Many in South Africa breathed a sigh of relief when the mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers entering the UK from 11 African countries was lifted.
Tour operators are hoping that the last-minute change will entice some tourists to return to the country.
“We are so late in December that we believe things will not change much, if at all, because many people have made plans for Christmas and New Years, and few people will want to travel at such a late date in light of the travel ban.” So we’re obviously just hoping things change and people start traveling again because we obviously rely on international guests for our work, and it’s obviously really important because we haven’t had work in almost two years,” said tour guide Nabeel Sayed.
The reintroduction of mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors from South Africa into the UK in late November was a blow to the tourism industry, which was already suffering from a lack of customers.
For some, the UK government’s latest decision provides a ray of hope.
“I can’t think of a better place for people who are worried about Covid right now.” “I think we should be seen as the perfect destination to escape to, and our low numbers relative to the rest of the world means this is a destination of choice right now,” defends Rashid Toefy, Deputy Director-General at Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism.
South Africa’s largest overseas market for tourism is the United Kingdom.