Tourism businesses in SA are using ‘travel later’ to save dwindling business
The South African tourism industry has been very vocal about people not postponing trips but scheduling them for a later date. In April, South African Tourism released a 90-second video that encouraged South Africans to heed the president's call to #StayHome to stop the spread of the virus.
It showcases some of the country's top attractions without tourists.
The narrator said: "We will meet again. We will do the things that matter with the people we love again. We will go back to our favourite spots, and we will even discover new ones.
"We will travel again, and we will gather again. For us to all to travel tomorrow, we have to stay home today. We will make it through this." (sic)
Five months later, as leisure travel is still not permitted, many tourism businesses are trying to entice travellers to book their holidays now to travel later.
Aquila Collection has introduced the Save Now - Safari Later vouchers. The vouchers allow travellers to escape to Aquila Collection Big 5 reserves from October 1, 2020, to December 15, 2021.
This voucher system allows travellers to look forward to an escape while they remain under level 3 lockdown. Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa offers wildlife encounters only 2 hours from Cape Town.
In a statement, Aquila Collection revealed more about why they have started the voucher system.
It revealed: “Aquila Collection used their last cash reserves to secure food for their people during these dire times.
"The tourism industry is on its knees and the sector is dragged about even further by ongoing litigation and legal battles with insurance companies. The Aquila Collection believed it had insurance for business interruption, but the claim, together with 100’s of other tourism businesses, have been declined.”
Aquila announced that all of its projects have come to a grinding halt, and believed that the Save Now - Safari Later vouchers are a lifeline during these very uncertain times.
STA Travel and Flight Centre are some of the travel agencies encouraging people to book their 2021 trips now.