Committee on Tourism welcomes the Uplifting of Restrictions on International Travel
The Portfolio Committee on Tourism welcomes the uplifting of travel restrictions imposed on international travel due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism, Mr Supra Mahumapelo, said: “We are heartened that international flights have resumed after more than six months since lockdown restrictions have been imposed worldwide”. Yesterday, South Africa welcomed travellers from the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Germany, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe on the first day of its opening.
The impact of the pandemic has been felt across all sectors, with tourism being the hardest hit. According to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, the tourism sector contributes to 1.5 million jobs and 8.5% to the gross domestic product of South Africa. However, we have seen the devastating impact of the pandemic as more than 600 000 jobs have been lost and many businesses in the tourism sector and supply chain have had to close.
We remain hopeful that as we head into planning for the upcoming holiday season, South Africans will start travelling and exploring within SA as each of the nine provinces has something unique to offer to both the adventurous and discerning traveller, from beaches to mountains, safaris, theme parks, cultural and heritage tourism, as well as accommodation and restaurants which have been rated amongst the best in the world.
As the Portfolio Committee Chair, I want to appeal to South Africans to make use of the many specials and promotions that are now available, and to assist in reviving domestic tourism by venturing out to your local villages, townships and small towns on day excursions or long stays, as in so doing we can kick-start the tourism economy together.
And finally, we must be mindful that coronavirus is still here and that a vaccine has not yet been found, we must therefore continue to be vigilant by continuing to sanitise our hands, wear our masks and practise social distancing to keep ourselves and the next person safe.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
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