The Democratic Alliance (DA) today unpacked our plan to save the tourism industry and ensure the livelihoods of some 1.2 million people are not destroyed in the economic fallout of the Covid-19 lockdown.
This follows a revelation by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, that the sector will only reignite by December this year. By that time most of the tourism, travel and hospitality industries will be decimated.
Unfortunately, the Department of Tourism’s answer to revitalise the sector leaves much to be desired. The Government’s plan for the industry is lacking on many levels:
- It uses unfair criteria for the Tourism Relief Fund that cuts off many businesses;
- It does not take realities on the ground into account;
- It was not informed by proper data and research; and
- Does not consider a phased approach to opening up the sector.
The DA therefore proposes a short term and immediate plan to recover the sector, while still following Covid-19 hygiene protocols and practising social distancing. This includes:
- Managing the crises and mitigate the impact;
- Providing stimulus and accelerating recovery; and
- Preparing for the future.
Our plan is based on comprehensive research. We consulted with over 30 organisations and individuals within the tourism sector. This plan is further informed by 4 main surveys undertaken within the sector.
The DA is of the view that level 3 regulations must allow for the opening of all sectors in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries that can show that they can meet hygiene and social distancing protocols, as well as the opening of provincial borders to boost domestic tourism. The sector simply cannot remain in limbo while the Tourism Minister will “see how things go”.
Hundreds of thousands of livelihoods are directly dependent on the tourism, hospitality and travel sector.
Supporting businesses by softening the lockdown, focusing on specific sub-sectors, will restore confidence and will ensure that more jobs are not lost.
Click here to contribute to the DA’s legal action challenging irrational and dangerous elements of the hard lockdown in court