Youth tourism gains importance in Durban

Published on : Friday, July 28, 2017

Youth tourismTourism chiefs are turning to top schools like 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. Around 70% of travellers to Durban are under the age of 35.

At a gathering of tourism stakeholders on Wednesday at the Durban International Convention Centre‚ Peter Bendheim‚ project executive at Durban Tourism‚ said that youth travel is its prime focus.

According to a research study by Durban Tourism, youth travel has grown speedily in recent decades as living standards have risen and people from developing countries are traveling more.

In top boarding schools, including Durban High School and Michaelhouse 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‚” Bendheim said.

He added, “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 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 about meeting people in all parts of the city. They are young and want to explore.”

Durban has launched a new tourism app‚ which lists accommodation‚ tourist attractions and places, such as shopping malls‚ restaurants‚ banks‚ and tourist attractions with links to their websites; tourism offices; foreign exchange and emergency contact details. It also has a new promotional video to showcase youth experiences and places they visit.

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