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Tourism sector wants govt to explain reasoning behind SA travel ban list

5 October 2020 4:53 PM
Tags:
Tourism
travel ban
Tourism Business Council of SA
international travel
SA travel ban list
red list
TBCSA CEO

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says SA's travel red list doesn't support tourism recovery.

TBCSA says the sector has asked the government to explain the metrics used to justify South Africa's travel ban list.

Last week, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA issued a list of roughly 60 countries that won't be allowed to travel into South Africa for leisure purposes.

RELATED: These are the 60 countries banned from leisure travel in South Africa

Now the tourism body wants the government to clarify how South Africa's red list for international travel was compiled.

TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says the list is hampering the recovery of the tourism sector, with key source markets banned from visiting South Africa for leisure.

Tshivhengwa believes that the travel ban list has failed to take into account some key considerations.

One of the things that we have been saying is that the mechanism or the metrics that have been used to determine the list of the high-risk countries needs to be explained to the industry.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa

We believed that the metrics may not be fully complete in terms of taking into consideration other factors, including how many people travel to South Africa from those countries.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa

If you test someone 72 hours before they depart and they are negative, why should it matter which country they come from? Whether it is high-risk or low-risk, it shouldn't matter because everyone is tested.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa

RELATED: Expired visas extended, DHA may review travel ban list twice a week - Motsoaledi

On Monday, the DHA reinstated visa-free travel for 11 countries in an effort to boost tourism to the country.

However, five of the 11 countries remain banned from entering SA for leisure travel.

Visa-free access for some countries had been suspended at the start of South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown.

Tshivhengwa says the government needs to invest in a campaign to market South Africa to those exempt countries.

While we are happy that the minister has clarified the matter and the visa waivers have been restored to those countries, however, it has caused PR damage and it needs to be followed with a PR campaign to show that we are open to those countries.

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO - Tourism Business Council of South Africa

At the same time, a number of travelers are confused about whether they may enter South Africa if they have had a connecting flight in a red-listed country.

According to Business Insider's associate editor Phillip de Wet, SA's immigration officials may use their own discretion to assess the level of risk.

The answer is that it depends. The immigration officials have been told to consider the origin and the route taken of the traveler.

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor at Business Insider Inc

It doesn't matter where the airline comes from, [it's about] when you get to the border and present yourself.

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor - Business Insider Inc

Listen to TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa on The Midday Report:

Listen to Business Insider's Phillip de Wet on Afternoon Drive:


5 October 2020 4:53 PM
Tags:
Tourism
travel ban
Tourism Business Council of SA
international travel
SA travel ban list
red list
TBCSA CEO

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