Durban - As tens of thousands of racing fans and socialites prepare to pour
into Durban for the 121st running of the Durban July, the regional
economy is set to savour a R260 million injection directly from the race day.
With the majority of the visitors to the iconic horse racing showpiece now
travelling in from outside of the province, hotel and bed and breakfast
establishments are in high demand, particularly with Durban hosting a number of
other high-profile holiday festival events at the same time.
Air travel into and out of Durban peaks over the first weekend in July, fashion
retailers do a booming trade, and the popular restaurants and bars in the
greater Durban area do their record turnover on the weekend of the Durban July.
With another sell-out crowd predicted for Greyville Racecourse next Saturday,
the projections done by Durban Tourism point to an anticipated direct
expenditure of participants and spectators to be R133.3 million.
In broader terms, the study projects the total direct economic impact on
eThekwini’s GDP to be R259.8 million.
"The Durban July promotes Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as a premier
event destination not only in South Africa, but globally as well," said
Phillip Sithole, the acting DCM, Head of Durban Tourism.
"This hallmark event increases our domestic arrivals, economic spend, as
well as increases the tourism contribution to the GDP and creates and sustains
jobs for Durban’s citizens," he added.
He alluded to the fact that the event brought businesses in suburbs and
townships to life.
"The Durban July has served as a catalyst to promote townships; as
Durban Tourism’s aim is to ensure that townships become part of the tourism
mainstream," said Sithole.
"Pre and post Durban July activations and side events are done at
venues in these townships which increases sales and job creation.
In addition to this, over R100 million is spent at totes on course and at
off-courses totes around the country.
Graeme Hawkins, Gold Circle’s Marketing Executive, said there was a guaranteed
Pick 6 pool of R10 million which is expected to reach R11 million plus and a
guaranteed Quartet pool on the Durban July of R13 million which is
expected to reach R15 million.
There will be place payouts on the first six placed horses and the pool for
this bet is expected to reach R8 million.
The 2017 Durban July takes place at Greyville Racecourse on Saturday,
More information can be found at www.vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za