Not only did the travel bans force widespread cancellations for South Africans planning to go abroad during the country’s summer, but they may also represent the death knell for many tourism businesses that had already been significantly hit hard by the initial blast of Covid.
South African travel agents were optimistic several weeks ago about a strong summer season, largely because the worst of the pandemic was seemingly behind them as countries like the United States had reopened to visitors from the country.
But the emergence of the Omicron variant and the widespread travel bans enacted by numerous countries in its wake targeting visitors from South Africa and its neighbors have killed any likelihood for an immediate rebound for the country’s tourism industry. They’ve also threatened the livelihoods of many travel agencies that have struggled mightily during the pandemic.
“In less than 48 hours, our outbound and…