Durban attracts record number of tourists during high season

Tourism is one of the key drivers of our economy and Durban has consistently managed to maintain its place as SA’s playground with record number of tourists visiting our shores over the festive period.

South Africa has a positive tourism balance with the rest of the world; foreign tourists spend more money in South Africa than South African tourists spend abroad. Tourism in South Africa directly accounted for 2.7% or R2.35 billion of our nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product)of R1. 288 trillion for 2019.

Tourism is one of the keys to unlocking economic growth for South Africa, with job creation being one of the cascading benefits of this- one in every 22 working South Africans are employed in the tourism sector.
Charles Thompson from Devmco Group, “Tourism is undoubtedly a catalyst for job creation; and South Africa is Africa’s largest tourism economy therefore by creating opportunities for tourists to want to come to South Africa, we are also creating opportunities for job creation. While tourism is an economic driver, we also need to foster foreign investment via individual investors; and destinations like the Sibaya Coastal Precinct set the precedent for the future of development on our North Coast in line with future city models seen abroad.”

As a holiday destination, KZN, and the North Coast of Durban seems to exert a pull over the rest of the country and our year-round warm climate and easy beach access makes it perennially attractive. Statistics from this time last year reveal that almost 30% of our tourists into SA hailed from the UK with Germany close behind accounting for 23%. International tourism to KZN has undoubtedly been boosted by several international flight routes between King Shaka International Airport and other major global destinations, which include a direct London to Durban leg operated by British Airways; Emirates’ twice daily direct Durban to Dubai flights and Qatar Airways’ direct Durban to Qatar leg. These direct flights are invaluable in positioning the province as the gateway to South Africa. During our peak festive season, most of the airlines at King Shaka International Airport operated at almost total capacity with a reported 11% increase in the number of international passengers in comparison to the same period in 2018.

Share this page

All relevant information regarding COVID-19 can be found on