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SA tourism industry gets back into gear this festive season

Like every December, many industries are gearing up for the biggest time of the year. From retailers to restaurants and hotels, we're all expecting energy levels to be high. That said, everyone was geared up and ready to go last year, but then level 3 lockdown hit. Beaches being closed in cities like Cape Town and Durban was unprecedented and certainly put a damper on the festive mood.

This year, we're hoping to have better news, especially with a large number of the population being vaccinated. We're all really hoping there won't be further lockdowns or restrictions implemented so that South African businesses can make up for a tough financial year.
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In terms of the hospitality industry, it seems things are looking good, and we’re eager to help everyone have a memorable holiday. There’s a lot of positive sentiment this time around, although there are concerns about a fourth wave.

As such, we still need to adhere to all health protocols as the safety of our staff and guests is our biggest priority. If everyone plays their part to be responsible, there’s no reason why South Africans can’t enjoy the holiday season in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Positive sentiment


While numbers are nowhere near what they were two years ago, we expect some international travellers arriving in South Africa in time for the holidays. That said, our aim is to continue to provide every visitor with a top-class guest experience. We want to ensure holidaymakers have a memorable experience, whether in the city, by the beach or in the bush. There’s no doubt that domestic travellers, who have been cooped up for the better part of the year, will look forward to spending some time exploring the country.

I cannot express how incredible our country is, in terms of opportunities, beauty and adventure. From beautiful beaches to the wildlife filled bush experiences, we have such an incredible product. I think the pandemic has really forced us to experience more of what South Africa has to offer. With many people now realising how incredible our country really is, they’re appreciating it a whole lot more. I encourage all South Africans to simply look in their own metaphorical backyard and start embracing the magnificence of this country.

Appreciating South Africa


Covid-19 has impacted our country and our people in many ways. As a country, we’ve seen and heard it all this year, from delayed vaccine rollouts to political unrest and load shedding. But, in some ways, hope, resilience and possibility were born out of these challenges. Perspective became imperative to help us get through the darkest days and reach out and help our neighbours. Communities pulled together this year in ways that we’ve never seen before.

We must realise that there’s a lot of noise and negativity out there, and we often forget that the positives are huge. My outlook is definitely positive while still being realistic. Things are not going to miraculously turn around. We won’t exceed 2019 numbers. Many people are still in conflict about vaccination efficacy and adapting to this new normal. But, things are slowly improving, and we remain cautiously optimistic.

As a business, we have a lot in the pipeline for 2022. It’s important to believe in your business and your vision for the future. Ultimately, appreciation goes a long way - appreciation in your opportunities, family, people and country. With the right attitude, the future of South African tourism looks bright. We’re a resilient country with so much potential for greatness. Once we realise this potential, the opportunities are endless.

About Clinton Armour

Clinton Armour is CEO of ANEW Hotels & Resorts.

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