Tourism declined by 72.6% due to impact of Covid-19 pandemic, says Kubayi-Ngubane
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THE Covid-19 pandemic has devastated tourism with the industry reporting a sharp decline in tourists visiting the country.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the sector recorded a decline of 72.6% in the last year.
She said the decline of tourist visits was not unique as the pandemic had spread across the globe with many countries instituting lockdown measures.
Kubayi-Ngubane said while there were 10.2 million tourists in 2019, this number declined to 2.8m last year.
The global pandemic has also led to the aviation reporting losses of billions of dollars as planes had remained grounded for many months.
The tourist sector was also left severely affected with foreign visitors not able to travel costing it millions.
Kubayi-Ngubane said there was a drop in the number of tourists.
“According to Statistics South Africa, in 2020, the volume of tourists decreased by 72.6% from 10.2 million in 2019 to 2.8 million in 2020. The distribution of tourists by region of residence shows that 74.8% of the tourists who arrived in South Africa in 2020 were residents of the Southern African
“SA Development Community (SADC) countries and 1.5% were from ‘other’ African countries. It is therefore evident the impact of restrictions on international travel was consistent with the global impact of the decline in travel,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.
She said the devastation of Covid-19 was not only affecting South Africa with many countries reeling from the effect.
“The devastating impact of the pandemic is a global phenomenon and no country or tourist destination was spared from this disruption. It therefore stands to reason that countries around the world need to work together to reopen international travel so that the sector can embark on a sustainable road to recovery,” she said.