Department of Tourism in talks with countries to bring international travellers back to SA
The Department of Tourism is in talks with international countries to lure travellers back to South Africa.
Many countries restricted access to South African due to the variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The tourism department is doing everything in its power to ensure that they promote the country and save tourism jobs.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said they were engaging with international partners in the government and private sector to reposition South Africa as a destination of choice.
She said in the interview: "When we entered lockdown last year, we placed restrictions on a number of countries. Others either retaliated because there were many misunderstandings about how to manage the pandemic.
“Others would have reacted to the variant in December, which also was caused by miscommunication by the UK Minister of Health. It did a lot of damage in terms of brand South Africa," she said.
According to Kubayi-Ngubane, the department is trying to showcase to international countries how the country is managing the pandemic, especially for travellers who have concerns.
The ultimate aim is to get travellers to secure their summer holidays, which begin from September to December. There is one hurdle she hopes to conquer - the talks about a third wave. She said the threat of a third wave and flu season combined with the pandemic were concerns.
"There is caution from travellers and countries while they observe how South Africa performs. For us, it is worrying. You feel like you are chasing a moving target, so it is not easy. The conversation we are having continues to assist," she said.