Eastern Cape businesses and tourism destinations that were forced to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are pinning their hopes on heritage month.

While the sector was hard hit by the strict lockdown regulations, business owners say the focus is now on trying to make up for lost time.

Tourism industry bleeds due to the COVID-19 lockdown:

Ngxingxolo cultural village manager, in Mooiplaas, Zinziswa Tofu, says the lockdown has been extremely difficult.

“It has affected me a lot because so many things that were done before; so many people were coming here to experience how Xhosa people live. They are not coming anymore and it has affected us through the knowledge that they were coming here to experience whatever Xhosa people are doing.”

The creatives have started making their cultural clothing for the month of September with hopes of recuperating financially.

The provincial tourism board CEO, Vuyani Dayimani, is urging tourists and holidaymakers to visit local tourist attractions to boost local economies.

“The attention that is given to the rural economy, l think it’s a deserving focus; that’s where the majority of people are. If you want to mainstream and include them to the economy, you must give attention to the rural development and rural economy.”

Lockdown level 2 and its impact on tourism: