Published on : Saturday, July 25, 2020
Across South Africa, down time in tourism, be it intra-provincial, inter-provincial or international, is damaging thousands of people’s lives. Restaurants and hotels have wrapped up their businesses since lockdown was announced four months ago.
In South Africa, when the first case of COVID-19 got identified, Government acted fast in shutting down its borders to foreign travelers.
Once other countries started simplifying the rule during lockdown and started opening up their borders, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in a statement explained international tourism wouldn’t arrive to South Africa before 2021.
Taking into consideration this announcement, the tourism industry of South Africa believes they can restart sooner and now they are lobbying to reopen to international travelers not before September 2020.
On June 3rd, an announcement was published by South African Tourism, that some popular global destinations were “assessing entering the regional phase of reopening through AirBridge/Travel Bubbles between regional countries”, which could provide a solution to open our borders to international tourists, gradually.
Maija de Rijk-Uys, Managing Director of Cape Town–based safari travel company Go2Africa, is one of those businesses which are lobbying for Government to make the use of phased approach which had been presented along with the targeted date of September 2020.
“The resumption of travel of course would be accompanied [by] appropriate safety protocols, starting with the lower-density and lower-risk areas like the key safari regions, and eventually including major hubs like Cape Town and Johannesburg,” de Rijk-Uys told AFAR in an interview.
South African Tourism has yet to name the countries which could fall under the category of “travel bubble”. In May however, it was reported that US airline, Delta had submitted a regulatory filing to the Department of Transportation which would witness Cape Town getting added to its route list from Atlanta starting on October 24, 2020, depending on travel restrictions imposed by either country.
Tags: South Africa