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  • 28 Mar 2024


KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is happy to welcome thousands of holiday makers for the Easter holiday season which kicked off this past weekend (20 March).

An above average season is anticipated which is expected to inject R2,5 billion into the regional economy.

Today,  the  MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Siboniso Duma is spending time in Umlazi Township as part of promoting township tourism. 

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s research insights estimate that average occupancy rates for the province will be around 65%; that 600 000 people will visit the province; of these domestic travellers will account for 548 000  trips and international visitor 52 000 trips.

“This follows a good festive season in which provincial occupancy rates peaked at 77,2% with holidaymakers providing an economic boost of R3,38 billion, said MEC Duma.

“During the December-January holiday period the most popular KZN destinations were the north and south coasts and the Drakensberg which enjoyed high occupancy levels. iLembe achieved 88%, Ugu 85%, uMkhanyakude 79%, uThukela 72% and Harry Gwala 71% and we are expecting a similar spread of holiday makers this Easter,” he said.

When making the Easter predictions the most recent increase in the fuel price and the high cost of living which is impacting on family budgets have been considered.

March and April are a perfect time to visit KZN before the winter set in. In the lead up to autumn, the weather is milder but still warm, making it a perfect time to catch the last days summer and enjoy plenty of activities that are guaranteed to keep visitors captivated.

Hoteliers are confident that they will have a good Easter.

According to FEDHASA eastern region chairman Brett Tungay, hotel bookings picked up as the school holiday approached. The weekend of March 23-24 hotels enjoyed a 70% to 90% occupancy and are looking forward to an 80% to 100% occupancy over the weekend. 

For the week between weekends occupancy is expected to be around 50%, he said.

The central Drakensberg and surrounds were virtually sold-out with the Jazz at the Berg which took place on Saturday 23 March, attracting thousands of music lovers from across the country.

“This is a great example of how major events like this, Splashy Fen and Joyous Celebration Extravaganza, which take place from March 28, attract visitors to various regions, filling up accommodation, restaurants, driving geographic spread and stimulating the local economy,” said MEC Duma.

He further revealed: “The KZN Sharks Board has been deploying the sharks net and the cutting edge technology to ensure the safety of the bathers in our beaches. This under underscores the importance of beach tourism as a central pillar of economic development in the KZN Province.”

For those planning a trip to the coast to soak up the sun on the beach, a reminder that the province has 600km of coastline with pristine blue flag beaches on the South Coast in the Ugu district and on the North Coast in the iLembe District.

Good news for those heading to Durban is that city’s much-loved aquarium uShaka Marine World has reopened. Visit Sea World the largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere; explore the magical marine aquarium wonderland set in a Shipwreck; spend the day going Wet n’ Wild in a world of slides and pools and dine at one of the various restaurants

If you have not yet finalised your holiday or will be heading to the province for special Easter religious services, visit www.zulu.org to find some great special offers and discounts that extend from the countryside to the coast.

Here you will also find some resorts which are offering extras such as free game drives, dinner and breakfast or a spa which otherwise would have left you out of pocket.

If you are self-driving don’t rush. 

Rather make the trip part of your holiday and take a scenic route stopping off in the various towns along the way, or take a shot left to the Midlands Meander a tourism gem close to Howick.

Whether it’s the bush, berg, sea, adventure, shopping, hiking, cycling, fishing, snorkelling or exploring history and culture or fine dining that grabs your interest KZN has it all, so do something different this holiday and make lasting memories.