How Covid-19 brought South African tourism industry closer
A year after the pandemic hit, the South African tourism industry remains optimistic in the face of adversity.
Despite the negative impact of the lockdown, Enver Duminy, the chief executive of Cape Town Tourism, said it had brought the industry closer.
“While this year has been tough, it inspired many,” Duminy said. “We see small businesses do all that they can to support others even while they are struggling.
“This year has brought the tourism industry and the communities that we serve closer together. When we emerge from this pandemic, our industry will be stronger and more resilient than ever before.”
Sisa Ntshona, the chief executive of South African Tourism, said the industry was resilient.
“It will recover. It will be a long and slow recovery, but it will happen. The recovery will come about through meaningful sector collaborations and partnerships, ensuring that we work together towards an inclusive recovery.
“Trust is the new currency when it comes to travel, so upholding the globally benchmarked health and safety protocols for the safety and protection of everyone is key. This will increase people’s propensity to travel and re-instill their confidence in travelling,” Ntshona said.
Phindile Makwakwa, the acting chief executive of Tourism KZN, said the organisation offered practical advice to help operators recover from the impact of the pandemic.
She shared a few tips for tourism businesses: “Send out messages of reassurance to former guests to remind them you are still in business. Boost traveller confidence by detailing your safety protocols.
“The industry can also send a postcard of a nearby attraction to remind them what they are missing. That way, when they do travel, you will be the first place that comes to mind. The industry can also offer special rates.”