B&Bs brace for festive season bonanza

2014-11-10 00:00

BED and breakfast accommodation is trending among holidaymakers this festive season, partly due to its affordability.

Operational Manager at the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) Charles Preece said there is still plenty of space available in Durban.

“People love our beaches. That is why they will head to us,” he said.

“For accommodation options they will lean towards what is more affordable, which is usually bed and breakfast accommodation, with a few opting to stay with family,” he added.

Cathy Botha, Marketing co-ordinator at Protea Hotels, said that B&B accommodation is definitely competition for them this year.

“Business will pick up after December 16,” she said. “We have already achieved about 70 to 80% occupancy for the season, but we have noticed that corporate companies have dropped our services while leisure booking is normal,’ she added.

Dean Arumugan, manager at Laletsa Lodge in Glenwood said the establishment had already started preparing for the expected influx of tourists.

“For this festive season we are already 80% booked out and that is a lot more than last year,” he said.

“Visitors like it here because of the quiet and the homeliness, so we are preferred over hotels,” he added.

Heather Hunter, manager at the Honey Pot Guesthouse said that B&B accommodation is a totally different environment and has a personal feel to it.

“We are fully booked for December as well as the first few weeks of January already, and I have already started turning people down,” she said, adding that guests liked the home-away-from-home atmosphere.

Tourism Durban head Philip Sithole said the city will always have enough accommodation.

“We are a tourism city. We are prepared for the tourists that are coming in and there is enough holiday accommodation,” he said.

Sithole confirmed that everything is running smoothly so far in terms of preparing for the holiday season.

He told The Witness earlier this year that an ambitious plan to boost the city’s coffers during the festive season had paid off, with holidaymakers injecting a healthy R2,5 billion into the local economy.

He said the tourists who flocked to Durban during the festive season — most of whom were South Africans — spent more money compared to any previous year.

“We had set ourselves a target of attracting more than 1,2 million visitors and we achieved that.”

• raisa.soodyal@witness.co.za

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