- The Tourism Business Council of SA is asking the government to lift restrictions on international travel earlier than initially planned
- The council projects a R195 billion loss if the sector is not fully operational by September
- The TBCSA also projects over a million jobs to be lost unless the tourism industry can be fully operational by the third quarter
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is asking the government to lift the restrictions on international travel earlier than planned and to present clear plans as to when the tourism sector will be fully operational.
Members of the council made presentations to a virtual sitting of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Tourism on Tuesday.
On 1 June, the government eased the lockdown regulations, allowing for further reopening of economic activities. Under Level 3, public and private game farms have been opened for self-drive excursions.
Tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents and tourism information officers are allowed to return to operations allowed under the current lockdown Level 3.
Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI)' CEO Glenton De Kock said the tourism industry is at a standstill but since June there has been a small re-start.
The TBCSA said an earlier reopening to full operational status of the tourism industry could save up one million jobs, failing which, the government could be looking at job losses on a massive scale and a huge fall in gross domestic product (GDP).
The Council conducted its own research and created scenarios for the revival of the industry.
In scenario one (the best case scenario), there would be up to 20% international travel by September and domestic tourism would average 41.8% for the year.
Scenario two (the worst case scenario), there is no international travel by the third quarter of 2020 and domestic travel is expected to average 30.2%.
The TBCSA also projects a R195 billion less tourism spend and over one million jobs are expected to be cut.
According to Fin24 travel and tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8 billion to the economy in 2018, representing 8.6% of all economic activity in the country.
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