A RECORD number of 34 208 visitors were counted at the Howick Falls view site during December, almost 20% more than the 28 676 recorded in December 2012. The Friends of the Falls volunteer group, who welcome visitors and record statistics, report that the average daily count for the month was 1 103 — the first time that more than 1 000 people a day have been recorded for any month in Howick. The busiest day was Saturday, December 28, when an incredible 3 281 visitors crowded the view site. Friends of the Falls convenor Stan Goodenough said that his volunteers only count visitors arriving between 8.30 am and 4 pm, so those who arrive in the early morning and late afternoon are not included in the statistics. “Assuming that each visitor spent a minimum of R100 on necessities such as food, drink and petrol, the 34 000 visitors pumped more than R3 million into the local economy during December alone. “Our five tourism trainees play a major role and do an excellent job at the Falls,” he said. “Thanks to the generosity of local businesses Harvard House, Howick, Travel, Bundu Bashers Travel and Merrivale Motors, we have funding for the trainees through to the end of 2014.” The 2 443 foreign visitors last month represented a 7,9% increase over the 2 270 recorded in December 2012, while the 31 765 South Africans were 20% more than the 26 406 who arrived in the previous December. The top four foreign countries were Germany (528), England (405), Holland (329) and Australia (171).