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IOL: Reopening of international travel in SA: Could it open sooner than we think?

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Now that President Cyril Ramaphosa has granted inter-provincial travel, many South African tourism organisations have shifted their focus to international travel.

In recent weeks, many of these organisations have fought hard to ensure that South Africa welcomes international travellers as they believe it’s beneficial for its survival.

However, if the pandemic doesn’t improve, SA may postpone international travel for 2021.

A spokesperson for The #IAMTOURISM campaign, which forms part of the ‘South Africa is Travel Ready’ initiative, Thembi Kunene-Msimang said that there was an urgent need to reopen international tourism.

“With the opening of inter-provincial domestic leisure travel, there has been an encouraging spike in local demand for travel and this has provided the much-needed hope to the women in tourism.

“However, to safeguard tourism’s significant contribution to the economy and reignite South Africa’s economy, there is an urgent need to reopen international tourism, in a responsible and safe manner.

“#IAmTourism women continue to support government’s on-going efforts to balance the overriding objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods and ask that our de-risked sector that has adopted stringent health and hygiene safety be recognised accordingly, ” she explained.

Kunene-Msimang said the tourism sector played an important role in stimulating the recovery and ensuring inclusive economic growth and employment.

“Women comprise 70 percent of South Africa’s tourism workforce and have been the worst affected by the shutdown that has left the tourism sector reeling since even before the lockdown was announced,” she added.

The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) also wanted government to provide a definite date of when international tourism will reopen.

ASATA CEO Otto de Vries said in a statement last week that the industry is struggling to survive.

Read the full article here.

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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