However, even though schools will open earlier than usual this year, eThekwini Municipality’s deputy manager for economic development, Phillip Sithole, said more visitors were still expected.
“KwaZulu-Natal holidaymakers are divided into three categories: those who come at the start of the month and leave just before Christmas, those who come right before Christmas and those who come after the new year when the city is not so busy.”
Sithole said they expected a further 50000 to 60000 people to come to Durban in addition to the million who had arrived since the start of the holiday season.
The city would also receive people over the next few days to attend the ANC’s 107th anniversary celebrations on January 12.
There was a growing trend of Western Cape visitors coming to KZN and, given that the Western Cape was also a holiday destination, it was positive feedback for the city, Sithole said.
“It is great to see tourists coming from other tourist destinations. This tells us we are doing something right.”
Marketing co-ordinator at the Pavilion shopping centre, Avesh Udiajoo, said they had seen a slight decrease in the overall foot count at the centre.
“This could be attributed to a challenging economy and shopping changing, with Black Friday leading the festive trend. The centre experienced a consistent flow of foot traffic throughout the season,” he said.
Despite the slightly lower foot count, Udiajoo added, spending at the Pavilion had been consistent.
“There has been an overall trend in terms of using malls as a lifestyle destination that speaks to an overall shopper experience and not just a retail destination with a family outing,” he added.
Metro police spokesperson Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said they had arrested 6000 people for drunk driving between January and December last year.
“The incidence of drunk driving remains high, but we have also increased enforcement with more than 30000 by-laws and traffic notices passed this year,” he said.
Sewpersad said even though there was an outflow of traffic from Durban this week, a fresh influx was expected for the ANC events.
Durban Tourism’s Sbu Zondi said they had done a festive season mobili- sation before the start of the season that reached more than a million people, encouraging them to come to Durban.
He said hotels had been packed over the festive season, with occupancies exceeding 90%.