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Tourism News

South African tourism scuppered by extreme licensing delays

By: Darren Parker     21st January 2022 The South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) has sent a letter of demand to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula calling for urgent action to resolve the “unlawful” delays in issuing National Public Transport Regulator (NPTR) licences, as it was hampering wheels businesses in the tourism... 

Company finalises concession for gas plant

21st January 2022 Energy supplier Great Lakes (GL) Africa Energy has finalised a concession agreement with the Mozambique government to finance and operate a 250 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant in Nacala district, Nampula province in northern Mozambique. The agreement was signed in November, in Maputo,... 

Mozambique Mineral Resources and Energy Minster Ernesto Max Elias Tonela and GL Africa Energy director Michael Kearns shaking hands over the agreement to build a 250 MW liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant in Nacala district, Nampula province in northern Mozambique
SEALING THE DEAL The GLA Africa agreement was concluded by Mineral Resources and Energy Minster Ernesto Max Elias Tonela and GL Africa Energy director Michael Kearns

Tourism industry welcomes removal of Southern African countries from UK travel red list

By: Donna Slater     15th December 2021 The UK government’s lifting of South Africa’s travel red listing, effective from 04:00 on December 15, has been welcomed by the South African tourism and travel industry, which was severely impacted as both South Africans were put off from traveling to the UK and UK citizens were cautioned... 

UK to remove all countries from Covid travel red list on Wednesday

By: Reuters     15th December 2021 The British government will remove all 11 countries from its Covid-19 travel red list from Wednesday because there is now community transmission of Omicron in Britain, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told parliament. The new Omicron variant was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong. The... 

Associations oppose travel restrictions

By: Schalk Burger     13th December 2021 The American Society of Travel Advisors (Asta), the Association of South African Travel Agencies (Asata), the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (Acta), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (Ectaa) and World Travel... 

Survey finds travel restrictions imposed on Southern Africa 'too strict'

By: Schalk Burger     10th December 2021 A 48-hour flash survey by the Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Southern Africa) shows that 75% of the respondents, which are members of the chamber, indicated that staff or project personnel are required to travel to the European Union (EU), Germany or South Africa... 

No cruise ship cheer for Cape Town tourism amid Omicron alarm

By: Reuters     30th November 2021 The docking of the Europa passenger liner in Cape Town on Tuesday was meant to be a ribbon-cutting celebration marking the official start of the cruise ship season in South Africa's top tourist hub, the first since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. But international travel curbs on southern Africa,... 

Scientists working around the clock to understand Omicron variant – Health Minister 

By: Thabi Madiba     29th November 2021 Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said citizens can be confident that in a matter of days and weeks health department’s scientists will have gotten to the bottom of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Phaahla reiterated President Cyril Rampahosa’s message on Sunday evening, when he said the best weapon to... 

Image of Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

BLSA warns of Omicron's impact on tourism industry, supports mandatory vaccination

By: Schalk Burger     29th November 2021 Business association Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has warned that the Covid-19 Omicron variant could have a significant impact on the South African tourism industry. President Cyril Ramaphosa in a November 28 address to the nation signalled the importance of vaccine mandates and... 

Tourism sector concerned as UK reinstates travel restrictions against South Africa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th November 2021 Various tourism entities have expressed their concern over the UK’s “knee-jerk” reaction to institute a temporary red list ban on six African countries, including South Africa. Following announcements on November 25 that a new Covid-19 variant called B1.1.529 has been identified in Botswana,... 

South African ports to welcome 20 cruise ships this season

By: Schalk Burger     24th November 2021 The port cities of Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Gqeberha, Durban and Richards Bay are scheduled to receive 20 passenger vessels during the cruise season, from November to the end of May, State-owned Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said on November 24. The first cruise vessel will dock in Cape... 

