Tourism minister to devise plan to save SA tourism industry post Covid-19
The travel industry has taken strain following the lockdown implemented by President Cyril Ramaphosa to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Due to travel restrictions, airlines and accommodation establishments have shut operations until further notice. Thankfully, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is busy putting together a tourism recovery plan to help the industry post-Covid-19.
Kubayi-Ngubane told IOL Travel that there is a need to start planning for the recovery of the industry post-Covid-19.
“The global nature of the pandemic means that the measures to curb the spread, such as travel restrictions and border closures have been a worldwide phenomenon. This means that any recovery planning that is not in line with global coordinated effort will be a futile exercise,” she said.
“As a department, we continue leading conversations with the tourism sector as we plan for the future towards a comprehensive recovery plan for the industry. Transformation will be an integral part of this plan, and we invite the sector to make submissions on what they think should be the character of the recovery of tourism after the current crisis.”
Kubayi-Ngubane believed in the risk adjusted approach, which will offer the department a framework to carve a path towards recovery for the tourism sector in South Africa.
She said coordination by tourism stakeholders was critical. In recent weeks, the tourism department has implemented many webinars to engage with various stakeholders. Kubayi-Ngubane revealed that, based on the Covid-19 epidemic expected trajectory, the tourism sector’s recovery will only begin to recover towards the end of 2020.
“The first phase of the recovery will be driven by domestic tourism, followed by regional tourism and international tourism next year,” she said. Kubayi-Ngubane said numerous elements will go into the planning of the tourism recovery plan, including an analysis of the impact of the coronavirus on the global and domestic economy.
She will also analyse the impact of the virus on the demand and supply for each sub-sector of the tourism industry and look into the tourism recovery scenarios according to the epidemiological predictions. The plan will need to also align with international frameworks, and strategic interventions will be identified to revive the domestic supply side of tourism.
“I believe that if we can develop a plan within this framework, we will go a long way towards defining our country’s recovery plan for the tourism sector,” added Kubayi-Ngubane.