“While these moves are welcome, they come after the peak of the tourist season and in the wake of more than R1 billion lost in canceled reservations following the reimposition of travel bans in late November. We welcome EU visitors to our country and we are confident that their safety is guaranteed, ”said Minister Sisulu.
“We remain grateful and open and appreciate the continued support of various partners around the world.”
Minister Sisulu also thanked the tourism stakeholders who have lobbied with her to ensure that South Africa is removed from all red lists.
“This is the culmination of sustained advocacy and dedication efforts by all tourism stakeholders. The war room that we put together is paying off. Let’s continue working hand in hand to revive our industry, ”Minister Sisulu said.
European Union member states agreed yesterday to lift the ban on air travel in South Africa and other southern African countries, allowing more travel to resume.
Travelers from the region will continue to be subject to the health measures applicable to travelers from third countries.
European nations had suspended most air travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe as scientists scrambled to assess the severity of the omicron variant. The bloc maintained the limits even after cases continued to rise around the world, despite protests from the region.
International: South Africa received 10.2 million international overnight visitors in 2019. In 2020, this fell dramatically to 3.2 million, almost 70% less than in 2019. The number of inbound visitors in 2021 hampered by bans on trip was kept low.
For the Tourism Sector, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating effects.
According to the Tourism and Migration Report released by South Africa Statistics in May 2021, international arrivals to South Africa have dropped dramatically since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the period January to March 2020, South Africa received a total of 2,429,177 tourist arrivals. In 2021, South Africa only received 386,937 tourist arrivals, indicating a decrease of 84.1% (2,042,240) in international tourist arrivals.
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