TOURISM EXPECTED TO BRING R900 MILLION TO KWAZULUNATAL OVER THE EASTER SEASON
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is getting ready for a bumper Easter Season that is expected to bring an estimated R900 million to the economy of the province. The Zulu Kingdom is expected to welcome 630 000 domestic visitors during the month of April, most of whom will call KZN home over the Easter weekend.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ndabo Khoza, said "Over the past few years, KZN has received over 600 000 visitors during this period and based on the numerous marketing initiatives and interventions, like Holiday Swap KZN, thus we are expecting higher numbers this year. According to research conducted by South African Tourism, KZN has seen a steady growth in domestic tourists from the 613 000 visitors in 2012 and 625 000 in 2013. This coupled by a steady flow of international visitors, particularly from our key source markets like the UK and Germany, will bring a further economic injection of close to half a billion Rand to the province".
Information received from Forward Keys show that bookings from these traditional markets for the month of April are on track to remain constant. The STR Global Report that tracks hotel occupancies throughout the country has shown that KZN hotel occupancy has gone up by 0.8% for April 2014 in comparison to 2013. The trend is expected to continue in 2015.
"Therefore, we are expecting hotels to be full during this time including the last week of April, as the holidays will present people with more opportunities to take a trip down to KZN. Visitors are encouraged to use registered and graded establishments when they come to KZN. This will ensure that they have a pleasant stay, with no quality assurance issues" continued Khoza.
TKZN will continue with its efforts to build a thriving domestic tourism destination and to promote affordable travel to all South Africans. As part of this initiative, TKZN has partnered with Tsogo Sun Hotels to bring the beach to Gauteng over the Easter Season. From the 3rd - 6th April 2015, Montecasino will be transformed into a 400 m2 "Beach Extravaganza" complete with sand, beach umbrellas and deck chairs. The summer beach vibe will be accompanied by a wide variety of daily beach entertainment activities including rickshaw rides, face painters, balloon sculptures and unicyclists. Families can picnic in style at the Midlands Meander-inspired tent, getting a true feel of the exceptional Zulu Kingdom.
"TKZN is extremely excited to be bringing the Zulu Kingdom Beach Festival to Montecasino. This unique beach experience and activity-packed programme will give the people of Gauteng a taste of the ever-popular KZN beach experience, and aims to thrill and entertain the diverse 12 000-strong audience expected to visit the festival this year. This will present
us with a unique opportunity to connect with KZN's loyal holidaymakers on their home soil. Visitors from Gauteng, the largest source market from outside KZN, come for the warm weather and sub-tropical beaches." added Khoza.
At the Festival, Tourism KZN will be giving away "KZN Passports" that promote tourism attractions in KZN. These passports are valid until the end of November 2015. Tsogo Sun Hotels will also be promoting specials for those looking to book their next family holiday to KZN.
TKZN will also be promoting the Holiday Swap KZN initiative and giving patrons opportunities to apply for the Thebe Travel Card, which can be used to book and fund their next holiday to KZN.
Visitors will be spoilt for choice when they come to KZN in April. Those travelling inland the Southern Drakensberg will once again play host to the Annual Splashy Fen Music Festival which will take place during the Easter weekend from 2 -6 April 2015. Durban will have the Festival of Chariots from 3-6 April, the Chris Brown concert on 4 April, the Get Wet Summer Festival and the Durban Picnic Day on 5 April. South Coast will host the Uvukile Gospel Festival on 5 April and Africa Bike Week on 23-26 April 2015