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BKCOB | Tourism | Tourism industry’s road to recovery and evolution

By • Charmaine Weyers | Tourism Committee Chair | Airports Company South Africa

The tourism industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. Airlines, hotels and restaurants which all form part of the tourism industry, have taken the brunt of the pandemic. Numerous surveys indicated that travellers have COVID-19 concerns and that the average time to return to air travel and hotels will be 4-6 months and restaurants 2-3 months after the flattening of the curve.

Various strategies have been developed by Government and Tourism businesses to assist in the recovery process. There are indications that there will be a dramatic change in tourist behaviour. They will stay in their country, will not travel far from home and take short trips instead of the normal two-week summer holidays. These changes create a real opportunity for us, as locals to travel and explore our own province and our own country. By doing this we have the opportunity to retain and create jobs and support local businesses in their recovery.

With lockdown rules on travel eased, travel between provinces is now allowed. Accommodation facilities will be allowed to open for any purpose, however the restrictions on international travel will remain in place. These reduced restrictions for local travellers, is the beginning of the recovery of the tourism industry.

The economic reasons to support local tourism businesses are clear, however on an emotional level we as South Africans need a moral boost and what better way than a change in environment and scenery.

WHY NOT START BY SUPPORTING THE EASTERN CAPE?
Take a weekend getaway or even a road trip around our beautiful province. Share your trip ideas and experiences on social media and help get exposure for our province.

If you cannot get away, why not do a mini-break weekend to some of our fantastic local destinations to be found along the Wild Coast Jikeleza Route, The Friendly N6 and Kidds Beach?

There is much to offer you and your family within a half hour drive from the city.
If a weekend away is also not on the cards, try some of our local East London tourism attractions such as a river or ocean cruise (Southern Cross Cruises are now operating), or a game drive at Mpongo Private Game Reserve. There is fun and adventure all around us so now is the opportunity to experience what we have right here on our doorstep.

Use #‎microtrippingeasterncape and @adventureprovinceeasterncape

SOME IDEAS OF MICRO TRIPPING EASTERN CAPE CLOSE TO BUFFALO CITY.
Cross the Kei: Cross the Great Kei river via the pontoon (bucket list activity).
Morgan Bay breakaway: Canoeing, horse riding or just a leisurely stroll on the beach.
Sunshine coast: Bathurst, visit the Big Pineapple, river cruise up the Kowie, Bushmans or Kariega rivers.
Mountain escape: Hogsback, forest walks to waterfalls or mountain bike trails. Check the weather and experience snow in South Africa! Live snow web camera link below.
www.hogsbackcottage.com/Hogsback/HogsbackMountainsLiveSnowWebCamera/
Karoo escape: Graaff Reinet, visit Camdeboo National Park for self-drive game viewing. Nieu-Bethesda for a visit to the Owl House.
Karoo heartland: Cradock, Mountain Zebra National Park, self-drive through the park or book a guided game drive or cheetah tracking excursion

For more ideas visit:
www.visiteasterncape.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Micro-Trip-listing.pdf

Enjoy the experience! #‎microtrippingeasterncape