from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – THE KwaZulu-Natal Head of Department (HOD) for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs has called for unity in the tourism industry.
Nhlakanipho Nkontwana was speaking at the commemoration of the Tourism Month.
The event was commemorated recently, on the back of figures that show that the province is making a resounding recovery.
Figures by South African Tourism revealed that in the first six months of 2022, KZN received over 2,2 million domestic trips.
This was slightly lower than the 2,6 million total number of trips for 2021 and indicates that the province is on track to beat last year’s number of visitors by a landslide.
Another indicator of recovery is hotel occupancy.
In KZN, the trend is upward and equal to that of 2019. In July hotels, on average, were 68 percent full. That is four percent higher than July 2019 before COVID-19 hit South Africa.
“This success was the outcome of a tactical and strategic provincial tourism recovery plan,” Nkontwana said.
“A concerted effort by the tourism sector and marketing campaigns spearheaded by Tourism KZN. This year’s World Tourism Day theme Rethink Tourism was appropriate given the recent hardships that the sector has endured,” Nkontwana said.
Nkontwana encouraged unity by stakeholders.
“Bringing everyone, from government to businesses and local communities together around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient sector. This is the type of tourism that we want to see in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.
World Tourism Day is marked annually on September 27.
– CAJ News