Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane gave an update on Friday on her department’s coronavirus response at an emergency special virtual meeting with all members of the executive council responsible for tourism across the provinces.
This was the second such meeting since the national lockdown began.
The meeting noted that almost all the sub-sectors of tourism remained closed during level 4 of the risk-adjusted approach to the reopening of economic activities after the level 5 lockdown.
The council committed to devising measures to support the phased opening up of the tourism sub-sectors informed by the risk-adjusted approach.
It further called upon the industry to collectively demonstrate leadership by being at the forefront of workplace, product and destination readiness through deploying solutions for safety, early detection and prevention measures for the mutual usage by tourism operations and tourists alike.
The minister said: “We need to stand ready to provide guidance and support for recovery measures in the private and public tourism sector. As the sector starts to go back to work, it must institute health and behavioural protocols to lower the potential for further transmission.”
She commended “ongoing and diverse” stakeholder engagements in the drafting of the tourism recovery strategy, and called for continued engagement and further submission of inputs and the intensification of such consultations at a provincial level.
The council commended and welcomed the minister’s intervention through the Tourism Relief Fund given the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector.
They resolved to champion a national compact for tourism recovery and to investigate more measures to ensure continuous support to tourism businesses to “adapt and thrive in a new post-crisis era”, and explore innovative capacity building programmes aimed at enabling the travel and tourism sector to be more inclusive, robust and resilient.
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)