The head of a local tourism body has called for authorities to scrap the requirement of a negative PCR test for fully vaccinated international travellers entering South Africa.
David Frost, CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA), which represents the inbound tourism sector, says doing this will create a massive opportunity to lure travellers from important source markets like the US and UK to SA while the country’s biggest long-haul competitor, Australia, is still in stricter lockdown.
As the tourism sector reels from the impact of the pandemic, countries are vying to be the destination of choice for tourism spend. Research by the World Travel and Tourism Council, which represents the private sector, indicates that having tougher travel restrictions than its neighbouring countries hampers a country’s tourism recovery.
Countries that do not require a prior negative PCR test from fully vaccinated international visitors include France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and Dubai, according to Jacques Simons of Visas Zone.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism sector contributed more than R426 billion to the economy and contributed to creating 1.5 million jobs, according to SA Tourism.
That is why the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA), which represents the private sector, is calling for the PCR test requirement to be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers to SA.-fin24