Petrol price cut aids fes­tive travel

Sunday Tribune - - BUSINESS REPORT - HELMO PREUSS

KWAZULU-NATAL is gear­ing up for a tourism boom next month from both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional sources.

A large cut in the petrol price of R1.50 or there­abouts per litre should en­cour­age more peo­ple from Gaut­eng and the Free State to make the trek to KZN’S beaches, while the Bri­tish Air­ways di­rect flight be­tween Lon­don and Dur­ban that started at the end of Oc­to­ber will bring in more Bri­tons to tan in KZN.

The over-re­cov­ery in the petrol price on Novem­ber 6 was 156.896 cents per litre, so there is a good chance that the De­cem­ber re­tail price ad­just­ment could be larger than R1.50 per litre. The ad­just­ment will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 30 and take ef­fect on De­cem­ber 5.

The large drop in the petrol price will make KZN more ac­ces­si­ble to a larger num­ber of peo­ple from in­land prov­inces.

King Shaka Air­port pas­sen­ger data from the Air­ports Com­pany of South Africa (Acsa) has con­tin­ued to show growth in the num­ber of pas­sen­gers han­dled with a 6 per­cent y/y in­crease in Septem­ber af­ter an 8.4 per­cent y/y gain in Au­gust fol­low­ing a slow­ing to a 3.1 per­cent y/y rise in July from June’s

10.8 per­cent y/y jump and that is ex­pected to con­tinue into De­cem­ber and Jan­uary with the prob­a­bil­ity that growth num­bers could ex­ceed dou­ble dig­its given the eas­ing of visa re­stric­tions on over­seas tourists.

At the World Travel Mar­ket in Lon­don this week, Tourism Min­is­ter Derek Hanekom was at pains to stress that South Africa was open for busi­ness and will­ing to wel­come more over­seas tourists.

Hanekom pre­dicted 2019 would be a stronger year for tourism fol­low­ing last year’s drought, which nearly led to Cape Town al­most run­ning out of wa­ter. “We know we’ve been grow­ing, but tourism is vul­ner­a­ble to var­i­ous types of shocks,” he said.

In re­cent months, King Shaka out­per­formed other air­ports, as the in­crease in pas­sen­ger num­bers for all Acsa air­ports was 2.6 per­cent y/y in Septem­ber af­ter a 2.4 per­cent y/y gain in Au­gust. At the be­gin­ning of the year there was a de­cline in in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals, which was more than off­set by strong gains in do­mes­tic and re­gional pas­sen­ger vol­umes, but a turn­around started in Au­gust, when there was a 8.7 per­cent y/y in­crease fol­lowed by a

13.6 per­cent y/y jump in Septem­ber.

The 6.5 per­cent y/y in­crease in do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger ar­rivals to

245 361 in De­cem­ber last year also shows that the do­mes­tic econ­omy is re­viv­ing.

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