Witness Reporter
2 minute read
4 Jul 2022
06:46

Our Viewpoint | Durban July a tourism success

Witness Reporter

Preliminary figures showed that more than 30 000 visited the province for the Durban July weekend.

OPINION:

The success of the Hollywoodbets Durban July is a welcome boost to KwaZulu-Natal’s economy which desperately needed the injection after a depressing two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, July unrest and a wave of destructive floods.

While there was little doubt that Durban’s tourism sector was more than ready to host the multi-fold luxury event — with horseracing and several parties throughout the weekend — there were still concerns that revellers might not be ready to venture out to such a big gathering.

Preliminary figures reportedly showed that more than 30 000 visited the province for the Durban July weekend, with some visitors also bringing their families with them to enjoy the hospitality of the KZN coastal towns.

On Saturday, Premier Sihle Zikalala was quoted as saying that the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July also created more than 750 much-needed jobs but that does not include the dozens of informal traders on the beach front and other parts of the city who were able to sell their products.

It is hoped that the weekend’s success was a launchpad for KZN to start hosting other big events that the province was once known for, such as music concerts and soccer tournaments.

That could accelerate economic growth and create more jobs for the people of this struggling province where thousands of households are living below the poverty line.

The ball is now in the hands of government authorities to help the stakeholders in the tourism sector by lifting some of the excessive red tape that has become a hindrance to those who want to host events.

Municipalities must also do their part by maintaining public infrastructure and facilities, as well as invest in promoting the attractions in their towns as that could help boost revenue generated through domestic tourism.

They can also partner with local organisations to host their own events so they also get a share of some of the tourists who want to see other parts of KZN when visiting the province.