There are so many people wanting to visit Durban for Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July, that many hotels have waiting lists.
All seven Southern Sun hotels had waiting lists and staff were having to keep people on the lists updated with developments.
“But there have been no cancellations and we are still getting calls from other people who want accommodation for the weekend,” said Mike Jackson, general manager of the beachfront’s Elangeni Hotel.
“The Vodacom Durban July is growing in attraction and excitement with more and more people wanting to come.”
People who could not find rooms in the city would have to turn to the north or the Midlands, he said.
Warren Ozard, the operations manager of the East Coast branch of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa, said that B&Bs were also receiving “frantic calls” from people wanting rooms.
“All the reputable hotels are full and it looks like it is going to be an absolutely bumper July. This is a tremendous boost for the city and comes on the heels of the Top Gear Festival, the rugby international and the Comrades. Friday night’s game between the Sharks and the Bulls is also an added attraction.”
Philip Sithole, head of Durban Tourism, said that apart from the big race itself, there were several pre- and after-parties, and a concert at the People’s Park on Saturday night would attract about 10 000 people.
“Local musicians will do well and thousands of temporary jobs will be created. It’s a very good month and in two weeks’ time we will also be having the Manchester United game,” he said.
Tourism guru, James Seymour, said the Durban July was worth a conservative R140 million to the city and that excluded the impact of sponsorship and the money that would be spent on betting.