CAPE TOWN –The summer season is critical for the survival of the South African tourism and hospitality industry, however, international leisure travel has come with restrictions.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said the risk-based approach is a major blow for the sector and that the same approach should be adopted with leisure travel as done with business travel.
“It is critical that we look at smart ways to open our international borders, especially for our key source markets so that we can save jobs and save the economy in the Western Cape.
“It is unfair to restrict leisure travellers from high-risk countries as there is simply no greater risk of transmission based on the purpose of travel,”said Maynier.
“We believe that the safety precautions of a 72 hours PCR test and screening protocols should be applied across the board, regardless of the purpose of travel and country of origin.
“This approach is already adopted with business travellers and so it makes little sense to exclude leisure travellers in this way,” he said.
Maynier added that South Africa’s airlines, hospitality and tourism companies have shown that the industry is able to function with the stringent health and safety systems in place.
They are now looking to engage with the national government to propose an alternative approach for international travel which would welcome travellers from key source markets such as the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands and France.
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