TravelBites – Edition 21

Readers Please Note: Any information provided below in respect of Covid-19, lockdowns and their regulations, closed or opened borders etc. are subject to change. For accurate up to date information regarding these, check with your relevant authorities.

Disclaimer: Note that opinions expressed here are those as they have been quoted in various articles in various media and are not necessarily those of or supported by Mzanzitravel magazine.

 

South Africa

SA’s slow vaccine rollout could have ‘far-reaching consequences’ for local tourism industry

Johannesburg – As many countries start to reopen and accept vaccinated tourists to their destinations, travel experts feel the slow vaccine rollout in South Africa may be detrimental to the country’s tourism industry. According to Reuters, ambassadors from the 27 EU countries approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine “safe” countries and allow fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere.

FEDHASA National Chairperson Rosemary Anderson said the news that European Union countries would ease Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers showed that vaccine passports will open up global travel. She said the passports would become the ‘new normal’ for international travel. However, it may not bode well for South Africa, Anderson said, unless South Africa’s vaccine rollout should exceed expectations and be done faster. “South Africa needs to get in line with governments globally and accelerate the rollout of the vaccine programme to open not only our inbound but also our outbound travel opportunities.” She said that if South Africa is not part of this new travel protocol, inbound and outbound travel would be compromised.

Source: Clinton Moodley, IOL

 

Push for new South African remote working visa for tourists

Cape Town – The Western Cape provincial government has formally requested the introduction of a ‘remote working’ visa for South Africa. In a letter addressed to both the minister of tourism and the minister of home affairs, the Western Cape’s provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities David Maynier said that the visa will allow international visitors to stay longer and work remotely while travelling in South Africa. “Globally, many countries are competing to capture the market for the longer-stay tourist who can work online from anywhere in the world while earning and spending foreign currency in the country they are visiting,” it said. “This is an important market right now, as this type of tourist is more resilient to the challenges that traditional tourism is facing given ongoing travel restrictions. Such tourists will also remain an important source of sustainable tourism long after the Covid-19 pandemic. Introducing a remote working visa also makes business sense,” said Maynier. “It will attract a significant number of long-term, financially independent travellers to South Africa during a period of economic uncertainty.” In the long term, remote workers are also more likely to invite their family and friends to visit in the future, he said. Premier Alan Winde recently noted that Cape Town was named on the list of the 50 best cities for remote working.

Source: BusinessTech.co.za

Durban nominated for World Travel Awards!

Durban – Durban’s eight top business travel and tourism establishments have been nominated in several of the 28th World Travel Awards’ most sought after categories for 2021. Durban has received four direct nominations this year – Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination 2021, Africa’s Leading City Destination 2021, Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination 2021 and Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conferences Destination 2021. Other Durban nominations include King Shaka International Airport for Africa’s Leading Airport; Port of Durban for Africa’s Leading Cruise Port; Southern Sun’s Elangeni and Maharani Hotel Conference received a nomination for Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel, while the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre was nominated as well. “Receiving several nominations for such a prestigious awards ceremony is a total boost for the City. This news could not have come at a better time as we navigate our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic which has brought about immense economic challenges for the tourism sector,” said eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda. Voting is open to the public on the World Travel Awards website and will close on 9 August 2021. To register your vote for Durban visit: https://www.worldtravelawards.com/vote to register and cast your vote.

Source: TheSouthAfrican.com

 

Special deals at SANParks for travel clubs, stokvels

Makhanda / Grahamstown – Matyholweni Rest Camp in Addo Elephant National Park is one of 11 destinations on offer in a special deal for stokvels and travel clubs. South African National Parks (SANParks) has launched new products for stokvels and travel clubs that offers special payment terms and discounted rates, at selected National Parks on specific dates. SANParks tourism development and marketing executive, Hapiloe Sello, in a statement said these groups were being targeted as their memberships boasted many different types of personalities and profiles. To qualify for the favourable payment terms, Stokvels and travel clubs have to register through the travel trade team in the SANParks’ reservations department. Once registered with SANParks, the group will receive a client code that can be used whenever a booking is made. The client code will automatically qualify the group for favourable payment terms and special discounts. SANParks is offering a 20% discount at the following destinations: Matyholweni Rest Camp in Addo Elephant National Park; Agulhas Main Camp in Agulhas National Park; Augrabies Falls National Park; Bontebok National Park; Wilderness Ebb-and-Flow in Garden Route National Park; Glen Reenen and Golden Gate Hotel in Golden Gate Highlands National Park; Mopani Rest Camp in Kruger National Park; Skukuza Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park; Bontle Tented Camp in Marakele National Park; Leokwe Rest Camp in Mapungubwe National Park; Mosu Lodge in Mokala National Park. For more information or to register and make bookings please contact 012 426 5025 or email traveltrade@sanparks.org.

Source: SAnews.gov.za / Grocotts Mail

Rescuing tourism from pandemic ‘devastation’ is priority for the next year

 

Cape Town – The main focus of the Department of Tourism during the current financial year will be on the implementation of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said during her department’s budget vote presentation to Parliament recently. The plan, which was developed with input from the private sector, has three main strategic themes, namely protecting and rejuvenating supply, reigniting demand and strengthening long-term sustainability. The total infrastructure commitment is just under R700 million over a five-year period. To date, an amount of R270 million of the funds has been made available to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) which serves as the implementing agent for the department’s infrastructure programme. A further R222 million has been budgeted for this financial year. “The devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the tourism sector and the wider economy, has brought into sharp focus the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said Kubayi-Ngubane. “The tourism sector is one of the critical intervention areas that have been identified in the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as a key driver of the economic recovery in the country.” Since the start of Covid-19 lockdowns, the tourism sector has been characterised by stops and starts in accordance with the waves of the pandemic. “However, despite all the difficulties, the recovery has been on an upward trajectory. The department’s programmes and efforts in this financial year are aimed at sustaining this trajectory,” said Kubayi-Ngubane. The minister told Parliament she is concerned about the slow progress with transformation in the tourism sector. In order to accelerate transformation, the Tourism Transformation Fund will be restructured to be more accessible to entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund is designed to provide a combination of debt finance and grant funding for enterprises with 51% black ownership. The processing of applications has, however, been interdicted by the court following an application against the fund by AfriForum and Solidarity. The department is still looking into its next step in this regard. Empowering women also forms part of the Tourism Recovery Plan.

Source: Carin Smith, Fin24

Africa

AdventureWomen partners with African Wildlife Foundation to offer women’s safari to Zimbabwe

Nairobi, Kenya – With Women’s Month coming up in August, it’s only fitting that AdventureWomen – a by-women, for-women adventure travel company – recently announced that they had partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in May to host a special women’s safari to Zimbabwe. AWF is an organization that supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife and environment through community development, sustainability projects, education initiatives and more. Joining the trip was AdventureWomen’s owner Judi Wineland, a longtime conservationist and adventure travel pioneer and Carter Smith, AWF safari program manager and author of the children’s book African Tea as well several other visionary women including Olivia Mufute, the first female Chief Ecologist at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the current Zimbabwe country director for AWF; and Sharon Stead, founder of the Mother Africa Trust, which supports female-focused projects throughout Zimbabwe. Both AdventureWomen and the African Wildlife Foundation believe in empowering girls and women throughout the continent, and this shared mission was weaved into many aspects of the trip. A highlight of the journey was a dinner hosted by Aunt Flatter, a Zimbabwe local with decades of wisdom on the country.

Source: AWF News