Tourism minister welcomes international flights despite 57 countries on ban list
Everyone from B&B owners to tour operators are struggling, and waiting patiently for borders to open and tourists to stream in.
And today marks one step closer to the revitalisation of the industry as new travel regulations become effective.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane talks to Lester Kiewit about what new travel regulations mean for the struggling tourism sector.
Kubayi-Ngubane is at OR Tambo International on Thursday morning to welcome the first flights of international travellers coming into South Africa.
She says some ten flights are landing this morning.
We understand that some of them are tourists that are coming in this morning from the Continent and outside the Continent.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
The travellers vary she says.
Some are coming to visit their families and others are here to start enjoying South Africa.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
Minister Kubayi-Ngubane responds to the decision to place 57 countries on a travel ban list to South Africa saying the department does understand the reasoning behind this.
What has been explained is that South Africa is taking a risk-adjusted strategy...but what comforts us is that every two weeks there will be monitoring. As soon as a country shows improvement it will not take long to be added to the list for travellers to come.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
She says the opening of borders is a milestone but acknowledges key markets such as the USA, United Kingdom, and France remain closed off.
That is where we have numbers in terms of spending.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
For travellers attempting to travel to South Africa from banned countries by rerouting via countries on the accepted list will be monitored through their passports, she says.
It will show the person has been in a high-risk area. If you are, for example, a UK citizen, and you travel to Germany - if you stay in Germany for 10 days, then we regard you as having travelled form a low-risk area.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
But if in this example, a person travels to the UK for a day, and then comes to South Africa, they will be regarded as high-risk.
Any South African travelling to high-risk areas will be treated so, and will be allowed back into the country but may be subject to quarantine.Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane - Tourism
Listen to the interview below:
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