Tourism South Africa and the Department of Tourism embarked on a two-day campaign to relaunch the tourism sector. The campaign is aimed at encouraging South Africans to travel the country as part of the effort to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic effects.

Efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 once saw our streets deserted. People were constantly reminded to stay at home, businesses closed and the country operated at minimum capacity.

During that time, it was hard to determine how soon it would be until we can freely move around again.

At last, that time is here – although with restrictions.

Impact of lockdown Level 2 on the tourism sector:

Many have been cooped up in their homes for the past five months and the time to explore the country has finally presented itself.

The Real Adventures ranch in Parys offers a range of activities suitable for all kinds of people; archery, paintballing, raft rides and for those who aren’t scared of heights – abseiling.

Twenty minutes away from the ranch lies another destination you can look forward to – the Vaal.

Emerald Resort and Casino is another family-friendly destination to add onto the list.

The resort has a children’s playground, a putt-putt ground and a casino.

If you’re feeling a little competitive, the bowling arena is another choice.

Lovers of nature and the outdoors are also accommodated at the game drive. And if you’re looking to unplug and relax, the popular boat cruise on the country’s second-largest river.

Stonehaven on the Vaal, one of the area’s most popular spots, is flourishing again due to the reopening of the restaurant and the lifted ban on the sale of liquor.

Owner and Director Rex Anderson says they’ve seen an increase in business. “We have seen our business increase every week, things have been better. But we did start off on a very low base. It is only positive and we look forward to the future.”

Anderson encourages people to use this moment to explore the beauty of the country.

“Just be careful. Don’t be nervous. I think go out and support the sector and visit your country. South Africa is a beautiful country with lots to do and lots of adventure so take advantage of it now.”

Measures in place

Minister of Tourism Mmaloko Kubayi-Ngubane says she is satisfied with the measures put in place by the sites she has seen so far. She also acknowledges people’s reservations about travelling again so soon.

“Now, people are cautious. The reality of people being scared to catch the virus is real. When I did my media briefing, I spoke of today’s traveller and the future traveller. When we analyse that, we realise that it is because of fear. Our duty is to ensure to assure people of their safety.”

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane briefs the media on Level 2 tourism-related activities:

CEO of SA Tourism Sisa Ntshona says they have to focus on domestic tourism.

“We have to focus on domestic and get South Africans to love their country again. All of us have demands, sitting at home and behind our screens and we just want to explore and the preliminary results show places already being booked. You can’t find accommodation and activities, which is a good problem to have right now. We just need to find a way to keep it consistent for the foreseeable future.”

Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or peace and tranquillity, the tourism ministry says the sector is ready to fulfil the adventure your heart desires.

No matter where the road takes you, remember to enjoy activities safely and responsibly by following the set regulations and guidelines.

Tourism South Africa embarks on a two-day campaign to relaunch tourism sector: