DURBAN – South Africa’s tourism industry has lost about R748 million per day during lockdown, according to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.
In response to this government announced yesterday, that it will ease regulations on travel and leisure restriction and also extended the curfew to 10pm to accommodate the battling restaurant industry.
“To comply with the current curfew regulation, restaurants are unable to serve dinner to their customers which means that they are unable to operate at peak time of their business day. We believe that this change will go a long way towards increasing their revenue generation.The sale of alcohol and Inter-provincial travel for leisure is still prohibited,” said Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
Furthermore, the Minister also revealed that the sector now faces a potential 75% revenue reduction in 2020, putting a further R149.7 billion in output, 438 000 jobs and R80.2 billion in foreign receipts at risk.
Some of the eased restrictions to allow more tourism activities to reopen include:
Accommodation establishments are now permitted to operate for leisure intra-provincially subject to the following: –
- No more than two people per room except for a nuclear family (parents and their children). Establishments are already legally obliged to require and keep a copy of proof of identity.
- Short-term home rental/sharing remain closed.
- Tour operators, in the new regulations, will be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles subject to directions and include provision for both social distancing and maximum ventilation.
“We have since received a list of 9,380 tourist guides from the provinces. It has come to our attention that some of the tourist guides are registered with UIF. To avoid double-dipping, we have initiated a verification process to ensure that only those who are not receiving income benefit,” added Kubayi-Ngubane.
Meanwhile,Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “while these adjustments to the restrictions will certainly help to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism and hospitality industry, they don’t go far enough, and so we will continue to engage with national government on this. ”
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