Home South Africa News Tourism sector to fully recover once enough people vaccinated, says Kubayi-Ngubane

Tourism sector to fully recover once enough people vaccinated, says Kubayi-Ngubane

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Thursday said the sector would only fully recover once enough people were vaccinated against COVID-19.

Kubayi-Ngubane briefed the media in Johannesburg on Thursday on the department’s recovery plan to revive the sector.

The tourism industry has been battered by restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19.

Kubayi-Ngubane said to make matters worse, the US had placed the country on its red list, which discouraged Americans from coming on our home soil.

“The association of the COVID-19 variant with our country has had a negative impact on our country’s brand and we are seeing more and more countries putting us on their red list, specifically because of the variant.”

The Tourism Business Council believes diplomats are to blame for US advisories that warn against travelling to South Africa.

The US State Department has this week issued a level 4 warning due to COVID-19. However, it also warns of violent crimes, protests, and strikes.

SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona said no destination wanted to be on a travel advisory.

He said it not only had an impact on tourism, but also affected business and trade.

Ntshona said the US warning was effectively a diplomatic matter.

“It is what it is; each country makes up its own mind based on its policy guides. Ours is to make sure that as a country we’re able to put our best foot forward and put our case as to why things should be different.”

Tourism Business Council CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa said the US stance may be based on incorrect information.

“The US mission, consulate, and embassy here in South Africa are sending a very wrong message back to their state department.”

-EWN

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