A crowdfunding initiative to support the many freelance workers who make up the tourism industry will be set up on the National Federation of Tourist Guides and Affiliates (NFTGA) website by May 15.

 “We have included in our aims the support to tourism drivers and, in fact, to all other freelance sections of the industry that have no official channel to obtain recognition from government for the important role that they play,” said NFTGA spokesperson, Francois Collin.

Freelance guide and owner of Tours du Cap, Francoise Armour, agreed that it was unfair for freelance workers not to have been considered for government funding or relief, but admitted that it would be tricky for the government to do so.

“As a freelancer it can be difficult to prove income as a lot of it comes in unexpectedly or at the last minute,” she pointed out.

Armour said many people in the tourism industry gravitated to freelancing as tour operators often didn’t employ a lot of people due to the seasonality of the industry. “National guides who are able to work in Kruger National Park, or up at Victoria Falls, have a much higher chance of being employed year round than provincial or specialist guides.”

Another technical difficulty highlighted by Armour is the proportion of guides who freelance both for a tour operator and for themselves.

“The freelance workers in the industry include the greater part of those who work directly with the tourists, said Collin.” He added that the NFTGA had created a video that comprised photos submitted by freelance workers from various parts of the industry, to highlight the value the freelance guiding sector added to the tourism supply chain.