Cape Town – Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is pleading with domestic tourist operators to lower their prices for locals.
Speaking to the Cape Argus on Monday, Kubayi-Ngubane said she had received complaints from the public regarding the prices because the majority of popular tourist areas were unaffordable for many locals.
“My issue is that many South Africans have been complaining about the prices, that it’s too expensive for them to afford. We need locals to support domestic tourist operators,” she said.
Kubayi-Ngubane noted that set prices kept international tourists in mind.
“You cannot compare prices from dollars to rand, it cannot be. At the moment accommodation businesses are charging R30000 a night. How can locals afford that? I am pleading with them to reduce their rates at least to keep locals in mind,” she said.
The road to recovery for the sector is currently under way as the country moved into level 1 of the nationwide lockdown, which will see more sectors of the economy open.
Kubayi-Ngubane recently embarked on a domestic tourism campaign in the Eastern and Western Cape.
“We are looking forward to opening international visitors as the borders reopen gradually.
“We have been preparing over time utilising our domestic market as part of preparing for international visitors. Cabinet has made a decision not to put too stringent measures in place that could deter international visitors from other countries,” added Kubayi-Ngubane.
According to the Finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier, estimates are that 162000 jobs would be lost in the Western Cape as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.
“Our economy cannot afford to go back to more severe levels of restrictions in the Western Cape, and so it is critically important that everyone continue to adhere to the health and safety guidelines to stop the spread of Covid-19 – wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance. We also all have a role to play in rebuilding our economy in the Western Cape,” he said.