We call on all of us to check-in with one another and show our community spirit in supporting where we can. The collective shock we witnessed this week by the acts of opportunistic criminality and vandalism which has ruined local businesses, shattered streets, and made people feel unsafe in their own homes cannot go unpunished. The high levels of criminality and anti-social behaviour seen over the past few days are not acceptable.
We all know that political stability and safety are prerequisites for tourism; even the mere threat of events such as civil unrest can cause tourists to rethink their decision to visit a destination. The impact of any form of instability on a destination’s tourism sector is both immediate and potentially long-lasting.
Building trust in the safety of the business travel experience will be key for all in the coming months as we keep at rebuilding our industry.
SAACI calls on a more enhanced coordinated approach with public-private cooperation, the continued demonstration that our protocols for health & hygiene are of a global standard, rebuilding the trust of travellers, and embracing the acceleration of technological transformations as a framework to guide our work in coming months.
SAACI has reached out this week to stakeholders to activate our efforts in the recovery plan for our industry. We have been dealt a “double blow”. The pandemic as one and the riots we have witnessed this past week as the second blow to our industry. Discussions have been scheduled with our partners and stakeholders within the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, City of Johannesburg and Mpumalanga to craft working plans that are aligned to the readiness of these regions to host business events, while we push for the continued acceleration of the vaccine roll-out.
At the same time, it will be essential for our government to continue supporting the Travel & Tourism sector throughout the recovery process whilst removing travel restrictions. More importantly, the removal of Business Events under the definitions of Gatherings as per the Disaster Management Act.
Amidst the chaos this week, we welcome the good news on the extension of the UIF_TERS support programme, especially for the Business Events Industry.
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