Published on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The travel ban imposed on South Africa announced by the United Kingdom and other countries has, in fact, thrust the tourism industry into utter chaos.
The United States and Australia have also joined the list of countries restricting traveling from South Africa.
In spite of the seriousness of the situation, many still feel that the travel ban is needless.
“I think COVID-19 is a very serious thing, but on the other hand, we’re always going to have new variants, so, I don’t know how we’re going to keep locking down every time we find a new variant,” said David Good, a British tourist.
For the tourism industry in South Africa, representing around 3 per cent of GDP, the new travel ban is indeed a big problem, particularly, at a time when the recovery is struggling to gain ground.
“So, this is hugely important for Cape Town. There are tens of thousands of families that rely on the tourism industry. And the whole day I’ve been flooded with messages from tour operators. We had a full December booked with tours for the first time, small hotel owners and BnB owners saying everyone’s canceled. It’s just really, really bad news,” said the Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis.
The World Health Organization (WHO), however, warned against imposing travel restrictions, and said that it will take weeks to understand the implications of the newly discovered strain.