DURBAN – While Tourism organisations from across South Africa are trying to get their voice heard in hopes that President Cyril Ramaphosa revises the policies around leisure travel, various industry experts are already working strategies that can be implemented when global travel and tourism restart.
Ambassadors supporting conservation and communities in the travel industries of Southern and Eastern Africa have published a book titled, Tourism, Travel & Covid-19: The Narrative for Southern and Eastern Africa during a crisis vortex. The book offers insights, key objectives and actionable steps that businesses can start implementing now in preparation for reopening of the sector.
According to the editor of the book Shanaleigh Hebbard, the book the goal is for tourism and travel businesses to be ready to welcome local and international guests back into an atmosphere of feeling safe and secure while enjoying all that Africa has to offer.
“The book will be a vital tool for the tourism and hospitality business in Africa. Future tourists planning on visiting Southern and Eastern Africa will also benefit from reading this book as it will allow them to understand the solutions offered to make sure that their future visits are safe,” she said.
Among the twenty-three contributors to the book are Sisa Ntshona – CEO of South African Tourism, Greg Smith and Richard de la Ray – founders or the leading Covid-19 travel Facebook group #tourisminmyblood, Mandisa Magwaxaza – Board Member and Eastern Cape Chairperson at SATSA, and Derek Nseko – a Ugandan aviation expert and MD at iFly Aviation.
Meanwhile, numerous petitions have been started and shared on Twitter. One titled “Tourism Recovery South Africa” has garnered over 2800 signatures. The aim is to get 5000 signatures. The petition was started by Ron Mackenzie.
He posted: “Many families livelihoods are at stake and need support, right now. The government has neglected to inform or adequately explain to our industry, as to why we are banned from earning a living (whilst other industries can resume trade, even though presenting people with a greater risk, of contracting the virus).” (sic)
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) held an urgent meeting last Monday to discuss leisure travel to consider its options to stop the daily R748-million loss of tourism expenditure and job losses caused by the lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic.
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