest and would stimulate the province’s economy. According to Perrilat, the project is expected to generate over 800 direct jobs and an additional 1 500 indirect jobs, with 1 200 jobs created during the construction phase. The resort will offer 66 villas, 342 hotel rooms and a variety of leisure activities, including kids’ and teen clubs, as well as watersports such as windsurfing and kayaking. In line with Club Med’s strong MICE background, the resort will host conference facilities catering for up to 500 delegates.

Boon to international travel
Operators are hopeful that the opening will result in an influx of travellers to KZN. “This will have a catalytic effect on improving volumes into KZN. We need to be building awareness and demand in key source markets now,” said Craig Rutherfoord, MD of Ghost Mountain Inn. KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma, said the development aligned with the province’s diversification strategies. “Key to bringing tourists back to a destination year after year and encouraging new visitors is the development of new experiences and products. South Africa’s first Club Med resort is a major indication of investor confidence in KZN and its future tourism potential,” said Duma. The resort development is unique in that it will not only offer direct access to a long and secluded beach but also the opportunity for a bush stay at an 80-room lodge in a Big Five game reserve.The lodge will be accessible via a 3.5 hour road transfer or a 40-minute charter flight from the resort. Murray Collins, CEO of local Umhlanga-based developer, Collins Residential, highlighted that the lodge and beach resort would both be developed to Club Med standards to ensure an integrated dual beach and bush experience.

Pictures are an artist’s impression of Club Med. 

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