Tackling barriers to tourism recovery in Western Cape, including UK 'red list'
Today, on World Tourism Day, I have written to the United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, on the decision to keep South Africa on the UK ‘red list' which is deeply disappointing and seems manifestly unfair, requesting that the decision be reviewed and South Africa removed from the UK ‘red list’.
The letter to the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP is one of many steps we’ve taken to engage with key decision-makers both in the UK and in South Africa to tackle this significant barrier to economic recovery, specifically for the tourism sector in the Western Cape.
Removing South Africa from the UK ‘red list’ and easing travel restrictions for those travelling between the two countries ahead of our summer season, will provide much-needed relief for the tourism and hospitality sector, which has been hard-hit with an estimated loss of 75 477 jobs in 2020 in the Western Cape.
We will continue to work hard to tackle barriers to growth for the economy, particularly those impacting the tourism sector in the Western Cape, which includes amongst others:
- Calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to move to Alert Level 1 and identify a clear plan to end the National State of Disaster;
- Engaging with the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, requesting an urgent review and approval of the application for the Delta Air Lines triangular Atlanta - Johannesburg - Cape Town route; and
- Engaging with the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, requesting the introduction of a ‘Remote Working Visa’ to allow international visitors to stay longer and work remotely while travelling in South Africa.
In addition, to support the tourism sector in the Western Cape, we have also:
- Worked with the industry to ensure destination readiness and the implementation of the necessary health guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19;
- Launched the Tourism Product Development Fund which has supported over eleven businesses and helped to sustain over 300 jobs by supporting new or existing tourism products and experiences, especially in our rural and coastal towns across the Western Cape;
- Launched the Western Cape Business Events Support Project to stimulate short-and-medium term national business events in the Western Cape;
- Helped businesses to access available funding, including UIF TERS, by driving awareness of the available funds through our networks and assisting applicants who needed it; and
- Launched several award-winning tourism marketing campaigns to promote Cape Town and the Western Cape as a unique, wallet-friendly and diverse destination to travellers both home and abroad.
From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we have been committed to economic recovery, ensuring that where it was safe to do so the tourism sector was able to open and keep operating.
And we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the most successful summer season possible by tackling barriers to growth for the tourism sector, increasing connectivity to the region and running our award-winning destination marketing campaigns that showcase the best that Cape Town and the Western Cape has to offer.
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 071 087 5150