Still reeling from strict Covid restrictions now in their third wave, KwaZulu-Natal’s already fragile tourism industry was dealt a crippling blow by the recent unrest and looting. Inbound domestic travel figures plummeted and hotel occupancy rates fell sharply. And with foreign travel markets advising against travel to SA, the prospects of a quick revival are challenging.

For the eThekwini metro the unrest alone amounted to a loss of 50,000 visitors, R110m in direct spending, R280m in tourism GDP and 600 jobs. the province would have sustained a 50% visitor arrival under adjusted lockdown level 4 had there not been civil unrest. Consequently the occupancy rate between July 8 and 17 was only 19%, a loss of 31% of projected occupancy rates...

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