Bi-weekly Destination Intelligence Insights


1. Global: IATA has backed EU’s digital vaccine certificate and urged other countries to make it their global standard for digital vaccine certificates. IATA also offered its collaboration to the EU and any other interested state to further integrate the Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) into airline processes for a secure and seamless passenger experience. 
2. EU: With effect from 27 August, Ireland has opened to fully vaccinated South Africans. Fully vaccinated travellers will be free from mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival in Ireland. 

3. EU: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has criticised the decision by the EU to potentially reintroduce restrictions on US travellers entering the region. WTTC stated that to reimpose restrictions on US travellers is a step backwards and will only slow down the recovery of the sector.  

4. UK: The UK government has responded to the petition to remove South Africa from the ‘red list’, but insists that as a country that presents a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern that it will not be removed.

5. UK: The tourism industry in the UK has issued a negative response to the latest green list update for arrivals into the UK. The industry says it is disappointed by the latest update and that it makes little difference to the already suffering travel sector. 

6. AUSTRALIA: Qantas Airline has extended the ban on flights between South Africa and Australia until April 2022. The decision was influenced by SA’s slow vaccination rate. 

7. UAE: As of 30 August, the United Arab Emirates has opened tourist visa applications to everyone who has been vaccinated with one of the shots approved by the World Health Organization. Passengers arriving on tourist visas must register their vaccination status on the government’s health app and undergo rapid testing at the airport.  

8. SA: The Western Cape government has called on the national government to ease lockdown regulations citing that the success of the summer season remains dependent on the opening of the economy.  

9. SA: SAA is set to operate only one domestic route upon return. The only route that will be serviced by the airline is the JNB-CPT-JNB route. Flights are set to return on 23 September 2021.

10. SA: A new tourism body has been established to help small tourism businesses cope with the impact of Covid-19. The Small Tourism Enterprise Association (STEA) is looking to take on challenges relating to market access, business management skills and training, access to ICT and infrastructure, finance, and regulation.


1. Global: According to IATA, the global demand for passenger air travel was down 67% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

2. EU: The European Union Commission has announced the outline for the future European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) which is on track to be fully operational by the end of 2022. Once in place, non-EU citizens including UK citizens travelling to the Schengen area will be required to register and obtain authorisation prior to travel.   

3. Germany: As of 1 August 2021, South Africa is no longer listed as an area of variant of concern and the general travel ban was lifted. Fully vaccinated South Africans are eligible to enter Germany without quarantine.  

4. Germany: In July, hotel bookings in Germany lead Europe’s growth rate as well as outpacing the global average. According to SiteMinder (open hotel commerce platform), reported bookings in Germany was 68.73% compared to the global average at 76.3%.

5. UK: Scientists have warned that lifting the restrictions might severely impact international travel recovery. They fear that the relaxation of COVID-19 risks the emergence of new, potentially more dangerous variants of the virus. 

6. USA: Delta Air Lines resumed the Atlanta-Johannesburg service as of 1 August 2021 and will be operating the route three times a week. 

7. UAE: Emirates was expected to lift the SA flight ban on the 31 July 2021. UAE authorities have since announced that effective 5 August 2021, eligible travellers from South Africa will only be allowed to transit through the

8. UAE and that the travel ban for travellers remains. 

9. SA: SAA’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) has been renewed by SACAA. This is the final step for SAA to be able to restart operations. 

10. SA: Next Pathology will open its rapid PCR testing facility at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on 5 August 2021. The test will take 2 hours from test to delivery of results and will cost R2000. 

11. SA: Mango Airlines has temporarily suspended all flights from 27 July 2021 until further notice.  

12. SA: On 5 August, the President announced changes to the cabinet. Lindiwe Sisulu has replaced Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane as Minister of Tourism..