Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has confirmed that the tourism industry will play its role in effecting these measures.
The first measure is to postpone Africa’s Travel INDABA, which was scheduled to take place from 12 to 14 May 2020. This step supports Cabinet’s decision to encourage social distancing by prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.
Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism says, “We are in full support of the Minister’s decision and are duty bound to protect our nation and industry.”
South African Tourism, through its National Convention Bureau (NCB), will be contacting participating exhibitors about the postponement. Further, the organisation will consult with the broader industry on workable future dates for INDABA.
The newly instituted travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including the cancellation of visas, will have a profound impact on the tourism sector. South African Tourism in conjunction with tourism industry stakeholders is expected to collectively explore measures to ensure the sector’s recovery and to protect the sustainability and attractiveness of travel and tourism going forward.
“We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for our industry as the repercussions of the virus reverberate through the entire value chain. We should use this opportunity to collaborate to find solutions beyond the current crisis, which will have long-term benefits for our country as a travel destination of choice”, says Ntshona.