CT tourism sector hopes for eased lockdown to boost summer business

The sector has been battered by the pandemic and associated lockdowns and the provincial government together with those working in the sector are hoping for restrictions to be eased.

A Cape Town sightseeing bus. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - In a few weeks, thousands of people are expected to descend on Cape Town for the summer tourist season.

The sector has been battered by the pandemic and associated lockdowns and the provincial government, together with those working in the sector, are hoping for restrictions to be eased.

The Hout Bay area used to be a hub of activity pre-COVID and bodies like Cape Town Tourism want it to be that way again.

Landmark Hout Bay restaurant, Mariner’s Wharf, had to close at the beginning of May last year.

Trisha Francois said that this was a difficult decision, but it was a move that saved them: “We knew that if we didn’t take those steps that we would have probably had to shut down for good because we didn’t know how long the lockdown would last. So, we took a very difficult decision.”

Another hard choice was to retrench staff, some of whom had been with them for years: “They were very well-looked after and they knew that when we reopened, we would re-employ them. We had to lay off people with the knowledge that when we would be able reopen the various departments, that we would re-employ.”

Francois said that while it had been a frustrating period, they remained optimistic for the summer season.

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