December was an exceptionally busy time for tourism in Durban, with investors reaping rewards earned through their property investments.
December 2019 saw the highest volume of passengers in the history of King Shaka International Airport, with 93% of passengers coming from our domestic regions. What’s interesting about this is that the bulk of our regional visitors are local, and this number has seen an increase of 12% since December 2018. Short-term or ‘day’ tourism is a goldmine due to sheer volume alone. 2.1 million people visited Durban’s beaches to celebrate the 2020 new year yielding a potential R2.1 billion injection into our local economy, if each visitor spends only a single rand. As South Africa’s 2nd largest regional economy in terms of GDP, KZN is responsible for R16 out of every R100 generated by our national economy.
With an ever-growing local tourism market many have realised the value of this burgeoning market and have moved to capitalise on these opportunities. Many investors have opted to invest in property in new growth areas like the Sibaya Coastal Precinct in KwaZulu-Natal. Charles Thompson of Devmco Group, one of the pioneering developers in the Sibaya Coastal Precinct shares his thoughts on this, “Investors are seeing the fruits of their labour during the December high season. Those who have purchased units at OceanDune and Pebble Beach, with the express intention of holiday letting, saw 100% occupancy for at least 2 weeks of the period. Investors would be wise to capitalise on the opportunity to earn an income bolstered by the influx of seasonal tourism and business travel that occurs throughout the year. Some other savvy buyers have opted for flexibility of use afforded by letting platforms like Airbnb; they can personally make use of their unit, or even live it when they want and then list the unit for holiday letting during high season and benefit from the additional income stream through this.”