eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said tourism had thrived in her city during the holiday period, adding that the occupancy rate at local establishments had been high in December.
The expectation is that those numbers will increase significantly during the New Year’s weekend, with a massive influx of tourists expected for that province. Managing that success is going to be the major challenge though.
“Our hotel occupancy rate has been at an average of 95 percent, but we are expecting this number to rise to 100 percent capacity during the New Year celebration period,” Gumede told The Mercury this week.
“To avoid traffic congestion, road closures around the beachfront precinct will be effected from December 31 to January 2. Only motorists with beach permits will be allowed access beyond the boom gates,” added Gumede.
However, the real source of encouragement for Gumede is the impact this period has had on the local economy and on job creation for the region.
The figures that are being bandied about include: R2.2-billion in direct spend and a GDP contribution of R3.8-billion to the economy of the city.
“Furthermore, the economic activity over this festive season is expected to sustain about 8 700 jobs,” added Gumede.