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Tourists flocked to the Bay for a sizzling December

Beach Fun #Summer

HOT SUMMER FUN: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism is thrilled with its preliminary research, showing a very successful summer season.

NELSON Mandela Bay Tourism has experienced a successful summer with tourists from across the globe being impressed with the destinations and tourism offerings. The summer had ideal weather conditions alongside festive events and activations, allowing tourists to experience not only the beach but also a variety of wildlife, heritage and adventure activities.

“Through marketing an array of attractions and activities available in Nelson Mandela Bay(NMB) and a manner in which to make them accessible and affordable; visitors were able to experience these, and therefore find the destination more desirable for extended stays contributing to increased tourism numbers and a successful summer season.” said Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO Mandlakazi Skefile.

Whilst the summer season is not yet fully complete, NMBT can provide preliminary results indicators which show the local tourism sector’s success. These results show that during December 2016, approximately 393 615 bednights were sold in NMB at an average occupancy of 79.34% up by 6.98%. It is estimated that in the region of 267 848 overnight visitors came to NMB spending in the region of R402 766 150, up from R357 429 685.

From NMBT’s occupancy surveys it was found that during December 2016, that 72 226 (18.35%) bednights sold were foreign compared to 30 462 (8.72%) last year. Based on the methodology used by NMBT, from the bednights sold it can be derived that during the month there was in the region of 23 033 foreign overnight visitors to NMB. The foreign direct spend in NMB for the month is estimated at R62 364 102.

The top 10 foreign countries visitors staying in formal accommodation as reported on by accommodation facilities came from: Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Australia, and Brazil. The top 3 foreign countries therefore indicate positive results of the marketing investments NMBT made into these markets throughout the year.

December 2016, saw 321 389 (81.65%) bed nights sold to the domestic tourism market. Based on the methodology from the bednights sold, NMBT can derive that during the month there were in the region of 241 043 domestic overnight visitors to NMB spending an estimated R340 402 048 using 2015 indicators.

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler welcomed the news of the increased tourist numbers experienced in Nelson Mandela Bay over the December period.

"Tourism and Leisure plays an important role in the diversification of Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy. The tourism industry is a critical growth sector for Nelson Mandela Bay, and it has immeasurable potential to become a major contributor to the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay. Experts believe that for every eight foreign tourists visiting South Africa, one local job is created."

"We have to harness this momentum, and create a sustainable tourism sector that continues to bring people to Nelson Mandela Bay for many years to come. Not only international, but also domestic and regional tourism, in particular, is to be encouraged. We hope to see even more visitors to our shores in the year to come," Hustler said.

Many tourists were thrilled with the destinations offerings and happy to share and recommend their experiences through the digital campaign called “#Sharethebay” which till date has now seen over 8000 images uploaded with the hashtag. From December 2016 till date the participation increased by over 1000 images. The campaign created ambassadors and marketers out of locals and visitors to the destination allowing others to be enticed to explore the destinations offerings.

Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, NMBT CEO further confirmed, “Initiatives such as the Nelson Mandela Bay Travel App, Nelson Mandela Bay Pass as well as the campaigns are all tools that assist to effectively market the destination and allow the visitors' experience to be enhanced by convenience and affordability.”