The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), in welcoming the announcement of a further reopening of the travel sector, has issued a statement emphasising the various health and safety protocols adopted by the sector to ensure guests’ safety.

Earlier this month, South Africa received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Safe Travels Stamp as a destination based on industry-designed protocols.

The official commencement of national lockdown alert level 2 kicked in today (August 18) – following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on August 15 – resulting in the lifting on all restrictions on inter-provincial travel, which means a fuller return to business for accommodation, hospitality venues and tours, which are now permitted to operate according to approved protocols, as well as on-site consumption of alcohol at eateries with the observation of social distancing.

“The success and continuation of the fuller return to business for tourism and hospitality will be achieved through the responsible behaviour of businesses and citizens to ensure that safe practices are implemented, and protocols are adhered to,” said Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of TBCSA.

He pointed out that this announcement might, for some, bring concerns about the safety of visiting restaurants, accommodation establishments or attractions, or participating in activities.

“However, the tourism and hospitality industries have developed clear and comprehensive protocols. When implemented, these protocols allow travellers and patrons to stay and eat safely in the establishments that have pledged to uphold them,” said Tshivhengwa.

Travel Safe Eat Safe

He said there was a clear designation for businesses applying these protocols called the Travel Safe Eat Safe certificate, endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The certificate is available through the opus4business app.

The certificate and its related badges can be displayed in establishments and on their websites and social media pages, providing much-needed reassurance to consumers of the adoption of the required health and hygiene protocols.

“Patrons now have the option to look for establishments displaying the Travel Safe Eat Safe decal indicating they are adhering to these extensive protocols.” said Tshivhengwa.

Opus4business app

Tshivhengwa added that Business operators are strongly encouraged to use the recently launched Opus4business App. “It is a quick, easy, paperless and POPI-compliant way to show full understanding and commitment to the safe industry operating protocols and record compliance with them for tourism industry business owners.”

The app can be downloaded via http://tourismsa.opus4business.com/ and features an online PPE marketplace featuring small and large suppliers nationally.

“TBCSA encourages businesses to take their staff through the necessary training so that we can have a compliant industry, and the onus will also be on consumers to request, adhere and observe regulations to ensure the overall safety of everybody, staff and customers alike,  working in,  or enjoying experiences in our industry,” said Tshivhengwa.

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