Durban targets five million visitors

Picture: Shayne Robinson

Picture: Shayne Robinson

Durban hopes to attract some five million visitors annually in the next seven years, head of tourism Phillip Sithole said on Wednesday.

Sithole, who launched the city’s visitor strategy in Durban, said the city currently hosted 3.8 million visitors a year.

Through marketing at major international events, such as the Edinburgh Festival and the Chelsea Flower Show, Durban hoped to draw the interest of visitors.

He said a concerted effort was on the cards to market the city through online and print campaigns. Europe, the United States, India, Australia, and China had been identified as key markets.

“We have identified source markets. We have looked at countries that have strong economic, cultural, and historical ties with us.”

He expected about R150 million to be spent on attracting tourists to the city. This cost would not be borne alone by the municipality but in partnership with private enterprise.

The provincial government was in “promising negotiations” in a bid to attract more international airlines to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. At present, only three international airlines fly into the airport.

Sithole he would not elaborate on the negotiations, but said he was confident there would be at least another two international carriers within the next year or two.





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