Coronavirus could hit SA tourism – industry body

Coronavirus could hit SA tourism – industry body

SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona has warned that the first confirmed case of coronavirus in South African could have a negative impact on local tourism.

Durban Ricksha Bus / Durban Tourism Facebook Page
Durban Ricksha Bus / Durban Tourism Facebook Page

This comes as international carriers are grounding more planes, not only to the most affected regions, but as consumers broadly avoid international travel out of fear they could be quarantined for two-to-three weeks if the virus spreads to their destination.

Ntshona says while South Africa has so far remained largely unaffected, the confirmation of the first coronavirus case could lead to a decline in international travellers and tourists to the country.

“We are expecting international travellers to reduce in number to South Africa following confirmation of the first case today.”

Some countries, including European hot-spot Italy, have begun cancelling sports and major events in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly disease.

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But Ntshona says SA Tourism have no plans to cancel or postpone any major upcoming events or conferences, including the upcoming Travel Indaba which will be held in Durban in May.

“We are monitoring the coronavirus daily, the events planned will go ahead until we see that it is feasible.”

Ntshona adds that the organisation will continue to work with the health authorities and will cancel or postpone events should the need arise.

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