This weekend’s Durban July extravaganza is expected to boost KwaZulu-Natal’s local economy by over R440 million
One of the biggest annual events on SA’s social calendar, the Durban July, is more about being seen than about the horse races.
So it comes as no surprise that the number of out-of-province visitors to KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend has more than doubled since 2011, meaning spending on accommodation, restaurants and tourist attractions in the province is booming.
According to a new survey, the event is expected to generate more than R440 million for the local economy.
Just over half the people attending the Durban July this year will be travelling from Gauteng, around 9% will be travelling from the Free State and 5% from the Western Cape, RDM Wire reports.
The survey estimates that out-of-province visitors could spend as much as R156 million, while local residents are expected to spend up to R70,6 million.
Projections show that the average out-of-town visitor will spend over R6 000 on travel expenses, clothing, tickets and entertainment for the weekend compared to the R1 778 an average local resident will spend.
The survey also notes an emerging trend towards out of town visitors spending more time in the city beyond the event, with the number of guests spending two nights in Durban up from 39% in 2008 to 51%, while visitors spending three nights in the city has increased by 14%.
The province is expected to receive a further R100 million from the betting splurge and illustrates the vast economic power premium sporting events yield in driving tourism spend.
Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) president‚ Zeph Ndlovu said the event was a vital drawcard for the city’s hospitality industry.
“The Vodacom Durban July is the sought after stimulus to the economic vibrancy of the city,” he was quoted telling RDM Wire.
“The DCCI welcomes the premier sponsorship by Vodacom to the event whose multiplied effect is felt through areas of employment‚ accommodation‚ restaurants and catering‚ right through to entertainment and tourism.”
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal CEO Ndabo Khoza encouraged visitors to take the time to “explore our tourism offerings”.
“We are thrilled to welcome the over 50 000 visitors that will descend to Vodacom Durban July this weekend. Events of such magnitude have a massive impact on the economy of the province and in particular on tourism.