The Kingdom of Eswatini is ready to welcome tourists after nearly seven months of halted economic and tourism activity.
After receiving a safe travel stamp of approval from the World Travel & Tourism Council, Eswatini is prepared to welcome an influx of tourists who want the royal experience. Guided by strict health and safety protocols, tourists will be able to use any of the open five ports of entry into the Kingdom. Eswatini’s borders are also equipped with testing capabilities for those entering the country, producing test results within minutes.
As a country, we have adopted a gradual reopening of borders and ports of entry for international travel for business, leisure and other travel, informed by a cautious approach. In reopening, we are constantly cognisant of transmission rates in our country and the world at large so that we can safeguard citizens and tourists when they travel to and around the country.
To further mitigate risks, tourists will be required to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin. The test must be conducted and signed by a certified medical practitioner.
Safety is a critical and integral aspect as the tourism sector adapts to the new environment. It cannot be business as usual. We need to take the necessary precautions to keep each other safe. It is with this in mind that travellers in Eswatini’s tourism sector, together with the Eswatini Tourism Authority, has developed national tourism COVID-19 guidelines to mitigate the effects of the disruptions caused by the virus in business and people’s livelihoods.
Eswatini is well positioned to manage COVID-19
We can confidently say that the Kingdom is well positioned to manage the number of infections and can provide sufficient treatment for those who have COVID-19 symptoms.
We can also say that the country is able to manage the number of infections and to provide adequate medical care and treatment for those who present COVID-19 symptoms. Through contact tracing and isolation measures, we have also been able to mitigate a second wave. As part of our ongoing plans to manage the spread of the virus, we have introduced ground-breaking technology that will help our tourism businesses implement social distancing measures to prevent further infections.
Aura Aware is the latest technology created by the Kingdom and Ning Group. It has a social distance sensor that warns if individuals in any space do not maintain social distancing of at least two metres. The smart device is an LED panel that has a laser depth sensor that alerts people via audio-visual cues when they break the social distancing norm, by changing from green to red.
The global pandemic has challenged us to be more innovative and look for astute ways to service emaSwati and our visitors in Eswatini. We believe that there is always opportunity amid the chaos. In line with this, we were able to use this crisis and create something ground-breaking for our industry. This innovation is already being used by businesses worldwide.
We want to encourage tourists from far and near to come and experience one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa. Eswatini remains one of Lonely Planet’s top destinations to visit in 2020. We have a deep and rich culture that is embedded in our everyday lives. Furthermore, our stunning scenery and wildlife reserves across the country will ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.
Eswatini Tourism is currently offering special discounts on most packages and tourists are encouraged to take advantage of this. As part of its #AWonderAwaits campaign, the Eswatini Tourism Authority has been engaging with hotels, lodges and activity operators in the country to offer discounted rates to encourage as much tourism as possible to help recover losses caused by COVID-19. I am pleased that the industry has responded positively and is offering specials that give up to 50% discounts on standard rates. These specials include accommodation, meals, and a variety of activities across the country.
The Kingdom of Eswatini looks forward to welcoming tourists into the country. Tourism plays an important role in the country’s economy and supports local communities. It remains a vital pillar and key contributor to the economy of Eswatini.