Tourists spoilt for choice

2013-11-09 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S tourism industry is primed for the influx of holidaymakers this festive season and for the anticipated R1,3 billion they will spend.

Fedhasa (the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa) said hundreds of hotels, guest houses, lodges, bed and breakfasts, caravan camping sites and self-catering facilities have already reported that they are filling up.

The association’s operations manager for the East Coast region, Charles Preece, said he had no doubt that all hoteliers would make profits during the peak season.

“KZN has some of the finest accommodation establishments in the country.

“Traditionally, the focus has always been on Durban and the beachfront in particular, but we should not forget the many attractions that our province offers.

“The tranquil resorts of the Drakensberg have their own special magic, whether you are a pool lounger, golfer or walker.”

Preece said further north in the province there are many exceptional game-viewing opportunities.

“Of course, the Natal Midlands can never be excluded as a leisure destination,” he said.

The holiday season starts on December 16 and ends in mid-January.

KZN Tourism said they were expecting 170 000 foreign visitors during the holidays.

Spokesperson Vikki Vink said domestic and foreign visitors would spend an estimated R1,3 billion.

She said the summer visitors would be spoilt for choice when it came to events in the province including the ever-popular annual Durban Jazz Festival happening on December 26, the Fact Durban Rocks New Year’s Eve Bash at People’s Park, as well as the Midmar Dam music festival on December 31, said Vink.

“To kick off the New Year, visitors can enjoy the Umgababa Picnic Festival on January 1, which promises to be an entertaining day for the whole family, filled with fun family activities, good food, arts and crafts, and local fashion.

Tourism KZN has partnered with various members of the tourism trade and will undertake a tollgate campaign at all tollgates entering KZN, such as Montrose Plaza, Oribi Plaza and Tongaat Plaza.

“Visitors entering the province will receive an information pack at the toll, along with discount vouchers from various tourism experiences that can be enjoyed in the province.”

The latest statistics of the KZN tourism sector show that Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Zululand are the most popular destinations for visitors.

Between 2011 and 2012, 6,2 million visitors travelled to the province, and going to the beach, visiting a nature or wildlife or game reserve, watching a live sporting event and visiting a museum, art gallery or historical building were the most popular activities.

Most of our visitors came from Swaziland, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

KZN was a popular long-haul destination for Britons, Americans, Canadians, Germans, French, Australians and the Dutch.

The majority of visitors, 70,3%, travelled to Durban, making use of the city’s hotels, self-catering facilities and, of course, the beaches.

In Durban, the B&B option offers an alternative to the beachfront hotels.

Loeriebos B&B, in the heart of Westville with a view over the Palmiet Nature Reserve, is fully booked from December 14 till January 6.

Owner Sanet Beukes said they would be accommodating a family who will be having their Christmas get-together at the B&B.

“They booked the B&B out for their family in December last year. The family members are from all over the globe, with some from Australia.”

Beukes said 98% of her guests come to Durban on business trips and she has had guests from England and Israel who book regularly.

“I do not ask for a deposit because most of my clients pay in advance.”

An increasing number of tourists are coming to Durban to get an experience of township life, said Nosipho Makhathini, the manager at Kwa Max’s Lifestyle, an upmarket shisa nyama pub in uMlazi.

“We will be hosting afro-pop duo Mafikizolo and a host of Metro FM DJs. Gauteng-based radio station Kaya FM, will be down here on December 4 and they will broadcast from our venue, so we are looking forward to hosting them.”

The eatery has gone from offering braai meat and African cuisine to local and international tourists to now also offering a boutique and hair salon as well as conference facilities.

KZN Supply Statistics 2011

Hotels 224

Guest Houses 362

Lodges 174

Bed and Breakfasts 684

Caravan and Camp Sites 98

Self-Catering 704

Youth Hostels/Backpackers 36

Conference Venues 261

Tourist Guides 1327

Tour Operators 455

Source: TKZN July 2012 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.

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