Locals, tourists urged to check legitimacy of holiday establishments

LOCAL and international visitors have been warned to ensure that they check the legitimacy  and registration of holiday establishments when booking accommodation.

Ethekwini’s  acting Deputy City Manager for the Economic Development and Planning Cluster, Phillip Sithole said establishments were required to fully comply with the City’s legal framework and the health and safety regulations.  He said establishments that were found to be non-compliant would be shut down by the city.

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“We will visit the establishment with a team comprising of the Health and Business Licencing Units and community tourism organisations. If the establishment is deemed to be unregistered and a health or safety hazard, it may be closed down,” he said.

Chairperson of Umhlanga Tourism, Peter Rose said local and international visitors often fell prey to fraudulent owners by providing their confidential personal details online. “These fraudsters then simply change the bank account details, phone numbers, address and website of the legit establishment without the owner being aware of what is happening. When the visitor arrives at the address, it is found to be non-existent. This discredits the image of Durban as a safe and friendly tourist destination,” Rose added.

Holidaymakers are advised to check and verify information of an establishment with their local tourism office before making any bookings.

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In a bid to reduce fraudulent accommodation establishments, the City recently launched the Durban Tourism Accommodation App which contains information of 732 eThekwini accommodations, ranging from three to five star, for potential visitors.

The App, which is available on all android phones has full details of each accommodation establishment which includes the physical address, phone numbers, an option to make a call as well as their social network links.

The App was created to guide and provide comfortable accommodation for tourists throughout their stay as it is also linked to maps, offering visitors shortest routes when they move between different establishments. The App also has emergency numbers.



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