Expensive and time-consuming PCR tests are now the biggest barrier to inbound travel. This is why the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is calling on government to abolish the need for PCR tests for fully vaccinated international travellers.
“This is the next hurdle we have to overcome in order for our tourism sector to fully recover,” said TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.
He told Tourism Update that the UK – which has recently taken South Africa off its red list – along with other key source markets, has done away with PCR tests.
“We need to follow the same principles as our source markets and make it easy for them to come to South Africa. We want to be their first-choice destination.”
While he conceded that a vaccination roll-out was important, Tshivhengwa said “great strides” had been made towards getting citizens vaccinated, especially in the tourism sector.
“It should not be a major concern for vaccinated travellers and, as you know, our suppliers have world-class health and safety protocols in place.”