Holiday trends on the lower south coast of KwaZulu-Natal are undergoing change if the December holiday season is a serious pointer to the future, according to Dina Porteous, Pam Golding Properties' area principal based in Margate.
"We have seen a marked change in the requirements of holidaymakers with traditional Margate visitors now seeking accommodation in the outer perimeters where they find it more relaxing. However, we still have holidaymakers specifically asking for Margate proper, and these generally tend to be those with teens directly targeting entertainment and within walking distance of their accommodation," says Porteous.
A further factor driving requests for leisure bookings is the demand for upmarket, higher graded accommodation. As a result, the apartments with 4-Star and upper grading were booked out first in the December holidays with Ramsgate subjected to the highest demand and surpassing areas such as Margate, Shelly Beach and Uvongo.
"Locally we are seeing the popularity of accommodation in Shelly Beach catching up with Margate at a rapid rate and overtaking that of Uvongo. This could be due to the fact that available accommodation in Shelly Beach comprises newer buildings than Uvongo, while the shopping facilities in Shelly Beach are a major drawcard for tourists.”
If the Uvonga area is to compete with such desirable, modern accommodation, Porteous says an area upgrade of its own holiday accommodation is necessary, “while Margate needs to complement the existing suburban accommodation with a broader scope of shopping and entertainment facilities.”
This year PGP Margate anticipates that the demand for domestic accommodation during the holiday periods will increase as a result of the drop in the value of the rand, coupled with high petrol prices and interest rates. "However we don't expect to see a rise in accommodation rates as the market is still trying to catch up with the oversupply.