The Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) Department of Tourism is officially open for applications, with the Department of Tourism encouraging eligible businesses to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund from April 7 to May 30. 

 According to a statement from the Department, the R200 million (€10m) fund was established as an intervention to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

“We acknowledge the difficulties experienced by businesses during this time, hence the need to support the industry and communities to cope with the negative effects of this pandemic,” said Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

 “Our tourism industry comprises mainly SMMEs, most of which are survivalists in nature, with limited access to funding from commercial institutions. We hope the support offered through the Tourism Relief Fund will ensure the continued survival of SMMEs beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Capped at R50 000 (€2 500) per entity, the grant funding can be utilised to subsidise expenses toward fixed and operational costs, supplies and other pressure cost items. Preference will be given to enterprises with the highest score in terms of the criteria, which serve as a pre-qualification.

Categories eligible to apply for the Tourism Relief Fund include the following: 

 Accommodation establishments: hotels; resort properties; bed and breakfast; guest houses; lodges and backpacker establishments.

Hospitality and related services: restaurants (not attached to hotels); conference venues (not attached to hotels); professional catering; and attractions.

Travel and related services: tour operators; travel agents; tourist guiding; car-rental companies; and coach operators.

View all qualifying criteria, here.