KZN South Coast comes out on top during the peak week of the festive season

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The KZN South Coast’s tourism recovery is on track following the recent release by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal of preliminary festive season figures in which Ugu District came out tops provincially with an occupancy rate of 97% over the last week of 2022.

In a statement issued by the Department Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, MEC Mr Siboniso Duma said that some 520 000 domestic tourists and 51 000 international tourists visited the province for the festive period, injecting R2.4 billion into the local economy.

With the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom home to the highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in the province and boasting a great selection of quality accommodation, the area was one of the top choices for holidaymakers looking to relax at the seaside.

“We’d like to extend our thanks to all the residents and businesses that made our visitors feel so welcome over the festive period, as well as the dedicated work by our local South African Police Force,” commented Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE).

“We were fortunate that all beaches in Ugu District remained open and safe for bathing this holiday, with only Scottburgh Beach closed in Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, owing to heavy rains. Our marketing drive ensured that our open beaches were promoted extensively, as well as providing an overview of our many unique tourism offerings, which we feel contributed to Ugu District far exceeding the provincial average of 81% occupancy. We feel that this bodes well for the upcoming year.”

Local tourism operators are also beaming, particularly after the challenges faced by the industry over the past few years. Leonard Gomo, General Manager of Margate Sands Resorts commented:

“The festive season was fantastic and Margate Sands Resort has everything to smile about after closing the month of December at an average occupancy of 94% – the highest since the pandemic.”

Gomo attributed this positive uptake to a number of factors, among them the open beaches, the ‘phenomenal’ hospitality of the local communities, and the variety of tourism activities on offer.

“Margate is also much cleaner thanks to the community efforts headed by Shelly Beach and Margate Tidy Towns,” continued Gomo. “We’ve also noted increased safety evidenced by the crime statistics in the area and a result of the hard work of the local SAPS. We had no reported cases involving our tourists during the festive period.”

Roané Snyman of Lake Eland Game Reserve said they would describe this season as ‘very successful and blessed’.

“We had an overall 2% growth on turnover compared to the previous year with our chalet occupancy at 74% for the month of December. For Christmas lunch, we seated over 300 guests who enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, rain and all.”

Snyman attributed the increased numbers to a few different factors, one of which was the Oribi Gorge Farmers Market hosted on-site from 16 to 18 December: “That added about 4 000 day visitors over three days, reaching a total of 14 648 day visitors for the month. We believe that the South Coast had a good season and feel proud to be a part of it.”

Corné Visser, Group Marketing Manager of ANEW Hotels & Resorts, commented:               

“We’re happy to share that the first Covid-19 restriction-free festive season was a resounding success. For the first time in almost two years, there was a sense of lightness and excitement at our resort as families gathered to spend time with one another and celebrate the holidays without any form of Covid-19 regulations.”

“With holidaymakers joining us from near and far, we could definitely feel the impact of a recovering market in the South African hospitality sector. We’re looking forward to welcoming back tour groups and international travellers to ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest in 2023 as the globe opens up and reignites the appetite for travel.”

Plan the ultimate holiday on the KZN South Coast by downloading the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores. Follow the hashtag #kznsouthcoast #extendyourstay #endlessopportunities.

To find out more about the KZN South Coast’s tourism offerings, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores; visit the South Coast Tourism on Facebook; South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; Info Ugu South Coast Tourism on LinkedIn; the SCTIE website to check out the Events Calendar, the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide and more! And click here to check out previous SCTIE press releases.