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WC tourism industry preparing for tough festive season as COVID-19 cases rise

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy on Wednesday said small businesses would be the hardest hit.

Picture: City Sightseeing Cape Town/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - With several Western Cape holiday destinations seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections, the tourism industry is preparing for a challenging festive season.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy on Wednesday said that small businesses would be the hardest hit.

ALSO READ: We will take COVID-19 hammering as it comes this festive season - SA Tourism

“About 30% of small businesses have been closing down because of the previous lockdown [level 5] and we were forecasting around May and June that if there was an extended lockdown, probably about eight out of 10 businesses would be closing down,” Duminy said.

Duminy said that there was no time for complacency when it came to adhering to safety protocols.

“I think this type of complacency in the sector has to come to an end. We are aware of a few establishments that have not been complying. What we have asked the government to do is to step in by revoking membership, but that is a short-term thing,” he said.

Just recently, the tourism industry in Cape Town launched a plan to get the industry back on track after months of not being able to operate.

ALSO READ: Lobby group calls for tougher restrictions on festive season booze sales

Duminy on Tuesday said that the increase in COVID-19 infections was worrying, especially for the industry.

“We know what the end result could be... there are considerations around further lockdowns and that, of course, will have dire consequences economically for the tourism sector,” he said.

He said that the number of bookings were increasing and they had also been running campaigns with Flight Centre and Travelstart who had also seen a rise in flights or room nights sold.

“Every single visitor is important, every single rand spent in Cape Town is important, not just for the economy, but to sustain jobs in the sector,” Duminy said.

Duminy said that they would continue to run various campaigns and also focus on industry safety and readiness, making sure that the sector adhered to the COVID-19 regulations.

_Additional reporting by Kaylynn Palm. _

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