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Wesgro CEO criticises ban on 'home-sharing' options for local leisure travel

31 July 2020 12:41 PM
Tags:
Airbnb
Western Cape Tourism
Wesgro
Tim Harris
accommodation
leisure travel
intraprovincial travel
home sharing
short term rental
leisure accommodation

The CEO of Wesgro, the Western Cape tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, says prohibiting 'home-sharing' accommodation doesn't make any sense.

Tim Harris says while he welcomes the lifeline given to many tourism establishments in the province, he remains frustrated by the ban on 'home-sharing' options such as Airbnb.

On Thursday, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that intra-provincial travel has been opened under level 3.

Accommodation for leisure is open, however, short-term rental sharing, such as Airbnb, remains closed.

RELATED: It's official! You can now travel for leisure within your province

Harris says the announcement is a step in the right direction but warns that excluding home-sharing establishments will have a negative impact on livelihoods.

He says the local home-sharing industry expands beyond just tech giant Airbnb, and includes family-run properties in rural and township spaces.

These families will not be able to make a living, Harris tells CapeTalk.

It seems nonsensical to explicitly forbid this. I think it's going to have a direct impact on many households around the Western Cape to pay the bills and keep going through this economic crisis.

Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro

I really don't think it makes sense to single out this one platform... It's quite a hard thing to understand.

Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro

The whole sharing economy space in accommodation has become a huge part of livelihoods and incomes for people right across the Cape - from townships to rural areas, to people who pay the bills by renting our parts of their house.

Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro

This announcement is positive in terms of saving livelihoods... It's going to throw a lifeline to many of our tourism establishments. We welcome it as a first step, but there's a whole lot more that we're still pushing for.

Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro

There's a whole lot of people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the lockdown, particularly in the tourism and hospitality space.

Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro

Curfew

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane also announced that the lockdown curfew has been pushed out from 9 pm to 10 pm to accommodate restaurants.

The Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) says the industry welcomes the news, despite weeks of delays and confusion.

Fedhasa CEO Lee Zama says the industry had asked the government to move the curfew to 11pm. She hopes that this could be something that authorities consider at a later stage.

We had asked for at least 11pm, because it provides a bit more time for the operations within the restaurants... we'll take 10pm, for now.

Lee Zama, CEO - Fedhasa

Listen to Tim Harris in conversation with Kieno Kammies:

Listen to Lee Zama in conversation with Lester Kiewit:


31 July 2020 12:41 PM
Tags:
Airbnb
Western Cape Tourism
Wesgro
Tim Harris
accommodation
leisure travel
intraprovincial travel
home sharing
short term rental
leisure accommodation

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