NELSON Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) reported positive results last week that followed the purpose-driven initiatives ahead of the summer season to sustain tourism numbers.
Income generated through the tourism sector for Nelson Mandela Bay during December included direct and indirect spend, which currently reflects an amount of R1.2 billion and of that, the derived direct spend is R400,4 million.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile said, â€œOne of the strategies for summer and the foreseeable future is aimed at extending the length of stay for visitors to Nelson Mandela Bay.
â€œTo achieve extended stays, tourists must have a reason to extend their vacations through visiting attractions, events and activities.
â€œTherefore, a concerted effort was implemented ahead of summer to support the launch of a variety of new products and events in the city which successfully added to the number of bed-nights sold.â€?
New products to experience in Nelson Mandela Bay, over and above existing attractions, beaches and natural heritage sites, include Segway beachfront tours, Fat Bike beach rides, Valley Crag wall climbing and a variety of eateries to name a few.
Entertaining and exciting annual events from the summer season festivities included the opening of the season fireworks, combined with live stage performances and music concerts in Happy Valley and the Tramways Building, followed by a variety of New Yearâ€™s celebrations.
â€œThe return of the Apple Express train proved to be a highlight among locals and visitors with sold-out trips.
â€œThe revamp of the Campanile also proved to reignite interest in an attraction that is globally renowned. As a popular coastal and wildlife destination, many visitorâ€™s flocked to local beaches and game reserves, such as Addo Elephant National Park,â€? Skefile said.
The top five Nelson Mandela Bay Pass activities frequented during December included Adrenalin Addo Zipline, Heavenly Stables horseback riding, Sundays River ferry excursions, free 30-minute Segway tours and the Gravity Indoor Trampoline Park.
The accommodation facilities in the destination provisionally reflect an average bed-night occupancy for the high season at 68,78%. A total of 343 685 bed-nights were sold for the length of stay which averaged 4,1 days, generating a total income of R185,1 million versus R183,7 million during 2016 for the accommodation sector.
Research shows the top five domestic visitors travelled from Gauteng (48,12%), Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape. The top 10 international visitors travelled from Germany (30%), Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe, Australia, Romania, Canada and the Netherlands.