Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed to assist the sector to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During a stakeholder engagement summit with the Limpopo tourism sector, Sisulu was quizzed over governments role and plans to assist the industry in bouncing back.
Some of the concerns raised by the stakeholders included what government was doing to support the tourism sector impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic and what government was doing to help township and rural tourism.
Sisulu was also asked what government was doing to ensure the safety of tourists
visiting the country.
She told stakeholders that government was sympathetic to the sector, which is still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and that everything would be done to ensure
that the sector recovers. She said the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP), available on the department’s website, is a comprehensive response by the sector and its constituent partners to the multiple challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Plan acknowledges the need for targeted, coordinated action to mitigate the impacts of the crisis and sets the sector on the most optimal path to recovery, transformation and long-term sustainability,” Sisulu said.
She added that among the strategic interventions that would be implemented in order to support the revival of the sector is the implementation of norms and standards for safe operation across the tourism value chain to enable safe travel and rebuild traveller confidence and to stimulate domestic demand through targeted initiatives and campaigns.
She further expressed optimism about the prospects of tourism bouncing back and
welcomed the recent announcements by governments of some source markets to remove South Africa from their travel Red List as tourism can only thrive when country borders are open.
The emergence of the Omicron variant had many countries placing travel restrictions on African countries, including South Africa.
She said government would continue engaging countries whose borders remain closed to South Africa and other African countries.
Sisulu concluded by promising stakeholders that she would, in due course, visit the province for a number of days to engage more with them and to visit a few tourism establishments in the province.