Markets of Warwick Tour, a community tourism product from Warwick Junction, won the Best Marquee Stand Award at this year’s Durban International Boat and Lifestyle Show. This is a second time as last year; Markets of Warwick Tour won the same award. The show celebrated its 10th year on the 28 – 30 June 2013 at the Durban Marina. Nearly 12 000 Durbanites, as well as hosts of holiday makers made their way to the show. Favoured by three days of magnificent weather, the show displayed variety of products and services by over 60 exhibitors. Anything nautical was a show stopper, from crafted small model boats to impressive yachts! Fun-filled attractions like kite flying ensured that people were entertained all throughout the show.
The theme for this year’s stand was “Showcasing an African cultural lifestyle”. First, the backdrop was a street scape of the working market in Brook Street. This brought colour and life into the stand. It was complimented by products displayed at the stand which resembled the way these products are displayed at the Markets in Warwick Junction. On display were crafted cultural apparel and households accessories, indigenous crops like amadumbe (yams) and traditional herbs and facial products. All products displayed are produced by the local crafters and farmers who sell these products throughout the 9 markets in Warwick Junction. To get into the spirit of the show, a centre piece 50cm wire beaded model boat was branded the “Durban Boat Show”. On sale were especially made wire beaded boat key rings, which sold like hot cakes. This created a lot of interest from corporates who visited the stand, and were encouraged to work with crafters to make products which could be used as corporate gifts.
The stand was managed by AeT staff assisted by MoW tour guide and trader at the Bead Market, Toe Shozi who recently joined AeT as an Intern. They took turns in disseminating information about the markets and Tour to people visiting the stand. The passion and enthusiasm exhibited by staff to engage the visitors is believed to be what made the Markets of Warwick Tour stand win the Award!
Among the thousands of visitors who visited our stand was Associate Professor Frances Lund who believed on day one that the stand was the best stand because of its colourful displays and uniqueness, and that it deserved an award! Frances Lund is the Director of the WIEGO Social Protection Programme which seeks to investigate and highlight the risks that challenge women working in the informal economy and as a response, create interventions to protect these women. WIEGO has recently partnered with Asiye eTafuleni to conduct an Occupational Health and Safety project that aims to highlight and educate the Warwick Junction trader community on hazards challenging their occupations and places of work and how to manage these to minimize the negative impact on their health and safety.
The highlight of the show was handing over gifts of branded wire beaded model boats to the Creative Events team, who are organisers of the show and Trade and Investment KwaZulu Natal (TIKZN) who are one of main sponsors of the show. This was in appreciation to these institutions for creating opportunities and platforms for small business enterprises and community based projects to showcase and market their services. Over a thousand Markets of Warwick Tour brochures were distributed and nearly 50 people booked tours for themselves, friends and visitors.