In some ways we move forward, in others we take two steps backward. The release of Advanced Level 3 Regulations for South Africa gave us a small glimmer of hope that leisure travel within province at least would be allowed. Only to have that flicker extinguished by Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane during a press briefing stating “no domestic leisure whatsoever” under these new regulations.
Law is law, however. The regulations make no exclusion for intra-provincial (within province) domestic leisure travel, despite the National Department of Tourism’s interpretation. Until industry receives official written confirmation to the contrary, leisure travel and overnight stays within provinces, in our view, is allowed.
You may ask why it’s important to fixate on intra-provincial domestic leisure being reopened when, in fact, we really need international inbound tourism for our survival. Global tourism destinations have all gone down this path – opening domestic first, followed by regional, followed by select international.
Opening up domestic leisure travel gives us an opportunity to implement and fine tune the health and safety protocols we’ve put in place to keep guests and staff safe. And right now, that delicate balancing act between saving lives and preserving livelihoods is so important, when one considers that South Africa has yet to reach its peak in infections.
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Lives vs livelihoods
Regardless of the confusion surrounding whether domestic leisure of any sort is allowed, the phased reopening of tourism in South Africa requires must take place in a responsible and phased manner, under robust health and safety protocols that have been informed by global best practice.
Virgin Atlantic flies to Jozi from September
Virgin Atlantic advises it will recommence its Johannesburg to London operation from 15 September 2020. The Johannesburg – London Heathrow flight connects seamlessly to a range of destinations in the USA including New York, Washington and Miami.
South Africa prepares to welcome the world again
As South Africa’s government mulls its reopening of borders in September, South Africa’s tourism industry, under the banner of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), has been advocating for the phased reopening and is putting stringent measures in place to lower the risk and ensure the safety of travellers.
Kruger, Cape Town among 50 most popular places to visit after lockdown
Big 7 Travel has included Kruger National Park and Cape Town on its list of the 50 most popular destinations people want to visit post-lockdown. The list is based on searches on their site, surveys sent to its audience on social media, as well as trending holiday locations.
Launching Mzansi Tourism Champions
In true South African grit and gees, Mzansi Tourism Champions is a recently launched platform dedicated to championing the needs of those working in the tourism field. This innovative space is perfect for those looking to share information and advice – or offer support in challenging times.
Experiences to Share
Endangered Wildlife Trust Wild Chat
The Endangered Wildlife Trust is hosting Wild Chats to offer entertaining conservation conversations. EWT has invited specialists in their fields to discuss a range of topics on a live stream. Attendees can also engage with the speaker and ask questions.
Getting Travel Ready – navigating our airports
Watch SouthernXplorer Tours and Hello Adventure show how local tourism business are preparing to be travel ready. In this edition, they navigate Cape Town International Airport.
Looking for some great video content about South Africa to share? Check out these nifty short clips of South Africa’s nine provinces by SA Tourism. A great, quick slice of heaven on YouTube to share with your customers.
Industry leaders on camera
Check out our SA is Travel Ready YouTube Channel for short video clips by industry leaders unpacking the impact of COVID-19 on tourism, what we are doing as an industry to get ready and why South Africa is Travel Ready.