Ramaphosa meets with hard-hit tourism representatives

Hikers on the Contour Path above the Van Heiningen Pass at Injisuthi in the Kwazulu-Natal Drakensberg. Image: iStock/GroblerduPreez

The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 crisis, with no travel or leisure activities permitted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa today held an online meeting with stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the industry’s predicament under lockdown.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, chief executive of the tourism business council of SA, has warned there will be “nothing left” if the industry is only allowed to re-open in December.

The tourism industry sustains jobs for more than 700,000 people, according to the council’s figures.

In Europe, many previously locked-down countries, like Greece and Italy, are already re-opening their tourism sites to encourage visitors to return in order to help tourism operators.

The presidency says the meeting will allow players to discuss the impact the lockdown has had on the industry, and how it plans to sustain the sector.

So far, the department of tourism has started a tourism relief fund to assist small, micro and medium-sized enterprises affected by lockdown restrictions.

The R200-million tourism relief fund will be disbursed as once-off R50,000 grants per entity.

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