The National Accommodation Association (NAA) of South Africa says about 90% of small lodges and guest houses may soon have to shut their doors due to the high number of booking cancellations.
This follows the travel bans imposed by a number of countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, after the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
More than 17 000 new cases and 36 deaths were recorded on Saturday.
Latest SA COVID-19 stats:
The majority of new infections were recorded in Gauteng, with more than 8 000 confirmed cases.
Chairperson of the National Accommodation Association Rosemary van Staden says the industry is facing a total collapse.
“At this stage, I can tell you that 90% of my industry are worried that we cannot keep our doors open anymore because there is no income and how must we look after our staff and it’s got a chain reaction. If I can’t buy eggs for my guest house, the guy that provides the eggs, he’s out of business, or everything we do for breakfast it’s out of business for the others so it’s a chain reaction. It’s us and them that’s in the same storm but in different boats.”
SA tourism industry has lost almost a billion rand in booking cancellations since Omicron discovery: