Tourism sector sees surge in accommodation, getaway bookings across SA

Under level 2 of the lockdown, which took effect on Monday midnight, South Africans can move between provincial borders for any purpose including leisure.

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JOHANNESBURG - The tourism sector, which was brought to its knees during the hard lockdown has seen a much-needed boost just a day after the implementation of the amended regulations.

Under level 2 of the lockdown, which took effect on Monday midnight, South Africans can move between provincial borders for any purpose including leisure.

This saw an expected surge in bookings for getaways, accommodation and game drives across the country.

South African National Parks (SANParks) said it had been experiencing a massive rush in bookings as eager travellers prepare to escape five months of cabin fever.

The high traffic volumes caused the SANParks website to crash on Monday while Travel Start, an online booking site, has also been overwhelmed with reservations.

CEO Stephan Ekbergh said accommodation and domestic flights had dropped significantly.

“We’ve seen a complete mad rush here. Our bookings have basically doubled and even on the accommodation side. On the flights, they are relatively cheap right now. It is very cheap to travel domestically.”

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is expected to outline measures in the sector under alert level 2 on Wednesday.

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