Drakensberg and other KZN inland areas scored from holidaymakers

The uThukela district, which includes the Drakensberg, recorded 95% occupancy rates.
The uThukela district, which includes the Drakensberg, recorded 95% occupancy rates.
Image: 123RF

Holidaymakers avoiding Covid-19 hotspots such as eThekwini metro opted instead for KwaZulu-Natal inland tourist sites this past festive season.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala revealed at a media briefing on Sunday that: “Registered establishments across the province had an occupancy rate averaging 63% during the month of December 2020.”

While the tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19 lockdown measures, he said this is proof that the sector remains viable despite the current pandemic.

According to the premier, the following occupancy rates were recorded in districts across the province and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife resorts during December 2020:

  • uThukela 95%
  • iLembe 90%
  • uMzinyathi 75%
  • Ugu 78%
  • uMgungundlovu 70%
  • eThekwini 70%
  • Zululand 52%
  • Amajuba 51%
  • King Cetshwayo 50%
  • uMkhanyakude 50%
  • Harry Gwala 45%
  • Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Resorts 33%

From this trend, Zikalala said it is clear that the inland districts like uThukela — where the Drakensberg is located — fared generally better than the coastal districts. This, he attributed to beach closures and visitors preferring the “non-hotspot” districts over those declared as hotspots.

He said the provincial government was currently looking at means to support SMMEs in the sector that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to augment the already disbursed relief fund.


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