(The Southern African Times) – The African Travel & Tourism Association is hoping for relaxation of travel curbs on red list countries as it welcomed the government’s announcement that double vaccinated travellers from the US and amber countries in the EU will no longer need to quarantine.
ATTA is writing to all African nation ambassadors in the UK, urging them to contact foreign secretary Dominic Raab to understand what they need to do to put their countries on the consideration list for double vaccinated UK travellers.
“So far, the methodology behind the traffic light system classification has been a mystery,” the association said.
ATTA warned that it could be months before UK operators and agents specialising in the continent can start trading their way out of the pandemic with most of Africa’s countries being classified as red.
Many are “crying out” for financial support to be maintained for the next six months at least, to take into account their predictable late re-emergence back into the market.
ATTA president Nigel Vere Nicoll said: “We could be inching our way closer to opening up our red destinations with a careful, risk managed approach taking into account the rising number of double vaccinated travellers.
“If the UK doesn’t start sending travellers to Africa soon, we will lose market share to other countries. This will drive up our rates making Africa less attractive for UK travellers who will be tempted by so many other destinations as we come out of the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, suppliers on the ground are starting to see the return of tourists from other nations such as the US, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and a number of Latin American countries coming back to Africa where locals have had no furlough or financial support from their governments for the past 18 months.