Flooding on south coast puts damper on winter tourism

2008-07-01 00:00

The recent floods along the KwaZulu-Natal’s coastline have had a huge impact on tourism figures, said south coast Tourism.

South Coast Tourism CEO Michael Bertram said this year’s winter season is “much quieter” than previous years because of the recent floods and high petrol costs.

Another factor is the movement of sardine shoals away from the south coast. Numbers of local visitors have dwindled in the past two weeks.

He said said that Durban and Pietermaritzburg tourism authorities have also noticed a decrease in tourists.

“Everyone is feeling the pinch now with the petrol and interest rate hikes. It will not be a good holiday season like last year,” he said.

Bertram said that flood damage to beaches like Uvongo and Ramsgate means a loss of income to hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities in the area.

He said that his offices have been inundated with calls from concerned holidaymakers asking about the conditions of the beaches.

Some asked if they would lose their deposits if they didn’t come, while others postponed their holidays.

Bertram said the disaster management team has worked tirelessly to clean up the beaches and rivers, but some beaches are still damaged.

“We are trying our best to direct people to beaches where there are sardine events. Margate Beach is one of the best people can visit,” he said.

While tourism has taken a major dip, Bertram was quick to say they have had bumper tourism figures in previous years.

“At the end of the day, business has profited from decades of good service from the domestic market. We appreciate [locals’] loyalty to us,” he said.

Bertram said many international tourists who had previously visited the south coast called the tourism office to offer assistance with relief efforts.

“People from as far away as Germany have called to enquire about the disaster management efforts. It’s great to see goodwill of people who have spent many happy holidays on the coast,” he said.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.