Coast KZN

20 Feb 2018

Less visitors in eThekwini over festive season – DA

Thobeka Ngema (Daily News) Picture: The Durban beachfront. (Picture: Karinda Jagmohan)

The eThekwini Municipality recently said Durban had 884 236 visitors during the festive season and 3.9 million visitors at the city’s beaches.

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said it is concerned about the drop in visitors to the city over the festive season.

“The 2017/2018 period showed 886 867 people coming to Durban, down from 1 355 267 people over 2015/2016 and 1 146 762 in 2016/2017. This is a decline of almost half a million people over just two years,” said Councillor Nicole Graham, DA eThekwini Deputy Leader.

Graham said the information was detailed in a report to the city’s Economic Development and Planning Committee. In the report was a request for funding for Durban Tourism’s Destination Promotion Campaign which will cost R9 918 000 over the next three financial years. This will fund three events and R6 million will go towards the Durban Picnic Day.

“The struggling tourism market has a direct and drastic effect on the city’s economy and employment status, with 2 670 jobs lost over the festive season in just a year. Over a billion rand was lost to our economy,” she said.

The Daily News asked Tozi Mthethewa, eThekwini Municipality’s spokerson, how the city counts its visitors.

“The number of people visiting the city is calculated based on the number of people who flew into the city (from airports), the number of people who drove into the city making use of national roads, and the data captured at accommodation establishments across the city,” she said.

Mthethwa also said that in order to know the number of people who visit the beaches, eThekwini Municipality gets the data from the number of people who visited different establishments such as food outlets on the beachfront, the number of parents and children who requested armbands as well as the number of cars parked along the beachfront.