Only 37% receive full salary, 470,000 tourism jobs lost due to Covid-19

After a two-year delay, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2022 was officially launched this week at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Center in Durban. The award-winning event showcases the widest variety of the tourism sector in Africa and attracts an international audience.

RESILIENT BUT STILL THREATENED TOURISM SECTOR

According to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, the tourism sector had lost 470,000 jobs due to Covid-19 with only 37% of employees receiving 100% of their salary in February 2022.

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu opened the trading floor for the event on Tuesday.

“I am delighted that we are finally here and have been able to meet after a two-year hiatus. The past few months of devastation in KwaZulu-Natal have presented us with an additional set of challenges, on top of those presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19. The industry is incredibly resilient,”

she says.

Sisulu says the start of the event is a testament to the sustainability of the sector.

“This is the continent’s leading travel trade show and leading business platform, aiming to reconnect the tourism sector and its recovery on the continent. When we start telling our own story as a continent, we commit to changing the narrative of Africa,”

said Minister Sisulu.

So far, 126 African products and experiences have been registered, over 539 buyers are attending the event and over 19,000 appointments have been confirmed.

The theme of Africa’s Travel Indaba is Africa’s Stories, Your Success.

READ MORE: Future tourism could include an underwater visit to Mandela’s prison cell

INDABA REPRESENTS RENEWAL

South African Tourism Acting Chief Executive Themba Khumalo said the interest shown in the event across Africa and the world was encouraging to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Phindile Makwakwa, acting chief executive of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, said the Indaba will go a long way in helping KZN’s tourism recovery, translating into a much-needed economic boost for the province.

Provincial Premier Sihle Zikalala said tourism is a key pillar of the provincial economic recovery and transformation plan.

“Before Covid-19, the sector contributed at least 9.5% to the province’s GDP. Efforts to revive the sector include intensive marketing, support for rural and cantonal tourism organizations and working with municipalities to improve roads and connectivity,”

he said.

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