Local tourism to take 3 years to recover to 2019 level, says SA Tourism CEO

SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona on Monday said it was likely to take a long time for the industry to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As the nation anxiously waits for word on Monday evening on what is to be done to curb the spread of COVID-19, there are fears that stricter regulations will be imposed as President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet try to pull off a tricky balancing act to keep the pandemic in check and protect a fragile economy.

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One of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic and associated lockdown is tourism.

SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona said it was likely to take a long time for the industry to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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“We’ve estimated that it’s going to take us about 24 to 30 months based on current activities and trajectories in order to get there. That’s two-and-a-half-years, three years just to get back to 2019 levels of activity. So, the recovery is going to be slow, difficult, [and] hard. But it’s going to be led by domestic first,” Ntshona said.

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