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South Africa: SA Hosts Workshop As Tourism Industry Journeys to Recovery

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South Africa is today hosting the 2021 Sharing of Best Practices Workshop, as the tourism industry wades through a long road to recovery in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela on Tuesday said COVID-19 has devastated the whole world and has forced people to change the way they do things, and interact with each other.

“The global outbreak of Coronavirus in late 2019 illustrated the vulnerability of travel and tourism to the effects of public health emergencies.

“As a result, tourism activity had come to an abrupt halt, thus affecting the tourism sector negatively. The impact of the virus has led to the closure of businesses and tourism establishments, and has led to severe job losses.

“It is therefore expected that the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector and strategies to deal with it would be relevant as the theme/topic for the 2021 Best Practices Workshop,” Mahlalela said at the virtual workshop on Tuesday, which was attended by several stakeholders from around the world.

South Africa recently launched the Tourism Equity Fund, which is aimed at creating an inclusive and growing tourism sector by supporting entrepreneurship and investment on the supply side of the tourism sector.

This comes after COVID-19 regulations severely restricted tourism operations, crippling many players in the sector.

Mahlalela said Tuesday’s workshop was an opportunity for role-players to “robustly engage in discussions, and share information and the best practices on tourism recovery plans”.