DURBAN - Tourism has an important effect on the economy, whether it is through foreign income or employment, everyone benefits.
According to a Stats SA report, the balance of trade between South Africa and the rest of the world through tourism was R38 311 million in 2014 compared to the R9 970 million in 2010.
Stats SA also shows that 97% of the travellers in South Africa were in the country for holiday. Eric Apelgren had made a few suggestions on how to attract the international market
He emphasised the importance of diversifying the audience that we target and not stick to the United States tourists. Instead of that, we should aim at bringing in tourists from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Apelgren said, “These are the three key markets that Durban must target”. China, in particular, has shown interest in coming to Durban. An international Chinese company called Comfort Tours have expressed interest in coming to South Africa. They see Durban an attractive destination because Durban has beaches, wildlife, shopping and casinos.
Thulani Nzama from the eThekwini Municipality Tourism Department said: “International tourism in Durban contributes to the GDP”. “International tourists also spend money when they come to Durban which translates into job creation for people from Durban” according to Nzama.
Nzama said that international tourists see Durban as a lifestyle experience that they also want to be part of.
Charles Peerce from FEDHASA said, "International tourists mainly go to Cape Town but there is no water in the city so they can't cope."