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South Africa's Tourism Industry Is Pushing For International Travel To Resume This September
Travelers with big plans to visit South Africa this year may have felt disappointed earlier this week when it was predicted international tourism wouldn’t resume until 2021, but all hope isn’t lost, at least not according to South Africa’s tourism industry.
Following a briefing last month by South Africa’s Department of Tourism saying tourism wouldn’t resume until February 2021, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says the predictions are premature.
The organization says the February 2021 prediction is worst-case scenario and speculative. In fact, the organization thinks South Africa can reopen to tourists as early as September 2020.
TBCSA CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa tells The Telegraph, “The strategy is data-driven and advocates unequivocally for the opening of international tourism to South Africa this year.”
Tshivhengwa goes on to explain, “We’ve looked at best practice from international destinations that are opening up to international travel and tourism, and have developed stringent health and safety protocols that are aligned with the latest World Health Organization, National Institute of Communicable Disease and Department of Health guidelines. These have been approved by the Department of Tourism and are being rolled out as we speak. These protocols are important because they will inform the exact timelines for the reopening of international tourism.”
The current recovery strategy will have a preparation phase consisting of 6-8 weeks then Phase 1 which would allow other countries with similar risk ratings to enter the country, much like the travel bubble being implemented in Australia. Travelers would be encouraged to travel to the less populated areas of South Africa.
In Phase 2, travelers would be allowed to travel to the more populated areas in the country and Phase 3 will allow international tourism to fully resume.
Tshivhengwa tells The Telegraph, “We are confident South Africa’s tourism economy can be opened up safely if we follow global best practice and the comprehensive protocols we have developed. By opening up in a responsible manner as close to September 1 as possible, we will save the entire 2021 inbound tourism revenue stream and tourism in South Africa.”