Eastern Cape craft brewing, distilling and wine route launched

By: Yvonne Silaule     18th November 2021 The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) has partnered with the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) for the launch of the Eastern Cape Craft Brewing, Distilling & Wine route. The route will offer a tourism experience including visits to several Eastern Cape breweries and distillers based in... 

Eastern Seaboard development a multi-faceted vision – Ramaphosa

By: Yvonne Silaule     15th November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday led a district development model (DDM) visit to the Ugu district, in KwaZulu-Natal, to assess the development of the Eastern Seaboard traversing the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces along a 600 km stretch between the eThekwini and Buffalo City metros.... 

Courtyard Hotel reinvents itself for competitive edge following pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2021 City Lodge Hotel Group’s (CLHG’s) new Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City, in Midrand, which opened on March 1, offers a full dining experience, a move away from a breakfast-only offering. This represents the vision for the group moving forward. 

An image showing some of the interior design at the Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City, in Midrand
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
Courtyard Hotel interior design

Sisulu unveils programme to promote South Africa as a tourism destination

By: Yvonne Silaule     13th October 2021 Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on October 12 unveiled Destination South Africa’s Global Advocacy Programme to ramp up advocacy efforts in key source markets around the world. The programme was initiated by the Department of Tourism, South African Tourism and the Tourism Business Council of South... 

Asata, Sun International welcome removal of South Africa from UK travel red list

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th October 2021 With the removal of South Africa from the UK’s travel red list – which will take effect on October 11 – the Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) says its first priority has been to provide clarity on the requirements the UK will impose to prove a travellers’ vaccination status.... 

South Africa to be removed from UK travel red list from Oct 11

By: Bloomberg     7th October 2021 The UK eased entry rules for 47 countries that were subject to the tightest Covid-19 restrictions, in the government’s latest step to shed travel curbs and revive tourism-dependent businesses. South Africa is among the countries that will be removed from the UK's travel red list from October 11. 

SCA's dismissal of Santam appeal gives certainty for outstanding insurance claims – ICA

By: Schalk Burger     7th October 2021 The dismissal by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) of insurer Santam's appeal against the Western Cape High Court ruling in favour of hospitality businesses Ma-Afrika Hotels (MAH) and Stellenbosch Kitchen (SBK) to settle Covid-19 business interruption claims in the tourism and hospitality... 

Sisulu invites eligible enterprises to apply for tourism funding, green incentive programme

By: Yvonne Silaule     1st October 2021 The Department of Tourism (DoT) has called for eligible enterprises to apply for funding under the Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF) and the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP), from October 1. The TTF is a dedicated capital investment mechanism that was developed to drive transformation in... 

Satsa calls on UK govt to remove South Africa from its travel red list

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th September 2021 The South Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) is calling on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take immediate steps to remove South Africa from Britain’s travel red list. In a meeting convened on September 27, leading South African scientists presented the latest pandemic data to the UK’s... 

An image of the British and South African flags

KZN opens second phase of R20m Tourism Relief Fund

By: Schalk Burger     28th September 2021 Distressed tourism businesses and operators in KwaZulu-Natal will get another chance to apply for financial assistance after the second phase of the R20-million Tourism Relief Fund was opened on September 27, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs... 

Court rules race-based tourism fund criteria unlawful 

By: Bloomberg     22nd September 2021 South Africa’s appeals court ruled the Department of Tourism’s focus on only black businesses for payouts to help the industry overcome the coronavirus pandemic is unlawful. The Bloemfontein-based court said the Minister of Tourism committed an error and is not legally obliged to allocate funds... 

BLSA deplores the UK’s decision to keep South Africa on the red list for travellers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th September 2021 In this week’s Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) newsletter, CEO Busi Mavuso bemoans the UK authorities’ decision to keep South Africa on the “red list” for travellers. The UK imposed a traffic light system to determine the correct Covid-19 precautions related to travellers, which is... 

