Tourism industry eager for borders to reopen

Tourism industry eager for borders to reopen

The South African tourism industry is eagerly awaiting an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country’s borders will reopen for international travellers.

Shannon Lilly Photography tourism protest 10
Shannon Lilly Photography

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Wednesday amid speculation that South Africa will move down to level 1 of the lockdown.  


Tourism lecturer at the University of Technology Unathi Henama says the country has no choice but to allow for the resumption of international travel.


"The Zimbabwean government has announced that borders will be open from 1 October, and if Zimbabweans want to connect by air and South Africa is closed, they will fly via Kenya or Ethiopia which means OR Tambo International Airport will be losing a lot of income. So our government is forced to open.”

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Carla da Silva, the chairperson of the Board of Airline Representatives South Africa (Barsa), says it has been a nightmare for the sector since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.


"We have witnessed a bloodbath in the entire value chain of travel and aviation. From hotel closures to retrenchments, airlines downsizing and travel agents closing, the impact has been devastating, bearing in mind that the travel and tourism sectors have always had a positive GDP and a positive impact on the economy. So, we are extremely excited because we are of the view that the airlines will be open tonight.”


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