The influx of tourists to the Buffalo City Metro this festive season has created positive spin-offs for emerging businesses and the hospitality industry.
East London is one of the most visited areas in the Eastern Cape this time of the year.
A favourable climate, game parks and a coastal line are some of the tourist attractions in the metro.
Local tourist Zintle Fulumane says, “The reason I like to be here, especially this area, is because I like the vibe and from here to the restaurants it’s not that far, it’s simple and then I love the vibe, especially the children they love to be here. They enjoy and I like this area because even if I come from home, I sit here, I have that piece of mind.”
Local businesses are realising more profit this time of the year.
Nonkqubela Gobinduku says, “December holidays are always great for us as small businesses because everyone is back in the province and business is booming. It’s a struggle for us in winter because not so many people come to the beach. There is a great difference now, because we can buy Christmas clothes for our children.”
Director of the Border Kei Chamber, Lizelle Mourice says, “Not only your hotels but guest houses are also filled up, it’s your restaurants, your filling stations because more people are travelling, the entire sector benefits.”
She adds: “Particularly with load shedding six, we had to deal with once per day but now four times a day. For the hospitality industry, it is really devastating to business but also to those who cannot afford alternative energy and for those particular businesses it’s not good for them.”
The Buffalo City metro has also beefed up its security measures as part of ensuring the safety of holidaymakers.