The impact of events on sustainable tourism development in Durban: an evidence-based enquiry.
Mejabi, Ekundayo Ilesanmi.
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Sustainability has become one of the key elements of development for most tourist destinations. Some cities have adopted a sustainable development strategy as a long-term solution in improving socio-economic, cultural, and environmental practices. Traditionally, destinations have used events to achieve community enrichment, protect the natural environment, and create or maintain national pride. The aim of this research was to analyse the impact of events on sustainable tourism development in Durban. This research focused on the event tourism sector and its impact on the economy, environment, politics and the socio-cultural being of the host community. The objectives were to discuss the role of events in profiling a destination and the extent to which they could serve as catalyst for repeat visitation; the study sought to analyse the perceptions of key stakeholders regarding the contribution of events to socio-economic growth of the City. In carrying out the research, a mixed method approach was used. A total of 400 questionnaires were researcher administered and 25 in-depth interviews were conducted. The results show that there are economic spin offs resulting from visitor spending during major events in the City. Furthermore, the study shows that although events can be used as a tool for sustainable tourism development, the challenge is the unbalanced racial structure within the industry, poor state of the economy, and limited access to business start-up capital for SMMEs. The study concludes that events play a vital role in socio-economic growth and development of the tourism sector in Durban and recommends multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships to ensure sustained tourism growth.