Cape Town’s tourism sector has reportedly lost R255 million a day due to the abrupt cancellations and travel bans placed on South Africa following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
This figure was brought to light by a snap survey conducted by Cape Town Tourism, which has evaluated losses attributed to the cancellation of flights and accommodation.
According to James Vos, Mayco member for Economic Growth, the current data suggests that more than 33 000 tourists have cancelled trips to the Mother City over the festive season, reports EWN. This is less than a week after the announcement of the Omicron discovery.
Though there is no scientific evidence linked to Omicron originating in South Africa, the unjustified allegations have caused undeniable damage to the reputation of South Africa and its current state under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most frustrating is that active cases have been discovered in other countries with no trail linking back to South Africa at all. This includes active cases in the UK, who placed the country back on their Red List shortly after Dr. Angelique Coetzee made the discovery of the new variant.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday night, saying that travel bans have been unfairly placed on South Africa. He called them unjustified and discriminatory and not backed by science.