The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the opportunity to comment on the 2019 Vodacom Durban July.

The Vodacom Durban July is the biggest sporting event hosted by eThekwini (followed by the Comrades) and a hallmark sporting event for the City. The Durban July is one of South Africa’s most respected sporting events and has become a highlight for both South Africans and overseas visitors, who flock to Durban to witness what has become known as “Africa’s greatest horse racing event”.

An event of this nature brings an array of socio-economic benefits to the local economy. According to Durban Tourism, projected event visitors are estimated to be around 32 191 local residents and 11 683 tourists. Durban Tourism has projected that, if spending is similar to previous years, visitors will spend around R 99 685 997 with a contribution to eThekwini’s GDP of R 267 976 581. The event is also expected to directly employ 453 people and this figure excludes the permanent and temporary jobs generated across various industry sectors and their value chains such as logistics, transportation, tourism and hospitality.

Research has shown that tourism is a catalyst for job creation, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development. The Durban Chamber believes that domestic tourism is essential for Durban and the province in order to foster economic growth. The private sector, specifically the tourism and hospitality sectors, have the potential to benefit greatly from domestic tourism. For this reason, the Durban Chamber encourages businesses to correctly leverage tourism and hospitality opportunities by strategically aligning marketing programmes and product packages to attract visitors. Partnering with large events will open opportunities to an array of benefits such as an increase in demand for their products and services to a wider target market.