Nelson Mandela Bay experienced a busy and festive summer season with visitors, families and locals enjoying all the destination had on offer. Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) statistics reflected a general improvement overall. During December 2014, approximately 367 753 bed nights were sold in Nelson Mandela Bay at an average occupancy of 79.17% up by 8.40%. It is estimated that in the region of 319 253 overnight visitors came to Nelson Mandela Bay spending in the region of R346 282 013, up from R309 000 272 during the same period last year.
From NMBT’s occupancy surveys it was found that during December 2014, 323 269 (87.90%) of bed nights sold were domestic visitors. Based on methodology utilised by NMBT from the bed nights sold it can be assumed that during the month there were 294 667 domestic overnight visitors to NMB spending about R285 599 380 using 2013 indicators.
Ms Mandlakazi Skefile, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, shared that part of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourisms strategy in attracting and increasing visitor’s to the Bay is based on research and feedback obtained from visitors and industry stakeholders.
Ms Skefile advised, “We have noted all the feedback which reveals that visitors are rather price sensitive and are shopping around for value for money experiences and packages. This is why we have the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass that can be amended to the visitors likes and allows discounted packages for accommodation, car hire as well as free and discounted entry into a variety of attractions and activities.”
There was a slight decrease of foreign visitors to Nelson Mandela Bay in December according to NMBT’s occupancy survey. The occupancy by foreign visitors for December 2014 was 44 485 bed nights sold. Based on our methodology from the bed nights sold we can assume that during the quarter there was in the region of 15 227 foreign overnight visitors to NMB for the month.
“Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism will monitor the foreign visitor arrivals to the Bay especially as of late January and beginning February when international travel increases each year to ensure we sustain the numbers from traditional international key markets such as Germany and the UK for example while infiltrating new markets such as India and South America.” confirmed Ms Skefile, NMBT CEO.
The foreign direct spend in Nelson Mandela Bay for the month is estimated at R60 682 633. The top 10 foreign countries visitors came from as reported on by accommodation facilities were: United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Netherlands, France, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and Israel.
Ms Skefile is excited to say, “Events contribute extensively in extending the visitors length of stay in the destination which increases the visitors spend. The events also make Nelson Mandela Bay attractive for visitors as the place to be for next year.”
The destination had a busy season of great events which were able to attract and entertain locals and visitors over and above the constant attractions and activities available. These events included the official summer season celebrations, Boxing Day Cricket Test between South Africa and the West Indies and the Rugby 7’s Tournament over and above concerts such as the Ebubeleni festival that attracted over 9000 music enthusiasts to name but a few.