EDITORIAL | Five, four, three, two, one, lift-off for travel! But beware
SA’s borders are open for travel, but without training, diligence and competence, we could be grounded again
Champagne corks are popping in the hospitality industry after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that SA’s borders will be open for international travel from October 1.
While interprovincial travel was permitted from July, many tourism businesses rely heavily on foreign tourism. Some establishments have been unable to weather the storm and have closed permanently, resulting in a loss of about 50,000 jobs. The ban has also had a devastating knock-on effect on airlines, catering, cleaning services and other tourism-related businesses.
About 300,000 people in SA work in the inbound travel industry and government has been under pressure to reopen borders. Tourism Business Council CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa told Business Times last week that every day SA’s international borders remain closed, the industry loses R336m. The borders have been closed since March 18...