The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has announced the launch of a free app to assist tourism businesses implement South Africa’s Tourism Industry COVID-19 safety protocols. The app includes free online protocol training and support, and TBCSA Travel Safe – Eat Safe certification.

The app and its online portal is driven by Opus for Business and developed in partnership with Bidfood, who has sponsored its development and hosting costs for the first six months, making it free to use. Its features include:

  • The ability to achieve TBCSA Travel Safe – Eat Safe certification, by registering, signing a pledge of compliance, and creating a record of compliance. A TBCSA Travel Safe – Eat Safe badge and certificate will be issued through the app, to be used in a business’ marketing materials.
  • Free online protocol training to businesses and their staff, provided by the Travel and Tourism Excellence Academy. The Academy will be developing training specific to each sub-sector, to ensure the adoption of protocols remain relevant to each sector’s needs and risks.
  • An online PPE marketplace featuring small and large suppliers from around the country.
  • A complaints process is also being developed, so that reports of businesses failing to follow the protocols can be lodged.

The app will be rolled out in phases, starting with the restaurant sub-sector. restaurant owners can register here. All other sub-sectors are in development and are expected to go live in the coming weeks.

For a small monthly fee, users can also subscribe to the premium option which allows businesses to “conduct guest and supplier screening, tracking and tracing, managing daily registers, reporting and receiving industry updates”.

The TBCSA released the latest version of the safety protocols in early June. (You can access them here.) They are aligned with the latest regulations and international best practice, were developed in consultation with the industry, and have been approved by an epidemiologist. They remain a live document and will be amended as and when needed.

“Based on the comprehensive nature and strength of our protocols, we applied and have received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Safety Stamp of Approval for South Africa as a destination.”

“Based on the comprehensive nature and strength of our protocols, we applied and have received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Safety Stamp of Approval for South Africa as a destination,” says TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.

“WTTC destination approval becomes one more weapon in our recovery arsenal. Used in conjunction with the TBCSA Travel Safe – Eat Safe certification, we will showcase to the world that our businesses are amongst the safest places to be and thereby restore confidence and peace of mind to entice our agents, buyers, travellers and restaurant patrons back.”

“[W]e recommend that as many businesses as possible who reopen for operation, adhere to published regulations, implement the easy-to-follow protocols and sign up for Travel Safe – Eat Safe certification.”

He adds, “We are pleased to have a solid plan in place to do this and encourage industry to heed the call for collective action to help South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector recover. To do so and to safeguard our industry’s reputation, we recommend that as many businesses as possible who reopen for operation, adhere to published regulations, implement the easy-to-follow protocols and sign up for Travel Safe – Eat Safe certification.”