Almost 82 000 people descended onto the sunny shores of Durban over the Heritage Day long weekend.
This provided a much needed economic boost to the eThekwini Municipality’s tourism sector, according to the municipality’s head of communications, Lindiwe Khuzwayo.
In a statement, Khuwayo said that there was a 60 percent average occupancy rate in Durban and 95 percent of accommodation were fully booked on Friday and Saturday nights.
“The direct spend over the long weekend was R107 million, contributing R265 million to the gross domestic product and creating approximately 570 temporary and long-term job opportunities,” said Khuzwayo.
The municipality has been working tirelessly with stakeholders in the tourism industry to rebuild the sector that was affected by Covid-19.
eThekwini Mayor, councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, said this sends a clear message that Durban remains South Africa’s playground and that it is safe to travel and explore Durban. He is confident the summer season will definitely yield greater results.
“This gives us hope that the industry is recovering. It is a sure sign that we are beginning to return to some sense of normalcy in the tourism sector after many challenges including Covid-19 and the civil unrest in July. As we head towards the festive season, we are reviving the intra-provincial activations and will provide entertainment along the beachfront during school holidays,” said Kaunda.
The city is currently running its ‘My City, My Heritage’ campaign, which involves activities being rolled out in September. The campaign showcases key tourist attractions in the city and encourages locals to rediscover their own city.
Khuzwayo added that the city is preparing to host focus group consultations with members of the tourism trade. She said that this will allow them to provide input to the visitor marketing strategy which is currently being reviewed. The review aims to find new strategies to market the city.