‘SA tourism industry will be seriously affected by coronavirus outbreak’

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Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says the South African tourism industry will be seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  A total of seven cases have been confirmed in South Africa. 

Kubayi-Ngubane has held an emergency meeting with tourism stakeholders in Sandton, north of Johannesburg on Monday, saying the local tourism market has already suffered losses.

“Tourism supply chains involving everything from Agricultural to fishing and insurance are going to be affected because the longer these restrictions continue the hardest hit of the value chain which is core industries will be accommodation, food, beverage, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel services. We have now 7 cases confirmed. It remains uncertain whether the number will grow or whether the virus will be contained in just a few cases.”

SABC News Chriselda Lewis speaks to Minister Kubayi-Ngubane

Stigma of COVID-19 

Kubayi-Ngubane has told tourism stakeholders in Johannesburg that while other countries around the world are likely to recover from the deadly coronavirus, African nations could remain with the stigma due to perceptions about the continent’s less advanced healthcare systems.

“Despite the fact that we had very few cases of the virus, the local tourism industry has already suffered serious losses. Undoubtedly these losses are still going to increase. The truth of the situation is that the virus will have a negative impact on the tourism sector. Our region has less robust health systems, therefore we could see more general transmissions. This means that it is possible that the region will remain the stigma of the virus. Other will recover, tourists will start moving and we will remain with the virus.”

Earlier, the Minister met with tourism stakeholders in Sandton: 

Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world: