KZN premier Sihle Zikalala said economic recovery and economic transformation were priorities for the provincial government in 2022. File photo
KZN premier Sihle Zikalala said economic recovery and economic transformation were priorities for the provincial government in 2022. File photo

KZN tourism performs well during festive season despite Covid-19 challenges

By Brenda Masilela Time of article published Jan 1, 2022

Share this article:

PRETORIA - KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said the province’s tourism sector had performed exceptionally well despite the challenges presented by Covid-19.

“On Christmas weekend alone, some parts of the province recorded hotel occupancies of over 80%, especially in Durban and iLembe District. This is exciting news indeed,” Zikalala said.

Some 90 243 passengers flew into King Shaka International Airport during the period 13-26 December 2021. Furthermore, 64 251 (71%) of these were from Johannesburg.

During 14-28 December, 497 017 vehicles travelled into KZN on the N3. Some 243 081 vehicles travelled in the direction of Pietermaritzburg, while 253 936 headed towards Durban.

Zikalala noted that last year’s festive season began against the backdrop of the UK placing South Africa and other Southern African states on its travel red list in late November because of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron. Those countries were removed from the list some three weeks later.

During the travel ban imposed by the UK on South Africa earlier in the year, the World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the South African economy lost about R790 million. This amounts to about R26 million a day.

“We must commend the South African tourism sector as a whole for demonstrating resilience even during these uncertain and fast-changing times.”

To boost tourism in the province, KZN embarked on a tourism vaccination campaign, which has been rolled out in many parts of the province.

“While we welcome the tourism green shoots for the current period, we need to do more around our vaccination programme, because this is what will make our recovery complete and save lives,” Zikalala said.

IOL

Share this article: