'Sun Int. very excited about COVID restrictions repeal, a boost for business'
South Africa's tourism industry has been slowly picking up and now it's received a huge boost with the dropping of remaining COVID-19 regulations.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla signed the repeal into law without any fanfare on Wednesday.
Masks are no longer required, the 50% capacity limit on venues is gone and travellers can enter South Africa without the need for a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test.
The tourism and hospitality industries had been calling on government to do just this with increasing urgency.
The Sun International Group is very excited, says CEO Anthony Leeming in conversation with Motheo Khoaripe (standing in for Bruce Whitfield).
It will make a big difference, in particular for foreign travel with the change in requirements for COVID certificates... also wearing masks in public spaces - inside the casino, inside the hotel it's really uncomfortable and our poor staff have had to keep reminding people...Anthony Leeming, CEO - Sun International Group
I think from a customer experience, as well as from our employees' perspective it's going to be far, far better.Anthony Leeming, CEO - Sun International Group
The lifting of restrictions on gatherings is also a fantastic change for the business he says.
"We can hold bigger conferences, bigger events... To hold an international show at one of our arenas you need to sell seats and at half capacity you really can't achieve that."
Leeming says the support of local customers has kept Sun International going through the various phases of the pandemic.
The recovery's been massive... at year-end December 2021 we were well up on 2020... We're still slightly below the top line in our casino revenue, but hotels and resorts have recovered very nicely from local leisure and corporate conferencing this year...Anthony Leeming, CEO - Sun International Group
Business has been slower to pick up with bookings he said, as companies stuck to Teams calls and video conferencing.
"The big market still missing from our hotel side, is the international... The confusion around the different requirements around travel into South Africa has also delayed the rebound in foreign tourism."
"We're ready for them!"
Listen to the interview with the Sun International CEO below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Sun Int. very excited about COVID restrictions repeal, a boost for business'
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