Dream Hotels & Resorts chief executive Nick Dickson said the move would help boost domestic travel. Picture: Pexels.
Dream Hotels & Resorts chief executive Nick Dickson said the move would help boost domestic travel. Picture: Pexels.

SA establishment gets on board with FlySafair’s proposal to make public holidays long weekends

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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Dream Hotels & Resorts has shown its support for FlySafair's proposal to make public holidays long weekends.

FlySafair’s suggestion seeks to amend the execution of South Africa’s Public Holidays Act. It wants public holidays that fall in the middle of the week moved to either a Friday or Monday.

The airline said the day of observance would then "serve to recognise the historical significance of these days" should they fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

"It's a bold move, but a strategic step in the right direction when it comes to aiding the tourism sector's recovery efforts," said Dream Hotels & Resorts chief executive Nick Dickson.

The proposal has been tabled with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) for review.

Dickson said the move would help boost domestic travel.

"It's no secret that long weekends promote domestic travel. If the international travel bans have taught us anything, it's the importance of nurturing this market to ensure the survival of our industry.

"Aside from the boost it could give South Africa’s tourism sector, the concept of optimising long weekends not only reduces midweek disruptions but allows for extended time off without having to use up one's leave days," he said.

Dickson said similar efforts of moving midweek public holidays to either Friday or Monday had taken place in the US, UK, Argentina and Japan.

"Once TBCSA has approved the proposition, we hope to lobby the Department of Tourism to bring the motion before Parliament.

"This small change in optimising public holidays could make a huge difference, not only in boosting our recovery but fostering national pride among South Africans who could use their extended weekends to explore this incredible country," he said.

FlySafair chief executive Elmar Conradie said last week that the proposal would not diminish the importance of the historical days.

"Our aim would be to look at how the time off from work can be better used to benefit the tourism industry and encourage South Africans to travel again," he said.

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