Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the Minister of Tourism, has confirmed that the 2020 Africa’s Travel Indaba and the Lilizela Awards have been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, the tourism industry has been forced to re-evaluate all business events scheduled to take place this year.

Speaking during a tourism industry webinar last Wednesday, Kubayi-Ngubane said, “When we initially postponed Africa’s Travel Indaba 2020 we were hoping that we would be able to host the event during tourism month in September. Currently it is looking very unlikely. Tourism activities and events can only start once the country moves to Level One restrictions.”

As a result, Africa’s Travel Indaba 2020, which was originally due to take place 12-14 May 2020, and the Lilizela Awards, due to take place in November 2020, have both been cancelled.

“Based on the COVID-19 expected trajectory, the best-case scenario is that tourism sector recovery will only begin towards the end of this year.”

“The risk adjusted approach that we have in South Africa gives us a framework within which we can carve our path towards recovery for the tourism sector. The involvement of all tourism stakeholders is absolutely important. Based on the COVID-19 expected trajectory, the best-case scenario is that tourism sector recovery will only begin towards the end of this year,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

It is anticipated that domestic tourism will drive the initial phase of the recovery, followed by regional tourism, with international tourism being the last to recover.

“With us having some time to focus on our properties and events, I do believe that next year’s Indaba, Meetings Africa and Lilizela awards will be world class events showcasing the warmth of our industry as we rebuild the industry,” added Kubayi-Ngubane.

Photos supplied by South African Tourism.