Tourism industry welcomes easing of regulations, 'but we need to do more soon'
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced that South Africans will be allowed to travel within their own provinces and the 9 pm curfew has been extended to 10 pm, which will help restaurants.
The changes will come into effect "as soon as the new regulations are gazetted".
Accommodation bookings are restricted to two people per room except for a nuclear family.
There's also some relief for tour operators and guides, who'll be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles subject to standard protocols.
It's a step in the right direction and one the industry has been awaiting for some time, says Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA)
For us, the fact that now we have accommodation open means that we can focus on intra-provincial travel and international inbound. It at least removes that whole issue of advocating for hotels, the resorts or any other accommodation within our sector.Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
At least now we can focus on getting movement of people and those that are overseas coming into the country.Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
But why is Airbnb and short-term home-sharing still excluded?
We need to look at it very closely, to say how do we do that safely and how do we put in protocols that will be acceptable to government. I think it's the whole issue around the contact with someone who lives in that particular houseTshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
Tshivengwa also welcomes the easing of restrictions on guided tours.
You can have a tour guide and then you can stay at a hotel and at a lodge on the property... In the past you could go in and drive yourselves, but you were not allowed to stay there. And you were not allowed to get on to open safari vehicles.Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
He says the industry's looking forward to "the next negotiation" which will allow inter-provincial travel.
We need inter-provincial travel to fully realise the potential and to fully examine the demand of leisure travel domestically and also to fully realise the appetite that people have in travelling their own country.Tshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
We're not even thinking of profit, not even break-even at the moment. We just want to make sure that our employees go back to work... the wheels are starting to move and we can switch on all those things that need to be switched on to build confidence for the international marketTshifhiwa Tshivengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa
Listen to the conversation on The Money Show:
This article first appeared on 702 : Tourism industry welcomes easing of regulations, 'but we need to do more soon'
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