South Africa expects that tourism can recover economically.
The tourism industry has been one of the most promising sectors of the economy here and worldwide over the past decade.
With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, tourism supply and demand markets have halted for much of this year, according to Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism.
She said that the government’s economic recovery plan requires the restoration of tourism, which has been misstruck by the pandemic. “A deliberate attempt must also be made to ensure that the industry is recovering rapidly. Our recovery strategy foresees that the recovery of tourism starts with domestic tourism, then regional tourism, primarily across our land boundaries, and the broader foreign tourism, “said the Minister.
Kubayi-Ngubane, speaking in the debate on the restoration and rehabilitation plans in the National Assembly on October 21, said the rehabilitation strategy would commence with domestic tourism, followed by regional and foreign tourism.
“We are now launching an ambitious domestic marketing campaign to allow the citizens of South Africa to fly from lockdown to their nations,” she added.
On September 21, lockout restrictions went to level 1. The Minister said that the response to the campaign was immense; South Africans reacted beyond expectations. “Feedback from the industry is that domestic tourism has led to the revival of many tourism companies and the recovery of many jobs.
“As the foreign travel boundary increasingly opens, we will supplement it with an ambitious international marketing policy introduced in collaboration with the private sector, in line with the global pandemic threats. More industry and employment are restored through the utter recovery of foreign tourism,’ she added.
However, it was not easy for the travel industry to reach into the field as the Black Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME), says Western Cape-based Colin Thaver, the Managing Director of Southern Africa 360.
Our Kickstart Initiative preserved employment, generated several new ones, and helped promote livelihoods in the tourism industry. This audacious move was primarily motivated by the government’s appeal for domestic visits to citizens residing in South Africa, “he said.
“Southern Africa 360 ‘s side rush has become a lifeline for us all in the tourism sector for the past five months. We hope to turn this budding company into a new standard.”
Thaver, whose business markets and promotes the South African zone wholesale to travel agencies and advisors, said the timing shift gears and concentrated on premium and unique tours or the local sector was ideal with foreign borders closed for the past seven months.
Thaver said his organization called for existing and new vendors to help in this journey by offering “kick-start prices” to benefit their housing companies. “In exchange, we took to pay local travel agents a better than average sales fee, inspiring them to help us and assisting them with their margins. This has meant local South Africans see some pretty good value for money offers, encouraging them to explore the world, “he said.
With minimal marketing investment, Thaver said the organization used social media travel accounts to promote its deals and ad nauseam tweets, initially designed and circulated as per travel constraints, i.e., intra-provisional, inter-provisional, and now regional travel.
“The path to recovery is still a long way far, but we are dedicated to seeing this through and improving our brand in the South African region’s inbound foreign and domestic markets,” he said.
On Thursday, the Durban Tourism company support deputy head of Winile Mntungwa hosted a media launch of his ‘Fresh Memories Production’ campaign Durban Summer 20 in Lush Lounge in the West Rand in Ruimsig.
Their roadshow also took place in Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Lane, in Maponya Mall, the Gauteng Fourways Farmer Store.
“We decided to make Durban come to Joburg and to let the people know that Durban is open again since Johannesburg is the biggest economic center in the world,” she said.
“We are following safety measures; we also set up an inspection team on the beach to review figures such that the social gap criteria do not surpass them. We have improved hotel protection and even innovative entertainment facilities, such as an entry to a car where visitors do not have to get out of their cars,” she added.
The national tourism department is opening up to assess the real effect of Covid-19 on the tourism sector of South Africa by performing analyzes focused on a country-wide industry survey.
In October 2020, the third of three surveys for Covid-19 was concluded to help tourist stakeholders evaluate the depth of the crisis in the region.
The survey findings should include further details on the on-going work of a partnership between the public and private sectors to reopen the tourism sector within the scope of the government’s risk-adjustment strategy.
Yet South Africa’s destination is open – for the moment.