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2014 Arguably Most Successful Year for Durban Tourism, say Statistics

In an event held today by Durban Tourism at the ICC Durban, press and relevant stakeholders were treated to an eye-opening array of facts and figures; proving that Durban is on the map, and is definitely staying there.

Included in the presentation was the stats for the Festive Season that has only just ended – Durban, being the only city in South Africa with the ability and mechanisms in place to quickly release such up-to-date and relevant statistics – proving just how useful good research can be…

Peter Bendheim MC’d the event, with his typical flair for communication.  The Mayor of Durban, Cllr James Nxumalo presented his speech, eagerly anticipating the unveiling of “groundbreaking stats that have far exceeded all projections and reached a successful peak for the city of Durban.”  He also added, that the “The positive outcome of the research is encouraging and reflects the hard work done by the industry to promote tourism and ensure Durban is a top of mind destination”.

Durban Mayor

The Mayor went on to give a well prepared and positive speech, mentioning that Durban has several recent accolades to celebrate together with these stats;

1. AIR France – KLM Club Africa Durban – On the UP: The article stated,South Africas business travel hot spots JHB & Capetown are facing competition from the country’s rising star – The city of Durban.

2. Master Card Global Destination City Index has predicted Durban with its important and busy seaport, will be this year’s fastest growing city in Africa and would be the second fastest growing  tourism city of the 132 cities surveyed worldwide.

3. The African Business Review stated Durban becomes South Africa Brightest Beacon. One city’s recent growth exemplifies the development and regeneration occurring across the entire African Continent – there seems to be a new kid on the block – Durban !

4. New York Magazine tips Durban as SA’s secret jewel and praises our “spectacular beaches”, uShaka Marine World, and the I Heart Market, which is held in the world-class Moses Mabhida stadium, mentioning the restaurants and hotels in the North of Durban.

5. Durban was recognized not only as South Africa’s friendliest city, but having four of its hotels ranked among the top 10 favourite hotels in the country by the globally influential Roper City Brand Index who ranked Durban ahead of Joburg and Cape Town as the friendliest metropolis.

 6. (ICCA’s) latest ranking of business tourism destinations worldwide, released Durban and Cape Town being rated Africa’s top two cities for meetings and events.   Durban jumped a massive 60 places to rank 97th in the world.

7. The News Guardian Travelogue journalist from Nigeria, in his recent visit to South Africa to cover Indaba tourism trade show recounts positively his experience of the city popularly known as the warmest place to be in the Rainbow Nation.

8. CNN voted Durban as one of the world’s top 10 most underrated cities. Durban was praised as livable, a wealth of creative hubs, championed by locals and worth more than a quick stop before you head elsewhere.

9. Durban’s Umhlanga Pier was named the most beautiful pier in the world by CNN!

10. Durban was rated the coolest city in South Africa that the world has never seen

11. The City of Durban is now an Official New 7 Wonder City of the World,

12. The New York Times named Durban a must visit City. The City of Durban made number 07 on the list, which the New York Times describes as “Untrammeled oases beckon, once-avoided destinations become must-sees and familiar cities offer new reasons to visit.”

5 Star Durban can also add that a proudly Durban hotel, Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel, in Umhlanga Rocks Drive won the coveted award for the Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in the World, in the “country” category at the World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Cape Town in December. (read the full story here)

And of course, let’s not forget that,  in a list compiled from research done by the company New World Wealth showing SA’s luxury hotels with the highest number of multimillionaire visitor bookings annually, Durban did well – with the two uMhlanga landmark establishments ranking among the Crème de la Crème of South African hotels. The Beverly Hills Hotel & The Oyster Box Hotel made Durban proud yet again! (read the full story here)

The Head of Durban Tourism, Philip Sithole said “2014 has proved to be one of our most successful years, this is after we launched a number of campaigns aimed at marketing the Durban destination to both local and international markets and most notably, was our ‘Taking Durban to the World’ strategy, which aimed at boosting both international and domestic tourism.”

“We have already started seeing return in investment in terms of achieving the objectives of our campaigns and if you look at the number of accolades that we have received in the past year alone, most recent the New York Times listing Durban in the top 10 places to visit for 2015,  it is evident that we are on the right track, we want to do all our best to maintain the momentum and ensure that it translates to more visitors coming to the City,” added Sithole.

Phillip presented the statistics to an attentive audience, all impressed by the good work done by eThekwini Municipality and Durban Tourism.


This all paints a really pretty picture, and the stats back it all up;

festive Season 2014 Durban
The 2014 festive season saw 18% of visitors to Durban being international visitors, and 49% of domestic tourists visiting from Gauteng alone
Number of visitors & profile in 2014 (anual) Durban
The overall number of visitors was up 12.8/% compared to 2013 – with a direct spend of R19.2 Billion, and 95,396 sustained Jobs
Number visitors seasonal
Durban, from the statistics really seems to be competing on the local and international front


Deputy Mayor Cllr. Nomvuzo Shabalala, whom, among other things also chairs the Economic Development Committee gave a vote of thanks to all of the role players who made the past seasons a stellar success.

All in all, with just a bit more work, Durban will soon be on the top of every travellers’ list.



About Meredith Haywood

Meredith Haywood
I'm the Editor and Creative Director of 5 Star Durban, I Instagram a bit, I cook sometimes, but mostly I write, and edit... a lot... I'm a philanthropist at heart, and I can't resist fluffy bunnies, kittens and puppies... recently I have started to ponder what owning a goat in a flat could be like...

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