Faizel Patel – 17/03/2021
The MD of Big Ambitions, a specialist Cape Town based travel marketing and content consultancy says despite the country being under level one of the COVID-19 lockdown, the tourism industry is continuing to suffer.
Tourism in South Africa has taken a knock in the last year, which has been exacerbated by the 501.V2 strain being described as the South African Strain.
The name “South African Strain” has damaged the tourism industry at a time when President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping the economy will recover from the pandemic.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Natalia Rosa says while South Africans continue to enjoy the coastal areas and tourist destinations, a lot of the business in the tourism sector comes from the international source market.
“Our source markets are pretty much cloned to us, we would very happy to host them. But because of the very bad publicity that we have around the 501.V2 variant, we have been closed to a lot of our source markets. So our international travellers who would normally be travelling to South Africa at this time are not travelling to South Africa. So we are reliant on a very small of pool of people to enjoy the tourism asset that we have in our country at the moment.”
Rosa says the tourism industry is an extremely important contributor to the GDP of South Africa.
“The tourism industry is the second highest GDP earner for South Africa. It’s our second largest export. So people think about tourism as a very warm and fuzzy thing, something that it enjoyable, something that is not an essential. But the essence is that for every tourist that comes, we generate seven jobs. So you can imagine how many jobs are lost as a result of tourists not being able to come to the country.”
Rosa says it is also devastating that South Africa has been black listed as a travel destination, adding that the current period is the tourist peak for the country.
Listen to the interview with Natalia Rosa