As rapidly increasing ticket sales point to another capacity crowd at the Vodacom Durban July this Saturday, the consistently increasing number of visitors from outside of the province has set the tills ringing as the annual horseracing spectacle triggers an economic injection worth around R300 million for the regional economy.
Up to 40% of the crowd at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday will have travelled into KwaZulu-Natal for the weekend, most of them from Gauteng, resulting in a massive demand for luxury accommodation, pre- and post-event parties, restaurants and entertainment in the greater Durban area.
Palesa Phili, Chief Executive Officer of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the Vodacom Durban July is the biggest sporting event hosted by eThekwini, followed by the Comrades Marathon, and it is a hallmark sporting event for the City.
“The Vodacom Durban July is one of South Africa’s most respected sporting events and has become a highlight for both South Africans and overseas visitors, who flock to Durban to witness what has become known as “Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event”,” said Phili.
Phili pointed out that the one-day event brought with it a wide range of socio-economic benefits to the local economy.
According to Durban Tourism, projected event visitors are estimated to be around 32 191 local residents, and 11 683 tourists. Durban Tourism has projected that, if spending is similar to previous years, visitors will spend around R 99 685 997 with a contribution to eThekwini’s GDP of R 267 976 581.
The event is also expected to directly employ 453 people and this figure excludes the permanent and temporary jobs generated across various industry sectors and their value chains such as logistics, transportation, tourism and hospitality.
“Research has shown that tourism is a catalyst for job creation, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development,” Phili pointed out.
“The Durban Chamber believes that domestic tourism is essential for Durban and the province in order to foster economic growth. The private sector, specifically the tourism and hospitality sectors, have the potential to benefit greatly from domestic tourism.
“For this reason, the Durban Chamber encourages businesses to correctly leverage tourism and hospitality opportunities by strategically aligning marketing programmes and product packages to attract visitors. Partnering with large events will open opportunities to an array of benefits such as an increase in demand for their products and services to a wider target market,” she added.