The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) has revealed that they have set up a coronavirus information centre that will help the travel industry.
CEO of ASATA Otto de Vries said the information centre will be updated with information about how the situation is evolving, changing travel supplier policies, and communication and advice from official sources.
“ASATA will tirelessly lobby the government at this time to represent the interests of our industry. We will endeavour to request support measures such as stimulus plans and support packages to ensure the longevity of our industry.
“It is crucial at this time for ASATA members to continue to provide a calm, informed, coordinated and proactive response to the panic that has emerged globally around COVID-19,” he said.
De Vries described the current COVID-19 pandemic as “one of the biggest crises the South African travel industry has ever experienced.”
He called for calm following the recent announcement of travel restrictions imposed by the government.
“It is crucial for calm to prevail at this time. We call for close cooperation between the industry and the government and encourage strong inter-governmental cooperation to minimise the impact on the travel and tourism industry.
“ASATA is appealing to the travel public to postpone instead and not cancel their travel plans. Since the travel restrictions have been implemented in South Africa, now more than ever, travellers should rely on their travel advisors to help keep them safe, and assist with the inevitable disruption that these travel advisories will cause for the travelling public,” he said.