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TThe start gun will be fired in by His Worship The Mayor Cllr. James Nxumalo at 05h30 in Durban on Sunday, 31 May 2015 as the Comrades Marathon, categorized as the Ultimate Human Race, starts and ends 12 hours later at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
Phillip Sithole Head of Durban Tourism anxiously stated that this year the number of participants almost doubled compared to last year and the Up Run will be a major boost to the local tourism industry. “The economically viable next few days will contribute a booming R200 million to the overall growth of the tourism industry and economic impact of the city. The Accommodation sector is already recording high occupancy’s at all establishment,” explained Sithole.
Mike Jackson, Director of Operations in KZN of Tsogo Sun stated that the Durban beachfront hotels are at an average of 99% full, Stay Easy Hotel and Southern Sun hotel at Golden Horse Casino – all in PMB are fully booked, Elangeni and Maharani – fully booked. South Beach and Sun Coast 95% booked. An estimated 4% of international guests are staying in the Tsogo Sun properties. The Umhlanga Properties are 80% booked. The Stay Easy Hotel and the Southern Sun Hotel at Golden Horse Casino is fully booked in PMB.
Durban Tourism will also be promoting The Durban Fun Season at the “Comrades Expo”. At the Durban Exhibition Centre. All visitors are encouraged to visit the Durban Tourism Stand to find out more information on what to do whilst in our beautiful City of Durban. Entrance is free so bring your family and friends to experience this Pre-Race spectacle and get your free Durban mementos. Durban Tourism will also be providing a hospitality area in PMB for the international runners.
Comrades Marathon – Quick Facts:
• The World Greatest Ultra Marathon, official distance is 87,72km, making it one of the longer up runs in recent history.
• This year will be a up run from the coastal city of Durban to the capital city of Pietermaritzburg - 22 370 registered and 19 000 participants will participate , with high international presence which increased by 5 % in 2015.
Majority of the international runners are from UK, USA & Australia. One of the reasons for the increase is due to the aggressive marketing of the Event in Chicago, Rome, New York and the Gold Coast by the Comrades Association.
• Race starts at 05h30 and ends off 12 hrs later at the Oval stadium in PMB
• The socio economic impact of Comrades Marathon to the city of Durban is estimated at a direct spend of 200 million rand for the City of Durban and over 500 million rands based on direct, indirect spend for KwaZulu Natal.
• Number of Visitors ( including participants/families/friends/spectators/organisers/locals) projected : 90 000
• Number of jobs sustained: 450
• Number of International Visitors – 5% increase from 2014 – 1429 and 642 other parts of Africa based on participant registration
• Domestic visitors - 45 % - 20 299 based on participant registration
• Total tourist average stay per night due to comrades is 3 nights