South Africa - ‘SA needs a holiday’: Tourism industry welcomes Easter weekend visitors
While the nation awaits a government decision about Covid-19 regulations over Easter, many people have already booked flights and accommodation for the long weekend.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to announce what steps will be taken to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 when, traditionally, people travel and gather over Easter.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the government was considering allowing larger outdoor and indoor events to accommodate religious gatherings. There is also speculation around tighter restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
Nevertheless, holiday destinations are prepared for an influx of tourists at the weekend.
Western Cape finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier said the province was expecting a pent up demand by travellers.
Maynier said since the relaunch of a “Kids Stay Free” campaign at the beginning of March, that had resulted in R11.4m committed in flight sales and 311 “Kids Stay Free” accommodation options booked across the region.
Top booking destinations made through the “Kids Stay Free” campaign included the Cape Peninsula, Overberg, west coast, whale coast and Cape winelands, with bookings made as far as the Cape Karoo, said Maynier.
“The tourism and hospitality industry has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and we encourage those who can afford to do so to head out over the long weekend and support businesses, especially small businesses in the Western Cape,” he said.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to ensure the tourism and hospitality industry is travel-ready in the Western Cape. We have engaged continuously with the tourism and hospitality sector to implement the necessary health guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19 and have provided the tools and resources they need to do this.”