Nearly 200 000 visitors spend almost R150m in eThekwini over Christmas weekend
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DURBAN - At least 200 000 visitors descended on eThekwini for the Christmas weekend.
eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said he was elated about the tourism sector’s preparedness for the festive season, and its helping re-cement the City’s place as a tourist mecca. Like many cities across the world, eThekwini's tourism industry has lost hundreds of millions of rands in revenue over the past year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between December 15 and early January, the City recorded over 80 percent occupancy rates across its accommodation establishments. Restaurants and eateries in the townships and other areas were filled with tourists.
Kaunda said the city would not take its foot off the pedal.
“When it comes to tourism, we are not taking chances. That’s why we have got our Festive Season Management Committee that assist us to meet the needs of our visitors. We will forever be indebted to the people of eThekwini for their unrelenting hospitality. We desperately needed this development for we were bruised by the pandemic and multitudes of our people lost jobs. I am happy that, following these figures, it means we are doing things right,” Kaunda said.
The City said that over the Christmas weekend period alone, preliminary indicators show close to 200 000 visitors had descended on eThekwini, spending close to R150 million. Their contribution to the city's gross domestic product was about R350m.
Durban welcomed holidaymakers from various locations throughout South Africa.
About 34% of the visitors were from KwaZulu-Natal; 31% came from Gauteng; 12% from the Eastern Cape; and, eight percent from the Western Cape.
Kaunda called upon all residents to be ambassadors for the City. He said that by getting right the basics, it could, throughout the year, receive the lion’s share of the country’s tourists.