Tourism Update reports – South Africa’s government is working on a ‘unified system of protocols’ before submitting them to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for a Safe Travel Stamp.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, during a recent Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council (GTTRC) virtual summit that explored how destinations around the world were dealing with the new challenges and opportunities they faced as a result of COVID-19.
She said the comprehensive Tourism Recovery Strategy – developed by South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council South Africa, in conjunction with a number of industry associations – was currently being considered by Cabinet.
“Once it is adopted, we see our growth starting from the domestic market, like many other African countries,” said Kubayi-Ngubane. “We are asking the sector to reposition their product offerings to domestic and regional markets in case there is a delay in international tourism reopening and that they will get long-term value in domestic and regional markets.”
The Minister said during the summit that there were certain protocols not yet adopted by the Cabinet that were slowing the process of submitting to the WTTC.
“There are two or three areas still outstanding – such as international flight protocols – which we are working on in collaboration with the Ministries of Home Affairs and Transport. Once those are adopted by Cabinet, we will go to the WTTC and other global communities. We are hoping to catch up soon to our counterparts in Kenya.”
Kubayi-Ngubane said airlines such as SAA, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, worked very well in co-ordinating cargo flights in the delivery of PPEs. “We could draw lessons from this to increase intra-Africa travel.”
While South Africa experiences delays, Kenya is the second East African country to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Stamp.
Moderator of the GTTRC virtual summit and CEO of Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association, Jillian Blackbeard, said bilateral work was important to ensure countries got the approval and reopened, at least for regional tourism.
“Even if countries are resilient now, there is no access to many of them. There is a big role to play for wonderful countries like South Africa and Kenya in the reopening of the industry in the continent,” said Blackbeard.