Tourism bosses are turning to top schools such as Michaelhouse‚ Hilton College and St Anne’s to help market Durban as a holiday destination.
This comes as Durban’s tourism officials tap into the youth market‚ who are now the face of global travel.
Some 70% of travellers to Durban are under the age of 35‚ mimicking the global trend.
At a gathering on Wednesday of tourism stakeholders at the Durban International Convention Centre‚ Peter Bendheim‚ project executive at Durban Tourism‚ said youth travel was their key focus.
According to a research study by Durban Tourism that delved into the insights of the youth and their travel patterns‚ youth travel has grown rapidly in recent decades as living standards have risen and the people from developing countries were starting to travel for the first time.
He said their study showed that in the top boarding schools including Durban High School‚ Michael in KwaZulu-Natal‚ almost 40% of students are foreigners mainly from Africa‚ China‚ Malaysia and India.
“They come here because quality schooling is cheaper than elsewhere in the world. For tourism it means they are here during the holidays and their parents come out to spend time with them here and many cases they have houses here‚” he said.
“There is a global trend caused by people who marry later‚ travel more‚ study longer and have more money at their disposal than people older. We wanted to tap into that market and not look at the old-fashioned destinations of the city but look at what young people like‚ such as adventure tourism‚ nightlife and cultural experiences in townships.
“People want experiences. You can see old buildings anywhere and go to beaches anywhere but you can’t have access to the diverse cultures we have in Durban. Younger people want to take more risks‚ are not deterred by factors that might deter older people and are not worried to meet people in all parts of the city. They are young and want to explore.”
The city has launched a new tourism app‚ which lists accommodation‚ tourist attractions and places such as shopping malls‚ restaurants‚ banks‚ garages‚ tourist attractions with links to their websites‚ tourism offices‚ foreign exchange and emergency contact details. They have also a new promotional video to showcase youth experiences and places they visit‚ such as Umhlanga‚ billed as the playground for fashionistas‚ foodies and surfers‚ The Wavehouse at Gateway‚ restaurants and night clubs on Florida Road‚ townships for Shisa nyama‚ shark diving at Aliwal Shoal‚ mountain biking at Giba Gorge‚ boot camp‚ Gandhi Settlement in Phoenix‚ Ohlange High School in Inanda where former president Nelson Mandela cast his first vote and Phezulu Game Reserve.
“Youth tourism is an important facet of tourism‚ and we are proud that as a city we are investing and prioritising this important sector that can boost tourism significantly for Durban. The new‚ refreshing destination footage showcases a plethora of culinary‚ nightlife‚ extreme adventures and sun‚ beach and surf‚ against the backdrop of local lifestyle‚” said acting head of Durban Tourism Thulani Nzama.
Source: TMG Digital.