Will alert level 3 be SA tourism’s saving grace?
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With President Cyril Ramaphosa easing travel and alcohol restrictions under adjusted alert level 3, tourism roleplayers hope it is enough to save the ailing travel sector.
However, Rosemary Anderson, the national chair of FEDHASA, believes the sector needs to be consistent.
"Over 15 months of regulations have brought the hospitality sector to its knees with very little financial relief or prospects of recovery.
“The hospitality sector supports the president’s call for South Africans not to be complacent as the third wave surge declines. Along with a robust drive among South Africans to get vaccinated, this is crucial if we are to keep our businesses open and attempt to rebuild and restore the thousands of jobs that have been lost,” she said.
She said the hospitality industry hadn’t operated fully since lockdown.
“Trying to continue to trade within the framework of government restrictions that make it financially unviable to trade within is simply not sustainable. Businesses have been crippled as they fight to stay open and support livelihoods within the unsustainable restrictions.
“We have always committed to adhering to the basic precautions to limit the spread of the virus to others. We call on our guests and patrons to help to ensure their safety and that of our staff. As a collective we can remove the ongoing limitations within which the hospitality sector has been forced to operate for over a year.”
She said the vaccination programme would accelerate relief for the hospitality sector, especially since it is a requirement for inbound international travellers who want to travel.
“While our main international source markets have been vaccinated, we have somewhat lagged in this space. Until we reach the point where adults in South Africa are vaccinated in substantial numbers, our sector will continue to be impacted by surges and low demand from our international customers.
"We call on South Africans to roll up their sleeves and get their #jab4tourism, so that we can begin to rebuild and provide the favourable travel conditions for our international guests within which to visit our magnificent country,” added Anderson.