SA travel industry ’cautiously optimistic about the future of tourism’
More South Africans are venturing out a year after the coronavirus pandemic severely impacted the tourism industry.
However, industry leaders say more can be done to restore domestic and international travellers' confidence.
Cape Town Tourism recently measured the propensity to travel over the Easter period within the city- and the insights are positive. Around 28% of the consumer sample intended to go away this Easter period, while 68% of those who are not going away have indicated that financial challenges are the main reason. There has been a significant positive shift in the consumer mindset across the sample, with 35 percent of people excited, 30 percent optimistic and 29 percent cheerful for the upcoming Easter weekend.
Brett Hendricks, Cape Town Tourism Board Chairperson and General Manager of the Thebe Tourism Group, said the figures showed that people are itching to travel again.
"We as an industry are delighted to see it. The industry has come together to ensure that as people become more confident to travel again. We continue to abide by the rules and ensure that we do not put anyone at risk while they are having a wonderful time in the Mother City," he said.
Alderman James Vos, MEC for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management and Tourism at the City of Cape Town, said the industry will continue to work with organisations to ensure that they are ready to welcome travellers.
“The encouraging news on vaccines has boosted hopes for confidence in travel. With domestic tourism under way, it is helping to mitigate the impact on jobs and businesses. However, real recovery will only be possible when international tourism returns. This requires co-operation and evidence-based solutions so travel restrictions can be safely lifted. More needs to be done to restore traveller confidence," said Vos.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism Enver Duminy said adherence to strict compliance across the industry provided some much-needed reassurance to potential visitors.
“The last year has been tremendously tough on everyone. These insights into consumer sentiment give us a renewed sense of hope as we continue to battle the effects of Covid-19. We are eternally grateful for the domestic market. We are aware that we need to grow this market with unique offerings," he said.