Imagine if it were a song, a catchy tune, and it was on all of our lips. Imagine if it were such a groovy melody it automatically got the feet of everyone in KwaZulu-Natal tapping. A song like Pharrell Williams’ Happy or the Penny Whistle Jive, a hip swaying beaut of a number. We’d sing it effortlessly because the words were simple and we loved it. And all the while we sang it we felt the money from it jingling into our pockets.
Tourism could be the elixir for economic growth in KZN. Tourism could also do spectacularly well. Why? Because we live in a patch of paradise with a great international airport and the infrastructural pillars of a great economy. Tourism is arguably the quickest, low-barrier-to-entry, big multiplier business.
A snapshot from Durban Tourism shows that in the last financial year 3,8-million tourists came to KZN, contributing R19,6-billion to the economy and employing 53 400 people. Alas, that’s 527 000 less visitors than the year before, R600-million less loot, and 4 100 fewer jobs.
Hat’s off to the leadership of FNB in KZN. Over a period of time FNB has quietly drawn together a group of top tourism stakeholders to foster day per person, which is on average double what domestic tourists spend, and their market is in the billions.