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The Western Cape MEC of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier wants the SA government to ease restrictions so more travellers can visit Western Cape.
“Tourism Month 2021 marks the start of what will hopefully be a period of welcome relief for the tourism and hospitality sector, however, the success of our summer season remains dependent on the opening of the economy in the Western Cape.
“And so, with the decrease in Covid-19 infections and an exit from our third wave peak, together with the continued successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout in the province, it is critical that the national government consider the easing of lockdown restrictions which are impacting on businesses in the province,” he said.
Maynier said that they should consider easing of restrictions on the sale of alcohol, the curfew and the size of gatherings where possible.
He also suggested that they consider increasing the capacity of large conferencing venues and the attendance of spectators at sporting events if people attending were fully vaccinated.
He said the tourism sector has lost 75 477 jobs in 2020.
“Reigniting tourism is important for jobs and the economy in the Western Cape.
“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure the most successful summer season possible by tackling barriers to growth for the tourism and hospitality 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,” he added.
Maynier was pleased that more international airlines were scheduled to return to Cape Town International Airport.
“We are already seeing evidence of this with Cape Town International Airport achieving a 21% passenger recovery rate for the first three weeks of August 2021, compared to the same period in 2019, while international airline capacity reached the 50% recovery mark for the first time since the resumption of international services in October 2020.
“Our tourism and promotion agency, Wesgro, is already hard at work on our campaigns for the upcoming summer season with an international campaign running in Germany and the Netherlands and a domestic campaign planned for October,” he added.