An eThekwini Municipality (eTM) newsflash from the 8th of April shows that approximately 45 000 visitors arrived in Durban over the Easter break and hotel occupancy rates peaked at an average of 60 percent. Direct spending boosted the local economy by an estimated R60 million, and GDP contribution was around R150 million, with a total 320 jobs created over the Easter period.
Areas such as Florida Road, uMhlanga Rocks, and Ballito have a large tourism appeal with an array of restaurants, hotels, stunning beaches, malls, shops, among a range of other activities on offer. eTM’s communication also mentioned that Durban’s beachfront promenade, restaurants around the city, and the township establishments were popular attractions for holidaymakers who had made their way from the various inland areas across the country. Visitors from all over recognize the amazing potential of our local attractions. This is indeed the mindset needed to continue to boost the economy and generate employment. Durban is open and ready to welcome more visitors while hoping that this momentum will continue to grow ahead and beyond the winter period.
The Covid-19 pandemic unquestionably put immense pressure on the local economy, as much-needed lockdown regulations were implemented as of last year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Durban placed noticeable efforts into ensuring that the tourism and hospitality industry remains visitor-ready within the necessary health guidelines, especially during peak seasons. The successful Easter weekend provided welcomed relief to the local tourism industry, which has so much to offer.
The recently announced Blue Flag beaches will create further opportunities for the Durban economy to grow and provide employment, contributing to the tourism sector. Additional initiatives by the local tourism sector, also laid in the eTM newsflash include the launch and unveiling of new products and hidden gems, collaborations with other value chain stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors. Be sure to go out and support local!
On Durban’s success during the Easter period, Nwabisa Mkhize, head of Southern Operations for UrbanMGT stated: “The welcoming public spaces that Durban possesses contributes largely to the number of visitors that we had over of the Easter weekend, despite the pandemic. The look, feel and a sense of safety make public spaces inviting, and this what Durban public spaces offer”.
On Durban’s success during the Easter period, Jarrod Evans, head of Nothern Operations at UrbanMGT stated: “Well managed and thriving public spaces set the stage for an enjoyable experience of place. From beaches to parks, well maintained and secure public areas are vital to the success of our cities.”
Reference: eThekwini Newsflash: 08 April 2021. A bumper Easter weekend for Durban