Inbound tourism employs over 375,000 people in South Africa and contributes 8.7% of our exports. It is estimated that over 40,000 jobs have already been lost within the tourism sector, and it is critical to preserve those left. There are also significant knock-on effects on other parts of the economy as a result of not having international tourism and travel open. This will also affect South Africa’s status as a regional hub and leading African destination should neighbouring countries and our competitors open up their borders faster.
Many questions and information being disseminated around the opening up of the tourism sector in our country. Some saying only in 2021 will we see the borders open up to the tourism trade. There has certainly been a lot of confusion around D-Day for international tourism to South Africa.
South Africa’s tourism private-sector, under the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), have been engaging on the Tourism Recovery Strategy currently being developed by South African Tourism. TBCSA is advocating unequivocally for the earlier phased reopening of international tourism to South Africa this year to as soon as September 2020.
Tshifhiwa Tshivenghwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, joins us on the line to talk about the proposed way for forward, also logistically, what this means…