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

Eastern Cape govt embarks on tourism economic recovery activities

By: Yvonne Silaule     14th September 2021 The six-day hiking trail from Coffee Bay to Port St Johns, in the Eastern Cape, that is under construction forms part of the economic recovery efforts of the province’s tourism sector. MEC of Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Mlungisi Mvoko made the announcement... 

Satsa advocates for UK to move South Africa to its ‘amber’ list

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th September 2021 The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) has called on the UK government to move South Africa to its amber list in the next traffic light review, which is likely to take place later this week. The UK imposed a traffic light system to determine the correct Covid-19 precautions... 

Satsa CEO David Frost
Satsa CEO David Frost

Asata welcomes digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th September 2021 The Association Of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) is optimistic about the announcement by Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla that South Africa will roll out digital vaccine certificates for vaccinated South Africans. The Minister announced that vaccinated South Africans will be able to... 

TBCSA elects new board members

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2021 The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), on September 1, announced the newly elected board members for the 2021 to 2023 tenure. The elected board members are said to be “experienced tourism industry professionals who are expected to direct the strategic objectives of TBCSA, while... 

Sun International delivers credible results in challenging times

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th August 2021 JSE-listed Sun International delivered a credible result for the half year ended June 30, demonstrating the benefits of achieved cost savings, efficiencies and continued deleveraging, the group said in a statement of its unaudited results for the period. It noted that this performance was... 

eThekwini municipality approves relief, recovery measures for businesses

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2021 The eThekwini municipality has approved various measures to support business customers that have been affected by the mid-July civil unrest that saw widespread looting and destruction of property and assets in the province. 
The rapid implementation of eThekwini mayor councillor Mxolisi Kaunda’s... 

South Africa establishes visa facilitation centres in 11 Chinese cities

By: Yvonne Silaule     4th August 2021 South Africa has established visa facilitation centres in 11 Chinese cities as part of measures to improve the ease of international travel to South Africa. The new measure is extended to business visitors holding diplomatic, official/services and ordinary passports, who apply for visas to visit... 

Busa welcomes easing of restrictions, others caution of damage already done

By: Donna Slater     26th July 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa’s July 25 address to the nation and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions from adjusted Alert Level 4, to adjusted Alert Level 3, has been welcomed by Business Unity South Africa (Busa), while the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has expressed concern... 

Alcohol industry laments sales ban extension

By: Donna Slater     12th July 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) and National Liquor Traders (NLT) note their disappointment in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to extend the current ban of alcohol sales by another two weeks. In a joint statement, the two organisations suggest that the decision to... 

Sun International secures easier loan terms to weather Covid hit - sources

By: Reuters     9th July 2021 Sun International has agreed easier borrowing terms with its lenders, two sources told Reuters, giving South Africa's biggest casino firm a year of financial breathing space as a third wave of Covid-19 crashes over the tourism industry. The deal with Standard Bank, Absa Group and Nedbank... 

Settlement of Covid-19-related insurance claims remains problematic, says ICA

By: Donna Slater     6th July 2021 Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) CEO Ryan Woolley says it is clear from new research released on July 6, that the short-term insurance industry (STI) earned record profits during the pandemic. He states that the STI therefore has “no reason” to further delay the settlement of all outstanding... 

New restrictions putting many jobs at risk, commentators warn

By: Donna Slater     28th June 2021 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the move to adjusted Alert Level 4 Covid-19 restrictions and the accompanying ban on alcohol sales, the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) is requesting government to reassess its measures and to focus on its vaccine rollout... 

Tourism dept says unable to reinstate Tourism Relief Fund

By: Simone Liedtke     21st June 2021 The Department of Tourism has confirmed that it is unable to reinstate the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) owing to the unavailability of financial resources to do so. The department is, therefore, focusing on the implementation of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) to ensure a sustained return to... 

Tourism dept to defend equity fund in court

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2021 Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on May 31 provided an update on the Tourism Equity Fund (TEF), saying the department intends to defend the matter in court. The R1.2-billion fund was launched in January as part of the implementation of the commitments made during the State of the Nation... 

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