After weeks of discussions and lobbying by SATSA (South African Tourism Services Association), Cape Town Tourism and other industry stakeholders, the United Kingdom has finally taken South Africa off its highly restrictive red list. The red list saw strenuous rules and quarantine periods for those wishing to return to the UK from countries such as South Africa, Argentina and Mexico – all of which have now been removed.

The United Kingdom has always been a key source market for South Africa, with Stats SA noting that the UK topped the overseas visitor list for the country in 2019 and 2020. These figures suggest British travellers and expats choose South Africa and the very popular bucket-list destination Cape Town as their holiday destination of choice.

Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy says: “Cape Town Tourism is definitely delighted at the news that South Africa has been taken off the UK’s restrictive red list after months of lobbying. We would like to acknowledge our partners SATSA, especially David Frost, our other partners Wesgro together with the City of Cape Town and the members of Cape Town Tourism for our continuing months of lobbying against these ridiculous restrictions.

Duminy continues: “As an organization, we have always heeded the call to be removed, and Cape Town is and always has been ready to welcome all international guests with open arms. While this is a much-needed victory for us, we need to continue to encourage our citizens to get vaccinated. Even now, after this good news many will still be looking at the vaccination rates within South Africa as an indication of whether they are confident about booking a trip to our country.  South Africa and Cape Town need to work together as one so that we remain a desirable destination for everyone. We are an award winning and very popular bucket list destination and we have taken safety incredibly seriously so we can get into COVID safety protocols. This announcement comes at the right time for us as we head into our traditional high tourism season.”

In doing its part, the Cape Town tourism industry is hard at work ensuring Covid-19 best-practice protocols are being strictly adhered to and enforced, with advancements like digital check-ins also ensuring a safer stay for visitors. Strict crowd control also means tourists can enjoy the best of local attractions in a calm, uncrowded way.

Cape Town Tourism has recently launched its Vaccination. Our Best Shot! campaign which sees well-loved Cape Town-based celebrities share stories of encouragement to those eligible to get vaccinated. These stars include Tracey LangeMark Lottering and Acoustic elementas well as Scarra Ntubeni.

Cape Town Tourism has been working hard to show the world that the Mother City is safe and open for travel. It has been driving vaccinations with members by providing various incentives to both single and double ‘jabbed’ individuals. Its partners in this mission include City Sightseeing, which is transporting those wishing to get vaccinated to and from the CTICC at a fraction of the normal cost, and Vodacom, which is providing free voice and data bundles to those who upload a picture of themselves getting vaccinated.

“The celebrity videos for the Vaccination. Our Best Shot! campaign aims to use the currency of humour to inspire South Africans to get vaccinated, while inspiring hope and a strong feeling of togetherness. Through these videos and our incentives campaign, we hope to inspire more people to do their part and ‘get vaxxed’. It really is our best shot of restoring normalcy and saving our stagnant tourism industry,” says Duminy.

To find out which businesses and members are offering incentives visit the travelwise website.

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