South Africa is now allowing business conferences of up to 50 attendees. This is all part of a phased reopening of the tourism sector and tourism-related services in accordance with South Africa’s Risk-Adjusted Strategy which is based on lockdown levels, and not on set dates.
“Allowing for business conferences, albeit at limited capacity, as well as the reopening of accredited and licensed accommodation establishments for domestic business travelers, is proof that tourism is in fact opening up. As envisioned, this is based on a phased approach with domestic tourism opening up first followed by regional tourism and then international tourism,” said South Africa Tourism Chief Executive Officer Sisa Ntshona, in a statement.
This follows the reopening of skies for limited domestic air travel at the beginning of June.
“We thank our trade partners both here in South Africa and across the world, for their continued support and patience. South African Tourism, together with other industry stakeholders, will continue engaging with government to find ways of further opening the tourism industry, safely. As the impact of COVID-19 on the country changes, the reopening process will be reviewed and revised,” adds Ntshona. “Whilst our regional and international borders remain closed, our biggest priority is ensuring that when we are ready to share our wonderful destination with the world again, we do so in a safe and responsible manner. We wish to continue making sound decisions with all travellers and the sector’s employees in mind.”
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says that the reopening is dependent on the development and roll-out of stringent and practical health-focused protocols by the travel and tourism value-chain to safeguard staff, travelers and guests.
“We acknowledge the good work being done by the government to get tourism back on track. Tourism is a vital sector in South Africa’s economy and accounts for 1.5 million jobs; many of those employed are young people. By nature of tourism’s value chain, there are also significant benefits to other parts of the economy when tourism reopens. We are committed to doing this safely,” says Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, TBCSA CEO.
A recent South African Tourism survey revealed that almost two-thirds of international travelers are ready to travel immediately after the lifting of international travel restrictions or within a year thereafter.
According to the study, 45% of the international tourists will avoid travel while another 45% are inclined to either travel as they did in the past or travel more. The other 10% are indecisive about their travel prospects.
The tourists who will avoid international travel say they will prefer destinations in their own country until it is safe enough to cross the borders.
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