New Developments set to Boost Durban Tourism
July 2018 - With a new and extended waterfront, new cruise terminal and new beach resorts in the pipeline, the future of Durban's tourism is looking bright.
Although tourism numbers to Durban have dropped recently, the city's new developments and lower airfares are expected to put the coastal city back on the map both internationally and locally.
Durban saw a drastic drop in visitor numbers over the past festive season. According to overall figures, the 2017/2018 period showed 886 867 people coming to the city, down from 1 146 762 in 2016/2017.
Developments in the city of Durban are set to boost tourism.
One of the key factors contributing to the drop, says Deputy City Manager of Economic Development and Planning, Phillip Sithole, is that the middle class have more disposable income and more options about where to go on holiday. "They may come to Durban for three days before going elsewhere for the remainder of their holiday. Another factor is that Durban is also not the cheap holiday destination it once was."
FlySafair VP of Sales and Distribution, Kirby Gordon, says the ACSA arrival stats show a very positive picture for Durban's tourism numbers. FlySafair has been on a dramatic growth trajectory, establishing Durban as a base of operations.
"We established Durban as a base of operations in October last year, which means that we have an aircraft that actually sleeps in Durban, and we now employ crew who live in Durban. We've not only picked up on capacity from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Durban but in November 2017 we also started to operate between Durban and East London as well as Durban and Port Elizabeth. We've certainly seen value in the Durban market."
The city of Durban and the municipality are also working hard to stimulate local travel demand, putting together a comprehensive turnaround strategy for the domestic market.
Late in 2017, eThekwini Municipality launched Discover Durban, a marketing campaign that captures the city's unique attributes, identifying new routes and addressing the demands of travellers to Durban.
Adjacent to uShaka Marine World, the Durban Point Waterfront is a world-class development, that integrates a mosaic of influences.
The city also has 25 forthcoming projects, including the Point Waterfront Promenade Extension. Set to be completed in September 2019, it will include a mall, hotel and restaurant facilities.
Another development on the horizon is the construction and operation of a new terminal in the Port of Durban by October 2020. The improved terminal will help attract bigger vessels and extend the cruise season year-round, ultimately increasing the number of visitors to Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.
Lastly, Durban will see the development of several beach resorts over the following years; the resorts are expected to put Durban on the international map, as well has having an appeal to domestic travellers.
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