The South Africa Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has stated that the country’s tourism sector is ready to host tourists as the country further eases restrictions on people’s movement.
“We encourage South Africans to not only support the tourism sector to preserve the business and the jobs but also to enjoy their beautiful country after months of being in their homes,” Kubayi-Ngubane said while issuing directives for the re-opening of the tourism sector.
This came after South Africa moved from level three to level two lockdown restrictions on August 18, allowing inter-provincial travel, while re-opening almost all economic sectors.
Under level two, places of tourism attractions are also open, including national parks, theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, nature and game reserves.
However, international travel is still prohibited.
As tourism picks up, “we are putting together the pieces of a new path towards recovery as many people in our sector return to work to provide for their families following months of hardship as we traverse through one of the most difficult periods in the history of our country and indeed the world,” the minister said.
“We are highly encouraged by the interest we are seeing from both domestic and international investors, looking for opportunities in the tourism sector,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.
This gives hope that the supply side of the tourism sector will not only recover, but has the potential to surpass where it was prior to the pandemic, said the minister.
To prevent tourism facilities from becoming a source of the spread of the pandemic, some restrictions will remain, she said.
These include limiting the breakfast and reception at accommodation facilities to the 50-percent of occupancy space and social distance at tourism attractions.
Online bookings is encouraged, and tourists and tourist guides must wear their masks and sanitise regularly, Kubayi-Ngubane said.
“We have developed directions for the tourism sector to provide further clarity on the existing regulations issued to limit the spread of the virus – and in a manner that they can be adaptable in a rapidly changing context,” she said.
The minister voiced confidence of the measures being taken to protect employees, suppliers, tourists and all those who are involved with the sector.
“Let us keep this up and also hold one another accountable against this commitment for the sake of our people and our industry,” she said.