On Sunday, the South African government announced it will impose “extraordinary” travel recommendations for South African travelers to Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US, UK and China as of Wednesday, March 18.
“We respect and understand the decision taken by the South African government to stem the spread of the virus by banning travel to and from certain destinations,” said ASATA CEO Otto de Vries.
He added: “We appreciate the President’s well-considered position on this matter. We await further details, such as timelines when the government will re-evaluate the travel recommendations, to assess the implications for the outbound tourism industry.”
Boasting well over 85% of the travel industry market share, ASATA – established in 1956 – represents some of the major travel brands such as Harvey World Travel Blue Planet, Lara Travel, Travel With Flair, Abang Africa Travels, Trafalgar, Thompson Holidays and Cape Town Day Tours.
Strict measures to assist travelers
ASATA takes its mandate to advance the sustainability of its members serious. It’s no wonder it has created a dedicated Coronavirus site as seen here – to counter the scale of inaccurate information circulating on the internet about the pandemic.
Another tourism brand leader, SATSA (Southern Africa Tourism Services Association), has welcomed President Ramaphosa’s strict measures around coronavirus.
While the company acknowledges that the “extraordinary measures” will have dire results for South Africa’s inbound tourism private-sector, SATSA CEO David Frost said they support any measures aimed at keeping South African citizens safe.
“We face a difficult challenge as an industry to respond to this continuously evolving situation. Our only defense is to monitor the situation around the clock and put in place proactive measures and flexible policies to assist travellers, members and their customers, so that when the situation returns to some normality, South Africa is open for business and ready to welcome the world,” Frost added.
To keep its members informed, so they can employ proactive measures, SATSA is updating its Coronavirus website page continuously with information from official sources.
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the site will be updated regularly with basic hygiene advice as stipulated by the World Health Organization.