South Africa is Travel Ready
In South Africa, we are getting very excited ….! The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) together with key private sector tourism stakeholders recognize the importance of both local and inbound leisure travel, and they have engaged with South African Tourism (SAT) to put forward a data-driven recovery plan for the re-opening of South Africa’s borders.
TBCSA is confident that the country could (and should) see international tourism opening as early as September 2020, and will be presenting its approach and clearly defined protocols at today’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting. We are fortunate in that we have global best practices to observe and learn from, based on the many countries opening their borders for travel after their own Lockdown periods.
Some of the media coverage published lately has been factually incorrect as the nature of South Africa’s approach towards the pandemic is a risk-adjusted strategy and not based on specific timelines. Business travel, originally expected to be allowed later, is already currently permitted under Level 3 following successful lobbying to government.
Implementing protocols to safeguard the health and safety of both citizens and visitors, and opening the country’s borders in time for our summer season, will provide a lifeline to many hotels, lodges, tour operators and other tourism products. The country’s summer season accounts for 60% of the annual tourism revenues.
To say these have been challenging times for the tourism industry, would be an understatement, but there are most certainly some welcome rays of sunshine breaking through. In South Africa, we were delighted last week when the country moved to Level 3 which allowed most businesses to return to work, exercising was allowed anytime during the day, parks and hiking trails opened and wine orders placed during lockdown were delivered to your door!
A number of countries where we provide services like Namibia, Botswana and Rwanda are looking to open their borders soon, and Tanzania has already done so. South Africa serves, very much, as a regional airline hub, so our neighbours are also eagerly awaiting the opening of borders.
We are encouraged and confident that these developments are the start of our recovery, and steadfastly believe that Africa, with all its wide-open spaces and secluded accommodations will be in high demand with future travellers seeking safe, private and more isolated destinations. In fact, to this point, a recent overseas survey ranked South Africa as the # 1 post-pandemic choice worldwide.
We sincerely believe Africa is going to be a firm favourite for clients looking to get back to checking off those bucket list favourites after all this confinement.
Trans Africa Safaris Management