SA tourism industry wants explanation for US travel warning

The US State Department this week issued a level 4 warning. The reasons stated included the coronavirus pandemic, violent crime, protests and strikes.

FILE: Passengers wearing protective face masks arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, on 2 March 2020 amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic caused by the new coronavirus. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The South African tourism industry has questioned why a travel advisory has been issued from the United States against travelling to South Africa.

The US State Department this week issued a level 4 warning.

The reasons stated included the coronavirus pandemic, violent crime, protests and strikes.

Tourism Business Council CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, said that the country did have problems but that the US equally had similar types of issues in their own country.

Tshivhengwa said that South Africa did not restrict citizens from going to their country.

"This nees to be looked at. I would suggest that the ambassador in charge of the nation here in South Africa be summoned to explain what they're basing their restrictions on."

He wanted to know what they were basing their statements on - was it COVID-19 or other issues and if so, what was the problem and how were tourists in danger?

SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, said that this may have an impact on the industry.

"There is an impact. No destination wants to be on the travel advisory. The US market is an important market for South Africa. This is also beyond tourism but also affects business and trade as well."

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