Stricter measures in Western Cape will impact tourism

Posted by Anita Froneman on 30 November 2020

Cape Town Tourism and other Western Cape authorities are concerned over the rise in new COVID-19 infections that the province is experiencing.

The number of active cases in the Cape Town Metro have increased from 1,500 to over 2,500 within the last two weeks, indicating a rise of 70%, according to SABC.

The Garden Route has received a hotspot alert recently, following a sharp rise in active cases.

‘Last week, we issued a hotspot alert for the Garden Route, following an alarming growth of cases in the area. This surge has continued to gain momentum and there are now more active cases in George and Knysna sub-districts than at any point in the pandemic to date,’ Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said.

Stricter measures in Western Cape will impact tourism, authorities say

The Western Cape is a popular tourist destination over the December holiday period.

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy says the tightening of preventative measures over the peak holiday season in South Africa and in a popular holiday destination such as the Western Cape is sure to have a negative impact on the tourism industry.

‘Tougher and stricter measures will definitely impact on the tourism sector this festive season, especially when it comes to places that usually draw larger crowds whether it is beaches, restaurants, festivals etc. And we remain concerned that some of these venues or locations can become super spreaders of the virus,’ Duminy said in a television interview. 

‘Cape Town tourism is definitely appealing to its citizens, as well as its visitors, as well as to the industry, to make sure that we adhere to safety protocols of washing hands, sanitising regularly, wearing face masks when out in public and we are also asking the tourism industry to play their part to make sure that they stick to safety protocols but also that they can manage any areas where there are going to be crowds; not only in their establishments or attractions but also those that are standing in queues to access their facilities,’ Duminy added.

This is not good news for the crippled tourism sector which is only starting to recover. A report by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) shows that the country’s tourism industry is experiencing a slight improvement after months of free falling.

One of the key findings in the publication Tourist accommodation, September 2020 was that seasonally adjusted income from accommodation increased by 56,7% month-on-month in September 2020 and by 98,6% month-on-month in August.

Picture: Unsplash

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