Rather than being frustrated that only domestic business travel has reopened in line with South Africa’s Level 3 regulations, the industry should see it as an opportunity to prove to legislators that tourism can operate safely.
This was the view of panelists speaking in the recent Special Edition webinar by The Other Side, hosted by William Price, Chief Digital Officer at THE OMG, together with Margie Whitehouse, Chief Tourism Officer at WESGRO; Monika Iuel, CEO of Private Safaris Southern Africa; and Robert More, CEO of MORE.
Held on the 1 June, when South Africa moved to Level 3, Iuel pointed out that the tourism industry is interlinked. “We have to allow for some of the sectors to open up first and in doing so, demonstrate that we can do business safely.”
This evidence will be critical in lobbying government to open up the international skies sooner than originally envisaged.
More also pointed out that the easing of regulations will also mean those working in the tourism industry will be able move around to lodges and other properties and begin to drive positive messaging around readiness to welcome tourists.
“Even by going to our own properties and taking photographs, we can start posting on social media and communicate to the world that the products still exist and begin to build momentum,” he said. “People are still nervous about travelling, so as an industry, we need to get out there and show our international customers that they can start to get excited about travel again.”