One of the biggest barriers to tourism recovery has been identified by the tourism trade as the messaging about the so-called ‘SA Variant’ or ‘South African Variant’ of COVID-19. This has seen foreign governments, such as the US and the UK, issue advisories against travel to South Africa and seen many airlines cancel their flights.
In response to the latest Tourism Update article, Tom Nolle offered a different perspective: “I'd like to comment as a long-time African tourist. I agree that the ‘South African Variant’ issue may give first-time travellers pause, but for those of us who have been to Africa many times, the big problem with the virus is lack of information and support of tourists in testing requirements.
On our scheduled trip to Africa, including SA, we might well be looking at getting tested four or five times. How can all those tests be worked in without requiring we spend extra days waiting for results? SA should work to offer airport testing with priority for travellers, to shift to antigen testing from the PCR tests that can take days to return results, and work to accept cross-testing with neighbouring countries.
Camps should offer antigen testing. We would be happy to pay for tests, if we could be assured of getting them and getting results back, without endangering our travel timing.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: There are airport testing facilities at the major international airports and some camps also offer testing facilities but we agree that more could be done. Collaboration between neighbouring countries is a great idea!
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