The South African tourism industry breathed a sigh of relief when president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be opening its borders to travellers from all countries starting 12 November.
International travel will still be subject to strict health protocols. Travellers must present a negative Covid-19 test dating no less than 72 hours before departing their country of origin. Failure to do so, will result in the traveller having to quarantine upon arrival at their own cost.
David Frost, CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa), said the announcement delivered the certainty international guests and customers have been actively seeking since South Africa introduced Level 1.
"Satsa welcomes the president's announcement and looks forward to promoting destination South Africa as the ultimate destination for travellers seeking the open-air, fair-weather, low-density tourism which a Covid world demands," Frost said. "To this extent, South Africa's tourism sector has instituted stringent health and hygiene safety protocols, and we are travel ready to welcome guests safely and in comfort."
Jeremy Clayton, Cape Board chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa, the national trade association for the hospitality industry in South Africa, said: "We are pleased that government are following the recommendation of industry partners and enabling an industry that can rapidly grow and provide jobs. By applying common sense protocols we can ensure [South Africa] is positioned as a leading global safe destination that offers an abundance of tourism opportunities, world-class service and experience."
Otto de Vries, CEO of the Association of Southern African Travel Agents, said the move provides a real opportunity for people to make confident choices to travel to South Africa. "This will make a huge difference to ensuring South Africa's recovery as a primary long-haul destination on the African continent," he said.
Source: Travel Weekly