Safari industry crippled by coronavirus fears

Posted by Anita Froneman on 12 March 2020

A recent survey by SafariBookings showed that not only is travel to Europe affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but there’s also been a massive negative impact on Africa’s safari industry.

The online booking site reached out to 361 safari tour operators across the continent, and the results are looking bleak. More than 85% of tour operators were experiencing a significant decline in bookings, reports TimesLive.

‘The impact is real and we feel it from all corners in the industry,’ said Ann Muthui from Blue Mountain Trekking Safaris in Kenya told the site.

Just 14% of tour operators indicated that it was still ‘business as usual’.

Tour operators are frustrated, especially those from countries that have no confirmed cases of the virus. ‘The fear for this disease is causing a direct negative impact on our business, yet we have not a single case in Uganda,’ one operator commented on the survey.

‘We understand clients have a fear to travel right now but it should not deter you from planning your trip for later this year or 2021,’ said Jenieen van den Heever from Ker & Downey Africa in South Africa.

‘If the coronavirus crisis endures or worsens, we will run a second survey at the beginning of April to investigate how the impact on the safari industry has evolved,’ says SafariBookings.

Image: Pexels


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