141024- Cape town. A scene at Green Market Square. Picture: Jason Boud/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
141024- Cape town. A scene at Green Market Square. Picture: Jason Boud/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Lockdown costs SA tourism R748m a day, says Tourism Business Council

By Opinion Time of article published Jul 27, 2020

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The Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) board held an urgent meeting to discuss the way forward.

This is after attempts to convince the government to allow a phased reopening of the sector.

On June 17, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that “a person may leave his or her place of residence to travel for leisure purposes as allowed under alert level 3”. Since June 26, there have been many confusing statements about leisure accommodation.

The Presidency’s official Twitter account published an infographic that accommodation establishments, with the exception of private homes for paid leisure accommodation, may operate for business and leisure travel - the tweet was taken down and replaced the next day with a statement claiming there was an error.

This has caused intense frustration and confusion within the industry.

The TBCSA has presented a tourism recovery plan to President Ramaphosa, backed by health protocols developed by the industry. It is a phased approach starting with domestic travel and then the opening of international inbound travel by September to take advantage of the summer high from September to April which represents 60% of South Africa’s international tourism revenue.

According to Stats SA, in 2018, tourism spend in South Africa was R273.2bn. Domestic tourism accounted for 56% of this and 44% was international inbound travel. This translates roughly to R22.7bn per month and R748m per day. Tourism supports 1.5m jobs and contributes 8.6% to the GDP.

* Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa chief executive, Tourism Business Council of SA

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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