SA remaining on level 1 lockdown a reprieve for battered tourism sector - GTA

The Gauteng Tourism Authority said that it experienced a slight dip due to the international travel bans that followed the discovery of the Omicron variant.

FILE: Vilakazi Street in Soweto. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Tourism Authority said that alert level one of the lockdown restrictions had come with some reprieve for the sector, which was hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, the National Coronavirus Command Council announced that the country would remain on level 1 over the festive season but warned that it would closely monitor the situation as the Omicron variant drove an increase in new infections.

The authority has pleaded with patrons to adhere to non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 safety measures and help keep the sector open.

The Gauteng Tourism Authority said that it experienced a slight dip due to the international travel bans that followed the discovery of the Omicron variant.

But with its latest GP Festive Summer Campaign, the focus has been on attracting domestic travellers.

Head of destination marketing, Barba Gaoganediwe: "The province receives its highest number of those who are coming to visit their relatives, friends and families, so with this campaign we are conscientising them on what is available in the province."

Gaoganediwe said that they were also working with frontline workers on vaccinating to assure patrons that they were being entertained in a safe space.

Meanwhile, MMC for Economic Development in the City of Johannesburg, Councillor Nkululeko Mbundu, has called on residents to use the festive season to explore the city.