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International travel regulations: 'Complexity, complexity and more complexity!'

30 September 2020 8:51 PM
Tags:
Tourism
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Travel
Flight Centre
Flight Centre Travel Group
COVID-19
international travel
travel industry
travel regulations
Level 1 lockdown
Andrew Stark

Govt publishes list of high risk countries after mistakes made at the press briefing. Flight Centre's Andrew Stark responds.

South Africa opens its international borders, with restrictions, on Thursday 1 October.

The Tourism Department held a media briefing on the easing of international travel restrictions under Level 1 of lockdown, then quickly apologised that the list of high risk countries read out "might also have included some countries by mistake."

© blasbike/123rf.com

Our borders are not open for leisure travellers from countries where Covid-19 infection and death rates are higher than here.

Some significant contributors to local tourism are deemed high risk, including the UK, US and India.

You can access the full (and correct) list here.

It will be reviewed every two weeks.

Bruce Whitfield gets comment from Andrew Stark, the Flight Centre Travel Group's Managing Director for Middle East and Africa.

The best way to sum it up is complexity, complexity and more complexity!

Andrew Stark, Managing Director Middle East and Africa - Flight Centre Travel Group

He points out that while business travellers now have more freedom than they've had in the past six months, comparatively speaking, leisure travellers are more restricted.

The trouble with so much complexity is that it undermines confidence and if I worry that I'm in a country that may or may not be shut down, I'm then reluctant to book...

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

With necessitated travel, you've got the green light... If it's not necessitated, our recommendation is still 'Wait and see'.

Andrew Stark, Managing Director Middle East and Africa - Flight Centre Travel Group

You've got a beautiful country to explore, from a South African perspective. There's been a high demand for local travel since inter-provincial borders opened up as well as now, regional borders. I would say, from a leisure perspective, stick to local for the next couple of months and then start looking to plan holidays probably post-February or March.

Andrew Stark, Managing Director Middle East and Africa - Flight Centre Travel Group

Stark is hopeful that during the next few months, the current complexities will be ironed out.

Quarantine possibly is the big sticking point for leisure customers. Business travellers are probably accustomed to restricted-type travel. Once quarantine measures are smoothed out or wound down, I think we'll see a far higher demand for regional travel - Mauritius, Zanzibar, as well as the Far East.

Andrew Stark, Managing Director Middle East and Africa - Flight Centre Travel Group

For more detail, take a listen:


30 September 2020 8:51 PM
Tags:
Tourism
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Travel
Flight Centre
Flight Centre Travel Group
COVID-19
international travel
travel industry
travel regulations
Level 1 lockdown
Andrew Stark

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