National News

Durban fully booked for semi

2010-07-07 16:15

Durban – Durban hotels and bed and breakfasts were fully-booked on Wednesday ahead of the World Cup semi-final between Germany and Spain at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Durban Chamber of Commerce said.

"... Lots of people were trying to book accommodation last minute, some from Johannesburg, Cape Town and overseas," said the Chamber's tourism manager Jane Pillay.

She said bookings stretched as far north as Ballito and Umhlanga.

Other businesses which formed part of the tourism industry, such as metered taxis, restaurants and shops selling World Cup-related goods were also doing well.

"It was up to other business to create networks for themselves. The World Cup was to market South Africa for 2010 and beyond," said Pillay.

Almost fully booked

Botanic Garden bed and breakfast owner Sharon Muller said she had heard it was difficult to find accommodation in Durban. "My bed and breakfast was almost fully-booked," she said.

Nto Majozi's bed and breakfast in La Lucia had hosted Brazilians, Dutch and Germans during the World Cup and was still fully-booked.

"Business has been going very well for my establishment. I also hosted a German family who had a wonderful stay. I had people from Johannesburg and Cape Town," said Majozi.

Niniza Shezi, of Imvube Guest house in Westville, said some of her visitors had bought a book to translate from a Portuguese to English.

"It was amazingly funny to host some of my visitors, some of (whom) it was difficult to communicate with because of the language barrier. Otherwise we are still fully booked for today’s (Wednesday) game," said Shezi.

Too busy

Mozzie Cabs metered taxis was not transporting people after 15:00 because it was too busy.

"We are so busy today (Wednesday). It is so hectic it’s very difficult to get a cab," said Eric Shangase who works in the company's control room.

The Chamber launched a last minute campaign in June to lure more tourists to the city.

This, after hoteliers complained that their facilities had 15% occupancy rather than the 60% to 65% occupancy rate usually experienced during the June holidays, amid a perception that Durban was fully booked ahead of the World Cup.

Occupancy rates started picking up about two weeks ago.

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