Bring back tourism! W Cape govt calls for 'red list' to be scrapped
The Western Cape's Finance MEC yesterday released a statement making clear their disappointment at Germany being added to the travel red list.
MEC David Maynier calls for the full re-opening of our borders to leisure travellers, with stringent health protocols in place ahead of the summer season. He says it is absolutely critical to the sector’s immediate recovery, medium-term stability and long-term survival.
He feels the “red list” needs to be scrapped and all visitors should be allowed entry into South Africa subject to presenting a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours prior to departure, together with screening protocols.
Wesgro's Tim Harris speaks to John Maytham about why they would like to see the government's travel red list scrapped.
Harris says the addition of Germany to the red list is a blow.
We've been pretty clear that the way this is being implemented is not sensible for keeping livelihoods going in the tourism industry.Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro
The top five international arrival markets - UK, USA, Netherlands, France, and Germany - for the Western Cape are banned for leisure travel, he says. This, despite the implementation of effective protocols for business travel and 'swallows' and those arriving from the rest of the continent, being in place.
It really does not make sense that these protocols are not simply extended to all leisure travellers and try and get our international tourism economy going again.Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro
Maytham suggests that leisure travel will see the arrival of far greater numbers which would increase risk, as witnessed in European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy currently.
Harris responds that the top five markets last year comprised a third of travelers to the Western Cape, around 600,000 visitors.
But these numbers were at a high point before the global pandemic and they would be reduced...and get the risk down to a manageable level...It is about managing the risk.Tim Harris, CEO - Wesgro
Listen to the interview below:
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