JOHANNESBURG: Ms Sisulu said the Covid-19 pandemic had a more negative impact on tourism activities in the first half of 2020 than anticipated.
The African Travel and Tourism Summit had discussions to find ways of getting the continent out of the pandemic and to revive the tourism sector on the launch which was hosted by South Africa on Monday.
Tourism Minister, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu was addressing the summit said she is pleased that the discussions are underway.
“I am glad that we are having the African Travel and Tourism Summit to rethink, recalibrate and finds our way out of this situation we are in, were the pandemic has strangulated the tourism industry,” Ms Sisulu said.
Ms Sisulu said the Covid-19 pandemic had a more negative impact on tourism activities in the first half of 2020 than anticipated.
The launch of the African Travel and Tourism Summit took place during Tourism month when South Africa is celebrating tourism and heritage.
“This summit enjoys the participation of the African community delegates, who aim to understand how tourism has shifted in the African continent and identify new opportunities,” she said.
The summit unpacked the four main themes of Best Practice for Brand Africa, Sectoral Transformation, Leisure and Business Opportunities, and Strengthening and Enabling Economic Capabilities.
Ms Sisulu said it was a dream of a continent rising and freeing itself from shackles of stigmatisation of us as unsafe, uncouth and unwelcoming.
The summit affords Africa’s tourism leaders a platform to create solutions for Africa and contribute to global solutions for the industry in the efforts to awaken a new beginning for Africa.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) indicated that Africa’s tourism generated in excess of approximately R3 trillion accounting for 6,9% of Africa’s GDP whilst supporting 24.7 million jobs.
Additionally, the statistics of WTTC following the outbreak of the pandemic showed a decline of R1.2 trillion and a loss of 7.2 million jobs.
The downturn trend was experienced by all tourism sectors across the globe.
“It is important that we are aligned as a continent when we adopt measures to reignite the tourism industry,” Ms Sisulu added.