Original Research

Placemaking and visitors’ reviews of the Golden Mile of Durban

Dumsile C. Hlengwa
Acta Commercii | Vol 21, No 1 | a921 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v21i1.921 | © 2021 Dumsile C. Hlengwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 December 2020 | Published: 09 September 2021

About the author(s)

Dumsile C. Hlengwa, Department of Ecotourism, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Orientation: Placemaking is a proclivity of cities to change space into place through zoning, naming and development into attractive, people-friendly landscapes where diverse, harmonious and sometimes contradicting amenities are coalesced to attract people.

Research purpose: To establish the perceptions of the visitors on appeal, experience and safety of the Golden Mile of Durban.

Motivation for the study: The study was motivated by availability of online reviews that remained unanalysed and did not aid decision-making.

Research design, approach and method: Data were collected from 287 reviews sampled from the Golden Mile website. Qualitative analysis was performed on the data and categorised according to appeal, experience and safety associated with the Golden Mile.

Main findings: The study found that placemaking is always work in progress as destinations strive for competitiveness and to avoid obsoletion. An overwhelming majority of visitors rated the Golden Mile as good to excellent on appeal, experience and safety. Some criticised the place as unsafe with a number of dilapidated buildings spoiling its appeal.

Practical/managerial implications: Planners and tourism developers should factor the grass root approach to placemaking by increasing security and urging property owners to revamp their buildings, thus keeping with the image of the place.

Contribution/value-add: The article emphasises the significance and value added by online visitors’ reviews in placemaking.


Golden Mile; placemaking; visitors’ reviews; appeal; experience; safety


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