Durban - Durban is ready to greet more than 25 000 visitors per day over the festive season but the eThekwini municipality is also looking at long-term plans to boost tourism figures. Yesterday, the city leaders launched an economic development and visitor strategy. A key component of the city’s strategy focuses on growing “brand Durban”, highlighting the majestic infrastructure and showcasing the visitor experience to new markets. The city wants to attract more tourists from Gauteng while rolling out its brand to the United Kingdom, America, Germany, India and China. They also plan on developing potential new markets in Namibia, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, France, Singapore and Mozambique. The plan is to attract over five million tourists yearly to the city and to inject approximately R10m into the economy, which will support 74 000 jobs. The hosting of the second urbanisation and third friendship cities and local government co-operation under the banner of Brics is being seen as a good time for the launch. The city’s head of business support, tourism and markets, Phillip Sithole, said the “Durban Visitors Strategy” is aligned to both the national and provincial tourism strategies. At the moment, statistics indicate that over 3,8 million tourists visit the coastal town and generate R5,7 billion for the regional economy, supporting 61 000 jobs. “This could fall to 3,5 million tourists spending R5,9 bn at current prices not taking into account inflation and supporting only 56 000 jobs. By not boosting regional tourism, these figures are predicted to decline by 2020,” said Sithole. Mayor James Nxumalo said tourism was the fastest growing sector of the economy.