KwaZulu/Natal receives a majority of South Africa’s domestic tourists and its share of South Africa’s international tourism market is increasing. KZN attracted approximately 850 000 foreign visitors and 7.1 million domestic tourists in 2013. In 2014 tourist arrivals increased by 12.8 % with approx. 7.4 million visitors visiting the province as reported by Durban Tourism. 70.3% of visitors to KZN visit Durban.
SA Tourism (2014) have the following statistics for International Visitors to KZN:
- Average Spend per Visitor: ±R7 201 per trip, R880 spent per day
- Total Market Value: R6.1 billion
- Length of Stay: Average 8.5 nights
- Main Long Haul Source Markets: USA, UK, Germany, India, Australia
- Top Foreign Source Markets: Swaziland, Zimbabwe, USA, UK, Lesotho, Germany, India, Australia, France and Botswana
The Top 5 activities currently undertaken by international tourists in KZN: Nightlife (60.1%), Shopping (60.5%), Visiting Natural Attractions (58.4%), Beach (52.9%), Wildlife (39.4%).
Visitors to KZN are currently served by 268 Hotels, 379 Guest Houses, 210 Lodges, 698 Bed and Breakfasts, 101 Caravan and Camp Sites, 815 Self-Catering Units, 37 Youth Hostels/Backpackers, 298 Conference Venues, 1080 Tourist Guides and 457 Tour Operators.
The KZN Tourism Master Plan includes the following targets:
- KZN should be recognised as Africa’s top beach destination by 2030.
- Triple the economic contribution of the tourism sector to provincial GDP from about R22 billion in 2010 to over R65bn by 2030.
- Increase foreign tourist arrivals to KZN from 1.2 million in 2010 to more than 2 million by 2030.
With the city being chosen to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a relaxation of the visa rules (including rules pertaining to travel with minors), and an increase in International Airlines directly serving Durban’s King Shaka International Airport the province is paving its way to meeting the targets set in the KZN Tourism Master Plan.
The graphic below from Travelstart.co.za shows the 6 international airlines that will be serving Durban directly before the end of 2015.
These flights will also benefit residents of the province who now have direct access to additional destinations and boost the local tourism industry.