Quiet Easter for Durban as visitor numbers show a decline

eThekwini deputy mayor Fawzia Peer, speaking at a media press briefing.

DURBAN failed to live up to its bumper Easter holiday predictions with the city experiencing a decline in the number of visitors, making it a relatively quiet holiday period.

In the run-up to the holidays, the city announced that it was expecting tourist activities to generate billions into the economy and projected more than 360 000 visitors to Durban, which was expected to generate R870 million in direct spend and an estimated R1.5bn into the City’s economy.

However, this year hotels experienced a 50-70 per cent occupancy rate, a far cry from the normal occupancy rate figure for the Easter holidays, which in the past was about 99 per cent and the average out-of-season occupancy rate at about 68-70 per cent.

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The Durban tourism department said despite the decline in visitors during the Easter holidays there was an increase in religious tourism as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) hosted the 29th annual Durban Festival of Chariots, over the Easter weekend at the Old Durban Drive Inn.

“Our projections extend from 1 April until 1 of May. We are optimistic that there will be an increase in the coming weeks as there is another long weekend coming up, which will yield positive results and see the hospitality and tourism sector playing a big role and injecting billions into the economy of the City,” said a spokesperson for the department.

Over the course of the Easter holidays, eThekwini Municipality conducted a number of road safety education programmes and law enforcement operations specifically focusing on ensuring safety on the roads.

 

Metro Police Deputy Head of Operations, Steve Middleton.

 

During the past weekend, roadblocks were held to reduce traffic accidents, reduce the number of injuries on the road and reduce the number of deaths on the roads.

Speaking at the press briefing at Moyo uShaka on the Pier on Wednesday, eThekwini deputy mayor Fawzia Peer said the municipality extended its condolences to the families who lost their loved ones on the roads.

“It was a hectic weekend with over 22 organized events in the city,” she said.

Peer said the Ngizoba Road Safety Campaign. launched before the Easter weekend aimed at encouraging the public to respect the road and also mobilize the community to obey the rules of the road.

There were no major accidents in Durban, but in the province, one incident resulted in the deaths of 15 people who died in a bus accident.

“Traffic moved smoothly and a number of people were arrested for drunk driving. Our leaders also visited different denominations inspired by our social cohesion program. Our people should learn to live together and be allowed to practice their own religion,” she said.

Metro Police Deputy Head of Operations, Steve Middleton said the Metro Police’s zero tolerance approach to hindering drinking and driving on City roads proved successful as citywide roadblocks and check-points during the Easter season led to the arrest of 266 drunk drivers.

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“Sixty-one people were detained in a roadblock in Phoenix‚ 22 in Montclair‚ nine in Durban North and five in Sydenham,” he said.

  AUTHOR
Rudy Nkgadima

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