The Department of Tourism has issued its draft Tourism Recovery Plan and is calling on industry stakeholders to provide input by August 15.
The draft recovery plan outlines where the country’s tourism sector was prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic – it accounted for 2.9% of GDP (8.6% indirect), supported about 725 000 direct jobs (1.49m direct and indirect) and accounted for 8.2% of total investment activity in South Africa in 2019.
The document further highlighted that inbound tourism generated R82.5bn (€4.07bn) in direct foreign spend – including shopping – and thus contributed to an equivalent of 9.2% in exports to many of South Africa’s key source markets.
The document outlines the current dire state of the tourism sector with a potential 75% revenue reduction in 2020 – therefore leading to a potential revenue loss of R149.7bn (€7.4bn) – 438 000 jobs and R80.2bn (€3.9bn) in foreign receipts.
Data from the document estimates that around R54.2bn (€2.6bn) in revenue may already have been lost between mid-March and the end of May.
The draft recovery plan focuses on three strategic themes: re-igniting demand, rejuvenating supply and strengthening enabling capability. Ten strategic recommendations are proposed as part of each theme.
Recommendations include enhancing air access and implementing an air service development programme and executing a global marketing and travel trade programme, targeting highest potential source markets (in terms of volume and value) and new travel consumer segments (such as youth travellers), to reignite international demand.
Additionally, the government has – in conjunction with the South African Reserve Bank and commercial banks – established a R200bn (€9.8bn) fund for tourism businesses to access liquidity to protect tourism assets, and core infrastructure amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
Submissions/comments should be sent to email@example.com by close of business on August 15.