Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu, has acknowledged some of the challenges facing the South African tourism sector currently and has called on her team at the Department of Tourism to offer urgent recommendations on how to support businesses in the sector.
Tourism Update asked readers to weigh in on what the Ministry/Department could do to assist businesses, as well what she should prioritise to ensure growth and recovery of the sector as a whole.
MD of Wow Travel and Tours, Rushdi Harper, has five suggestions:
- Government needs to need to determine who is left in the industry and in which sector. It also needs to determine to which extent people are still operating and how many jobs have been lost.
Tourism Update comment: This will determine not only how the industry has changed but help to identify policy priorities
- Provide financial assistance to everyone to re-start, especially SMMEs
- Develop an extensive marketing plan targeting all countries that are able to travel to South Africa
- Unite the industry to support Government plans
- Implement e-Visas urgently
Remove the need for PCR tests for vaxxed pax
Writing from Germany, Anja Richter, focused on improved access for a key source market.
“Please remove PCR test for vaccinated tourists,” she said, noting that this was a major barrier to tourism. Richter further suggested that the digital vax passport should be used only at the point of departure and that tourists are not subjected to further checks on arrival.
She agreed with Harper’s suggestion that marketing efforts should be upped in Europe for “amazing destination South Africa”. “Social media marketing too,” Richter added.