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Tourism industry calls on govt to allow sub-sectors to reopen

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) said that without economic activity, thousands of jobs would be lost.

The Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The tourism sector on Tuesday pleaded with parliamentarians to reopen the industry.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) said that without economic activity, thousands of jobs would be lost.

TBCSA made its case to the tourism portfolio committee on the government’s risk-adjusted strategy and recovery plan.

The council is a private sector-led organisation and represents a majority of the sector.

In an average year, the tourism industry contributes more than 8% of the nation’s annual GDP but this year that was likely to decline to just over 15%.

TBCSA CEO Tshifiwa Tshivenga said that the tourism industry brought in R120 billion in inbound tourism.

“It is a big industry and it’s an industry that needs to be recognised as one of the catalytic industries that will help the economy grow,” Tshivenga said.

Chris Zweigenthal of the Airline Association of South Africa said that all sub-sectors were now ready to operate.

“I wish to emphasise that the airline protocols are ready for domestic, regional, and international flights and where government is ready to give the necessary approval, airlines will both be ready to serve these markets, and I know travel and tourism will be ready to do business,” Zweigenthal said.

TBCSA set a date of 1 June 2020 to allow for domestic corporate travel and 1 September 2020 for domestic leisure and corporate travel.

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