With the gradual easing of border restrictions around the world and as countries slowly start welcoming tourists back, it goes without saying that Covid-19 has been particularly devastating on the tourism sector. In her recent budget vote speech, Minister of Tourism, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane told Parliament that an estimated R54.2 billion in output may already have been lost between mid-March and the end of May this year. The sector now faces a potential 75% revenue reduction in 2020, with 438,000 jobs at risk.
As tourism activities slowly resume, it is inevitable that certain things are going to change. Expected changes include new tourist behavior patterns and preferences. For instance, research done by South African Tourism shows that, as tourism restarts after lockdown, unsurprisingly, travellers are going to prefer open spaces and avoid crowded and “touristy” areas.
As part of its recovery, the sector is set to adopt technologies to improve operational efficiencies and serve its post-Covid-19 travellers better.
But, despite the expected changes in traveller behavior and business processes, there are certain fundamentals that should stay intact. In this regard, I can single out the sector’s contribution to the support and development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). This is consistent with our commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism which is premised on the sector’s positive impact such as job creation and economic growth. Read more…