The Local Tourism Forum receives Tourism Study results

The Local Tourism Forum took place on Tuesday, 08 June 2021 at the Pietermaritzburg Council Chambers, received results of local tourism study

The Local Tourism Forum (LTF) is in terms of Section 3 (g) (iv) of the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Act, no.11 of 1996 as amended in 2002 which states that “the authority shall have the power to facilitate the establishment of Regional Tourism Fora”.

Its objectives include, Coordination of all tourism related activities within the Local Municipality, tourism stakeholder collaboration and informing local budgetary process for the effective implementation and growth of tourism in line with the Provincial

Pietermaritzburg Tourism, in collaboration with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), recently completed a pilot study for a project that is considered to be a “first of its kind”.

‘Pietermaritzburg Tourism has become the first known local municipality structure in KwaZulu-Natal, and possibly South Africa, to gather tourism statistics using their own internal resources. These statistics were gathered by local students and interns of Pietermaritzburg Tourism, which is crucial for the empowerment of the youth, through what is known as a “visitor” or “intercept” survey.’

‘The study has been regarded as a success by both Pietermaritzburg Tourism as well as the National Department of Tourism (NDT), who have encouraged other provinces and local municipalities to follow in conducting such studies.’  Said Richard Wyllie, Tourism KZN Manager Research and Development

Some of the key findings include:

  1. The vast majority (75%) of the respondents travelled to Pietermaritzburg from outside of KZN. In terms of South African visitors, the majority were from Gauteng (77%). The visitors from KZN were mostly from Durban (74%) and Mooi River (7%).
  2. The respondents take between 7-8 trips to Pietermaritzburg within one calendar year (average of 7.46 trips). The number of trips then differs very slightly when comparing overnight visitors and day visitors. On average, overnight visitors take 7.37 trips while day visitors take 7.82 trips.
  3. The majority of the respondents travel to Pietermaritzburg for business (53%). This is a specialised market that has very different needs and motivations for travel when compared to other tourists, such as “holiday-makers”.
  4. Almost 80% of the respondents indicated that they stayed overnight during their trip to Pietermaritzburg.
  5. The majority (59%) of the respondents book and stay in paid accommodation establishments during their trip. The majority stayed in a Hotels (40%) and Homestays (39%).
  6. Nearly 85% of the respondents would likely visit Pietermaritzburg again in future, with only 6% saying that they would not visit again.
  7. The majority (64%) of the respondents would recommend Pietermaritzburg to others.

‘We have noted the average rating of 3.3 (on a scale of 1-5 scale) response from questions, whether surveyed visitors would return or refer others to Pietermaritzburg.. This indicates a vote of confidence to Pietermaritzburg notwithstanding challenges faced by the city’ said Dumisani Mhlongo, Director of Pietermaritzburg Tourism.

Besides noting the results of the study, the Local Tourism Forum raised concerns about the following;

  1. Poor financial investment in tourism
  2. Limiting including Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (Spluma) and noice abatement bylaws
  3. Lack of upkeep of local tourism infrastructure, and
  4. Outlook of Central Business District


Attached is Richard Wyllie, Tourism KZN Manager Research and Development, when presenting study results.

For more information contact:

Dumisani Mhlongo

033 345 1348/9