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Bleak tourism figures show sector facing steep climb back to pre-lockdown levels

StatsSA's tourist accommodation figures for June record a year-on-year decline in revenue from accommodation of more than 95%.

FILE: A group of tourists get off their tour bus at the bottom of the cable station to Table Mountain in Cape Town. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - As the nation prepares to transition to level 2 lockdown, at least one industry is facing a very steep climb back to health.

SA's tourism industry has been in a dire situation for months now, with numerous calls from the industry to relax restrictions.

And statistics released on Monday by Stats SA revealed a bleak picture of an industry at a standstill.

"Tourism restrictions during lockdown has forced many businesses to closes, then of thousands of hard-working and committed tourism practitioners to lose their livelihoods and increasing the strain and stress on their already burdened families," said Enver Duminy, the man in charge of driving tourism for one of South Africa's major tourism hubs, Cape Town.

The city has been hit hard as a result of lockdown restrictions and Duminy acknowledged that the road to recovery would be long and winding, with many speedbumps.

And it's not just Cape Town that will suffer. Fresh statistics released today painted a dire picture for one of the nation's major industries.

Stats SA's tourist accommodation figures for June record a year-on-year decline in revenue from accommodation of more than 95%.

The statistics reflect the reality not only for the big hotel chains but for the thousands of small guest houses across the nation.

The decline is slightly lower than the figures for April and May, when the heaviest of the restrictions were in place. Those figures were closer to 100%.

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