KZN to cash in on July

2010-07-27 12:26

The 2010 edition of the Vodacom Durban July to be run on Saturday, looks set to ride the post-World Cup wave of euphoria and once again attract a sell-out crowd at the Greyville Racecourse, in the process repeating the R500 million cash injection for the regional economy as a direct result of the raceday.

Using figures generated in a thorough survey done after the 2008 event, and analysing trends and similarities between the current raceday and last year’s event, regional tourism bosses are bullish that this year will match if not exceed the successes of last year’s event.

Hospitality service provider Mike Holmes of Event World said: “Bookings are right up there with the busiest July. We all know we are still feeling the economic recession, and many private individuals and corporates overspent on the World Cup, but this event seems to be a non-negotiable part of people’s social diaries.”

Conservatively using the figures generated for the 2008 event and ignoring inflation, the statistics reveal 26% of those that attend the July fly in from outside of the province, and spend on average R8 333 on the weekend in Durban.

A further 34% of the 55 000 raceday patrons are from outside of Durban, and travel to the raceday, spending an average R1 300.

The direct personal spending on hospitality, food, drink, clothing and related services such as transport and accommodation exceeds R300 million.

However, the research also showed this direct spend on the event triggered further immediate economic activity for the region’s hospitality industry that catered for the needs of raceday patrons, totalling approximately R158 million.

Add to this figure the spend on betting on the 12 race card, which most observers believe should match the record breaking betting spree experienced last year, when the July itself attracted R32.4 million in betting spend, while the entire raceday saw R90.7 million wagered at totes across the country.

Combined, the July looks set to see over R500 million changing hands over the coming weekend, reinforcing the value of sport tourism, and the valuable attraction of iconic events such as the July.

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