On October 1, SA’s borders will open. What sort of post-lockdown volumes and values from international tourists can we expect in the short term? As just announced, tourists from countries with high levels of active infections might not be allowed to travel here. Outside the restrictions we place on potential tourists, there are also market segments that might choose not to travel for some time and others that might rebound.

The three segments most likely to decline are those aged 65 and over; meetings, incentives, conference and exhibition (Mice) tourists as large business events are cancelled or postponed; and some “regular” international business travellers (virtual engagements have partly replaced the need for business travel). In 2019, the total number of international tourists from these three segments visiting SA amounted to about 940,000, generating about R20bn in economic value...

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