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Travel and Tourism: Travel Agencies. Tour Operators and Related services
The travel and tourism sector is a labour-intensive industry that has been identified by government as a key driver for South Africa’s economic and social development. Government wants to double international tourist arrivals by 2030. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in global and domestic restrictions on travel, and the travel and tourism sector is expected to be severely affected.
The sector has been disrupted in recent years by sites and apps that have replaced the services of travel agents, and taken market share away from traditional players. However, for bulk tour and cruise bookings, brick and mortar travel agencies still maintain a large share as clients can save money by booking through an agent. Online tools and video conferencing, which have become increasingly prevalent in the lockdown, have reduced the amount of travel and business meetings as they save money and time. Many check-in and customer service processes are now automated.
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the suspension of travel and tourism into and around South Africa. Most tourist accommodation has shut down for the lockdown, as have travel agencies. The lockdown will have a significant impact on the travel and tourism sector, and the recovery will be slow due to an expected reluctance to travel and because tourism has one of the highest risks of transmitting the virus. The Department of Tourism has made R200m available to assist SMEs.
This report focuses on travel agencies, tour operators and related services in the travel and tourism industry. It includes information on the size and state of the sector and international and domestic tourism statistics. There are profiles of 53 companies including well known players such as Tourvest, Travelstart, and Rennies Travel. Other profiles include Flight Centre, which will close 40% of its network due to the effect on its business of coronavirus and And Beyond, which is streaming game drives during the coronavirus crisis.