Visitors staying with locals as hotels and guest houses fill up

2010-05-29 00:00

SCORES of visitors to Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas will have to settle for “home-stay” accommodation as the region’s hotels and B&Bs have reached capacity.

A host of events taking place in and around the city — including the Comrades Marathon, the Royal Agricultural Show, Nashua Art in the Park and the Golden Horse Sprint — have attracted thousands of out-of-town guests, particularly from Gauteng.

The director of Pietermaritzburg Tourism, Melanie Veness, told The Witness that they have been referring visitors to “home-stay” alternatives as most local establishments are fully booked.

“The city has been chock-a-block for at least a month. We have been receiving hundreds of calls per day for the past month. One of the reasons for the trend is that Comrades 2010 has attracted its second largest field of runners. We’ve been referring people to home-stay alternatives … people who make their homes available to visitors at a price. There is even an agent in Hillcrest involved in this business.”

Veness said her organisation has been helping Comrades visitors to secure accommodation for 2010 race since October 2009.

The Royal Show attracts between 170 000 and 210 000 visitors and hundreds of exhibitors come from other provinces. She said they too have found the city “packed to capacity”.

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