Accommodation sector facing collapse as tourists cancel bookings due travel ban

This follows the travel bans imposed by a number of countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, after the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

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JOHANNESBURG - The National Accommodation Association of South Africa said about 90% of small lodges and guest houses may soon have to shut their doors due to the number of booking cancellations.

This follows the travel bans imposed by a number of countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, after the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

More than 18,000 new cases were picked up in the last 24 hours under review.

In the same period 21 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded.

The majority of new infections were recorded in Gauteng, which is in the grips of a fourth wave.

Chairperson of the National Accommodation Association Rosemarie van Staden said the industry is facing a total collapse

"We are daily in conversations with people who cannot keep their doors open anymore and there is just no income anymore from leisure so this is really a predicament for the guest house industry," she said. .

Van Staden said South Africa's tourism sector is in for a bleak festive season.

"Families that were supposed to come to Gauteng to visit their children, weddings have been called off. Nobody knows whether we can travel so a lot of people are now cancelling their bookings," said Van Staden..

Meanwhile ambassadors from 16 African countries are lobbying the US government to immediately lift its COVID-19 travel ban against eight African nations.

In a joint statement, the ambassadors from the Southern African Development Community argued the restrictions are unfair and negatively stigmatise the African continent.