Tourism boosts province
Local and international tourists spent more than R2,5 billion in KwaZulu-Natal during the festive season.
By mid-December more than 2000 vehicles were passing through Marianhill toll plaza every hour, MEC for arts, culture and tourism Weziwe Thusi said yesterday.
Speaking at Durban's Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, Thusi said research had shown that visitors preferred independent accommodation establishments such as bed and breakfasts, smaller hotels and self-catering.
"This resulted in most B&B recording a 90percent occupancy," she said.
There were initiatives aimed at identifying rural tourism opportunities and she urged rural communities to alert the department of attractive destinations in their areas.
"Already, there are a number of tourism destinations and accommodation establishments in rural areas that can also benefit from the tourism boom," said Thusi.
Tourism KwaZulu-Natal chief executive Ndabo Khoza said they did not hide the fact that crime was a problem. "We are very honest with our visitors, but we tell them that there are campaigns to eradicate the problem," Khoza said.