KwaZulu-Natal offers a range of shopping experiences from mega-malls such as Gateway to rural micro markets. The ongoing construction of new shopping malls and the expansion of existing ones across the Province, gives evidence to the fact that the retail trade is booming. The malls are home to major shopping chains such as Woolworths and Edgars, to shops selling a range of goods from household necessities to electronics, clothing, jewellery, and more specialized items. The increasing middle class is also contributing to the surge in consumerism. Even in many of the smaller towns there are taverns, clothing stores, car-repair shops, cafes, stores selling household goods, and many cell phone kiosks from which people can place calls. Brands are growing and access to new markets is occurring on an incremental basis. Branded chains such as Engen, Standard Bank, Kentucky Fried Chicken are found on the main road which forms the centre of business activity. Small towns and communities are benefiting from projects which allow them to produce and sell arts and crafts. This is of particular relevance to the upliftment of women who often have few skills and little opportunity to find employment.
KwaZulu-Natal's hotels and restaurants are impressive. Scattered across the province are a variety and range which suit all holiday styles and pockets, from cosy self catering cottages to exclusive and luxurious private game resorts. Bread and Breakfast accommodation is a growing phenomenon, popular with both tourists and business people. The cross cultural mix of people also ensures a wide choice of restaurants and entertainment options. Township tourism and an overnight stay and meal in the local community are growing in popularity, creating income opportunities.
The Durban conference centre, named one of the top conference centers in the world is presently undergoing an expansion international. The facilities are impressive and the spin-offs to the local economy are huge.
Specific opportunities in the restaurant, hotel, entertainment and retail arena include the following:
- Waterfront development
- Golden Triangle precinct (traditional tourism hub)
- Victoria Embankment (adjacent to yacht clubs and the commercial heart of the city)
- Wilson's Wharf (with its colorful small craft moorings)
- Inner Ethekwini Regeneration and Urban Management Programme
- Umgeni river mouth (a popular beach and sporting venue)
- Cato Manor Presidential Project, with diverse economic and cultural community development
- Umhlanga-Ukase Joint Venture (growing holiday and up market residential centre, with development of office and commercial space)
- Valley of a Thousand Hills (with its rich Zulu heritage inviting development of cultural tourism)
- Theme hotel development and marina facilities at a string of resorts all along the South Coast
- North Coast hotel and restaurant development, especially at Westbrook Beach