Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is celebrating 40 years of glorious hospitality, but the best is yet to come, if General Manager Peter Tshidi’s ambitious plans are anything to go by.
Four decades after opening doors, Sun International’s iconic Wild Coast Sun resort, the all-year round tropical idyll ensconced in the warmth of sun, ocean, river, and Eastern Cape hospitality, shows no sign of slowing down.
This continuing legacy of the 396-room icon is partly due to the vision of General Manager Peter Tshidi, a 25-year industry veteran who has filled every conceivable role in the sector, from porter to principal executive, and possesses an infectious enthusiasm and love for people.
Describing Wild Coast Sun as ‘a national treasure and destination that has it all,’ Tshidi said the resort is an ideal location for everything from romantic getaways and family get-togethers to nature and adventure trips and golfing excursions – or simply to escape the humdrum of everyday life at the welcoming Indian Ocean coastline.
“We’re blessed with a fantastic location at Wild Coast Sun. There really is something for everyone here. But there is more to be done to take full advantage of our resources. I’m convinced that the greatest days are yet to come for this resort,” he said
Tshidi has Sun International’s grand old dame limbered up and ready to rumble. Things are generally laidback down in Port Edward, but it’s all action stations when it comes to developing and expanding Wild Coast Sun offerings.
“People are at the heart of the hospitality business. We set out to manage various stakeholder interests and expectations, and keep everyone from guests to investors and surrounding communities happy. It’s important that we continue to measure ourselves and respond to all feedback, so that we constantly improve the resort,” Mr. Tshidi said.
Under his stewardship, the Wild Coast Sun has already made waves by clinching a four-star tourism rating – he calls this his “proudest accomplishment” – and supporting the national effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 by housing the country’s second hospitality vaccination site.
The 750ha property was the first in Africa to receive a prestigious Green Building Council of South Africa’s Net Zero Waste rating for its recycling effort and is set to continue to advance its pioneering sustainability programmes with plans in place to incorporate renewable energy sources and green food initiatives. In addition, the resort will continue to drive rural economic development and support neighbouring communities through its CSI programme.
Along with ongoing gaming, Wild Coast Sun is putting up R14m in cash and prizes in its birthday promotion, the 43-year-old livewire is also intent on expanding the resort’s leisure offerings – from fresh fast food options, retail shops, destination spa, kids entertainment – to cater to guests and day visitors from the surrounding areas.
But the most exciting new development in Tshidi’s crosshairs is the establishment of a safe swimming beach, complete with dedicated lifesavers, lounging areas, beach volleyball and soccer. “It will transform Wild Coast Sun into a proper beach resort and allow us to give guests the full tropical paradise experience,” he explained.
The resort is off to a good start as it takes the first steps towards completing another 40 storied years. Wild Coast Sun recently secured a 20-year casino licence, which will expire in 2041, and in doing so, crossed a crucial administrative hurdle to ensuring the viability of its ever-popular gaming operations.
“The timing of our casino licence is momentous, as we celebrate our 40th birthday in October. We now have the certainty that for the next 20 years this incredible resort, and all of our people, can continue to create great lasting memories for all our guests long into the future.” says Tshidi.