The tourism industry in South Africa has experienced a great depression as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown introduced to curb the spread of the virus. President Cyril Ramaphosa abruptly closed the economy mid-march and enforced a 21 days strict lockdown in the country, and furthermore extended the lockdown in order to prepare the daily living system as well as the economy to save lives and adjust to the new normality.
Numerous sectors and industries suffered a great loss due to operational shutdowns and limited workforce. The tourism industry is amongst those industries as intra-provincial and international travels were restricted and borders also closed. The tourism industry has been bleeding billions of Rands in revenues since the start of the lockdown. In 2018 StatsSA reported that the industry contributes R139 Billion which converts to 8.6% of the Gross domestic products(GDP) and also contributes to 1.5 Million in employment however the Sector is now experiencing a loss of over R748 Million a day in tourism expenditure and anticipating massive job loses.
Tourism Minister MaMmaloko Kubayi-Ngubane was outlining an operational plan prior to the phased reopening under risk-adjusted level 3. The resumption of intra-provincial leisure travels will be allowed and night curfews will be extended to 10 pm in the evening. Hotels will operate under strict measures B&Bs and restaurants will also start operating however the sale of alcohol will still be prohibited. Minister MaMmaloko stated that they are reaching out to the Department of health for health protocol assistance. Minister MaMmaloko has previously warned that the sector has the potentials to lose 75% of its revenues in 2020 and 480 000 jobs were at risk.
This new strategy to reopen the industry remains the only fate for its survival.