Tourism Council fears ‘mass retrenchments’ in industry

Posted by Anita Froneman on 1 July 2020

The tourism industry has been fighting an uphill battle since the start of lockdown. Inter-provincial travel remains banned during the current stage of Level 3 and experts warn of the possibility of major job losses.

Hotels and restaurants are some of the businesses most affected during lockdown.

‘It is over 100 days since the lockdown started and over R68-billion worth of travel and tourism spend has been lost,’ said Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa according to Tourism Update

‘The end of June marked the last month that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will pay workers their COVID-19 TERS relief benefits. Insurance companies refuse to pay businesses for losses related to the COVID-19 lockdown, even though they are insured against business interruption.’

Tshivhengwa  added that if government does not open inter-provincial leisure soon, mass retrenchments will start within the sector. ‘Inter-provincial travel will bring hope to the industry and mitigate mass retrenchments.’

The TBCSA said it estimates a loss of 600,000 jobs if the sector remains closed with knock-on effects in other sectors.

Currently, intra-provincial leisure travel is allowed as per government regulations.

Also read: 

Balancing lives and livelihoods: Tourism’s reopening focus

Image credit: Unsplash



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