While South Africans are celebrating the end of the booze and tobacco ban (from midnight tonight), the activity that most All4Women readers are looking forward to is travel!

Many are planning a road trip to visit family who they haven’t been able to connect with for over five months since lockdown was first implemented.

Others are just keen to ‘get away’ and relax in a new environment after the stress and chaos of the last few months.

According to a Facebook poll conducted by All4Women,  79% of readers are looking forward to a road trip, while 21% are eagerly anticipating the lifting of the booze ban.

 

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While South Africans are looking forward to travelling again, the battered travel industry is excited to get back up and running – even though international tourists are still banned. They are hoping that South Africans will make an effort to support local business and promote travel and leisure within our borders for now.

“The move to Level 2 which allows for inter provincial travel is a welcome step in the right direction, as it allows the domestic market to grow,” says Di Brown, Freelance Travel writer and The Roaming Giraffe blogger.

“This market is going to be extremely competitive though, as all provinces will be targeting a market that was not robust enough  before Covid19, will have shrunk due to job losses and uncertainty. That said, the crazy pricing we are currently seeing, with many places offering up to 50% discount for locals, might attract people that previously did not travel, or primarily travelled overseas.”

“Either way, pricing is getting a shake up,” notes Brown.

“This kind of pricing is not sustainable in the long term, but for now it allows people in the industry to return to work, earn a living and start to rebuild.”

“As South Africans we can help the industry by doing two things,” suggests Brown.

“Firstly to support the industry, if we can afford it, and have on a day out, weekend away or a break for a few days somewhere local.”

“Secondly, we must do this responsibly, and remember that although we are “allowed” to do this, the virus is still out there.”

“So we must still socially distance, wear masks and sanitizer even if we are in holiday mode. We must also support and comply with all regulations put in place by the establishments and attractions we visit.”

“The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has launched a campaign called  Travel Safe – Eat Safe, a Certification Programme that incorporates a set of protocols that have been approved by the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC). Once rolled out it will allow travellers to identify places that have adopted these health and hygiene measures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike.”

Janina Parker, owner of Into Tours agrees. She suggests that South Africans visit as many places as they can to support the industry. “If an organised tour is out of your budget, enjoy a self-drive in one of our magnificent national parks,” suggests Parker. “You can also join a hop-on tour, or employ the services of a guide for the day. Post the pictures on social media, and help kickstart the tourism industry by promoting the country’s natural heritage for when the borders reopen for international tourists.”

The restaurant industry is also raring to go

“Licensed restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol. All establishments must observe the nightly curfew between 4am and 10pm, and maintain strict health and safety protocols to protect diners and staff.”