Open Tourism in South Africa NOW

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The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) estimates that 400,000 jobs in Tourism will be lost by September if Tourism is not allowed to open up!

And with each additional month, an additional hundreds of thousands of employees in tourism will loose their jobs and their livelihoods.

The Tourism Industry in South Africa employs - directly and indirectly - 1.5 Million people. In average, each employee supports 5 to 10 family members, meaning that the lives of appx 10 Million South Africans depend, in one way or another, on the Tourism Industry.

With any kind of Tourism being banned and government support (TERS) ending in June 2020, many businesses will have to close down, restaurants, accommodations and shops, tourist guides, tour operators and travel agencies. This will leave hundreds of thousands of employees without any income - with not enough money to buy food for themselves or their children. It is a foreseeable humanitarian catastrophe and South Africa will become another hunger hotspot.

Despite health protocols being presented to the government to safely reopen the tourism sector, Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane keeps ignoring the desperate attempts of the industry to save jobs and livelihoods.

Worse: Decisions made by the Department of Tourism are arbitrary and not based on scientific recommendations, which the Department has admitted itself in the meeting of the Tourism Portfolio Committee on 9 July 2020.

The total lack of a recovery plan or a perspective for the sector has devastating consequences, which are reaching out far into the next years. As no reopening of borders is communicated, international tourists are starting to make other plans,cancel existing bookings and avoid South Africa as a destination.

We demand that the Tourism Industry gets a clear perspective for safe reopening:

  • Domestic Tourism must be allowed with immediate effect.
  • Restaurants and Wine Estates must be allowed to serve alcohol
  • International Tourism must be allowed and borders must be opened no later than 1 September 2020.
  • TERS payments must be continued until international tourism is re-allowed.