Easter weekend projections indicate much needed boost for tourism industry — eThekwini mayor

Projections show around 1.3 million visitors will descend on Durban over the Easter break. Picture: eThekwini Municipality.

Projections show around 1.3 million visitors will descend on Durban over the Easter break. Picture: eThekwini Municipality.

Published Mar 25, 2024


Durban — The eThekwini Municipality anticipates a bumper Easter weekend which will have a positive impact on Durban’s tourism industry.

eThekwini municipal spokesperson, Gugu Sisilana, said Durban was the place to be this Easter holiday, as projections were that about 1.3 million visitors will descend on the city over the Easter break.

Sisilana said this will result in the hospitality industry seeing hotel occupancy rates peak at an average of 65%, rising to 69% over the long weekend of March 29 to April 1.

“The local economy is set to receive a boost with direct spending estimated at approximately R2.7 billion and a GDP contribution of around R6.6 billion, with 11 904 employment opportunities created over this period,” Sisilana said.

She added that the socio-economic impact projections indicated a steady flow of visitors to Durban which would have beneficial effects.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda welcomed the projections and said the weekend would provide a much-needed boost for the tourism industry.

Kaunda said Durban was ready to host the influx of visitors as the situation had returned to normal following the end of an unprotected strike by Council workers which had affected municipal services.

“Significant progress has been made to restore key services that were negatively affected by the illegal strike. Our teams are working hard to address the backlog of services such as refuse collection as well as the restoration of water and electricity supply,” Kaunda said.

“We assure visitors that security measures have been put in place as a safety and security plan has been developed by the Metro Police and stakeholders to ensure visibility at all key tourism attractions and hotspots. This is to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and incident-free Easter period.”

Kaunda said the key message was that Durban was the ultimate Easter holiday destination.

“We remain open for business and ready to welcome visitors. We hope the momentum from this Easter weekend will continue as we move towards the winter period,” Kaunda said.

According to the municipality, Durban provides an array of family-friendly activities including a beach horse riding experience, gondola rides along the Point Waterfront, outdoor adventures, dining at restaurants around the city, and a township experience. The popular theme park uShaka Marine World is open for a fun-filled water experience for the whole family.

With Durban being named Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination for three consecutive years by the World Travel Awards, there are several planned events on offer during this period. These include the 28th Joyous Celebration Easter Weekend, the Dubane Summer Break, One Man Concert, Durban International Marathon and the eThekwini Surf Pro to name a few.

The municipality said this period also kicks off the cruise season with several vessels expected to dock at the Nelson Mandela Cruise Terminal. This includes the MSC Virtuosa which will be coming to Durban for the first time as part of her return journey to Europe. Passengers will disembark for a tour of local attractions. Other vessels that will dock in the last week of March and during April include Queen Mary 2, Fantasia-class, Ambience, Silver Cloud and Renaissance.

Durban Tourism will provide entertainment and outdoor activations for visitors during the Easter weekend. These are aimed at encouraging visitor dispersal and will be on Florida Road, uShaka Main Beach, uMhlanga Beach, Amanzimtoti Beach and the Shongweni Farmers Market.

For ideas to explore Durban go to www.visitdurban.travel or follow @DBNTourism on social media platforms.

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