Industry Dashboard

Insights Summary


1. Accolade: Cape Town has been ranked as the second-best city in the world to live and visit according to Time Out’s Annual Survey

2. SA: LAM Mozambique Airlines is adding three destinations in Mozambique from Johannesburg. Flights to Pemba will start on January 29 and, from March, Nampula and Tete will be added

3. SA: Airlink will reinstate direct flights between between Durban and Bloemfontein from February 26.

4. SA: SAA direct flights to Perth have been reinstated. The start date is to be April 28, and it will operate three flights a week.

5. CT: Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Dawn will return to Southern Africa for its longest season, with a line-up of new itineraries for 2024/2025. Passengers can sail aboard the Norwegian Dawn, which will homeport between Cape Town and Port Louis, Mauritius.

6. CT: The V&A Waterfront’s commissioning of a R184 million (€9m) water desalination plant has been applauded as a proactive move that could act as a blueprint for other coastal tourism operators to follow. The project will add to a number of other sustainability initiatives implemented by the precinct since 2010, including the installation of solar panels and electric car charging.

7. CT: FlySafair has announced a new route direct route between Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA). Flights will start on the 2nd of April.

1. SA: This year, to observe International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa visited Ximuwu Lodge, a premier luxury safari destination in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve.

The lodge has been successfully graded as a five-star game lodge with a Universal Accessibility (UA) Mobility 3 rating.

2. SA: Tourism stakeholders in North West convened a briefing on Wednesday to unveil an immediate strategy aimed at ensuring visitor safety during the peak season of the year, in response to recent tourist bus hijackings. The province says that major tour operators, particularly those that transport visitors from outside, will be required to use the N4 as their primary point of entry. From there, they will be escorted to their destination.

3. CT: LAM has launched new Cape Town and Lisbon routes. The three times weekly Maputo to Cape Town flight targets both the leisure and the business segments.

1. Accolades: Cape Town was awarded the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2023 as well as the Annual Readers’ Choice Awards in the following category: Best Africa Cruise Destination.

2. SA: Industry has widely welcomed SAA’s first intercontinental service to São Paulo in Brazil. The first flight out of Johannesburg will take off on Monday (October 6). Flights from Cape Town will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with Johannesburg flights operating on Mondays and Thursdays.

3. SA: Federal Airlines (FedAir) – a leader in air travel to key safari and game reserve destinations in the country – announced its major aircraft fleet expansion this week.
The airline has introduced six new Cessna Grand Caravan C208B EX aircraft that “sets a new standard in passenger comfort, reliability and safari travel experience”. This new fleet would be mainly deployed in South Africa, with its main operating facility in Johannesburg (OR Tambo International Airport), as well as one at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela.

4. SA: Following in Angola and Kenya’s footsteps to open their borders to their African neighbours, Rwanda announced last week that it would grant Africans visa-free entry by the end of the year.

5. SA: European carrier Condor has launched a JNB-FRA seasonal route from Friday, November 3, until April 13. Condor’s partner, Lufthansa, will provide connections to major cities. From December 18, an extra flight will depart from Frankfurt on Sundays and depart from Cape Town on Mondays, bringing the number of flights to five a week.The last flight of the CPT-FRA season will be on April 14.

6. CT: The City of Cape Town will deploy its largest-ever festive tourism safety operation ahead of expected record-breaking visitor numbers to the Mother City this summer.
This includes a special deployment of Tourism Unit personnel to Table Mountain National Park and the CBD.

7. CT: The City of Cape Town is working closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the car-rental agencies at Cape Town International Airport to ensure solutions are found to ensure tourists’ safety in the Mother City.

8. CT: Google Maps will no longer suggest a route through crime hotspot Nyanga from the airport. Global tech giant Google will no longer suggest a route through crime hotspot Nyanga on its navigation system. The tourism department and Google signed a collaboration to promote South Africa as a “safe” tourist destination on Monday 13 November.

9. CT: Direct flights between Cape Town and St Helena will resume from December 2024 until March 2025. These flights, operated by Airlink, will run on Saturdays from Cape Town and on Tuesdays from Johannesburg.

10. CT: Motorists are breathing a sigh of relief following the reopening of the Hemel-en-Aarde road (R320) in the Western Cape yesterday (November 14).
A stop-and-go system is in now place at the Hemel-en-Aarde Estate and Camphill farm.


1. SA: South Africa has included Ghana in the eVisa Program, allowing Ghanaians to apply without visting the High Commission.

2. SA: South African Airways unveiled a new route to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, marking the 12th destination since resuming operations.

3. CT: Two-way passengers through Cape Town International Airport’s international terminal remained strong between January and August, reaching more than 1.7 million passengers in the year-to-date, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 107% and growing by 64% compared with January to August 2022.


1. SA: Air Belgium cancelled all scheduled flights from October 3. Flights scheduled after October 3 would be cancelled and passengers would be reimbursed.

2. SA: Lufthansa plans to operate a new direct route between Munich and Johannesburg from June 4, 2024. This route was last on Lufthansa’s schedule in 2005.

3. SA: SAUDIA announced at the end of August that it will begin direct flights from Jeddah (JED) to Johannesburg (JNB) on December 1. The Saudi Arabian flag carrier will operate the route four times weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until January 31, 2024.

4. SA: Airlink has withdrawn from the Johannesburg-Entebbe route, effective Monday, August 28.


1. SA: After a three-year hiatus, the Chinese airline, Cathay Pacific resumed the direct service between Hong Kong and Johannesburg on August 2 2023.

2. SA: Mozambique’s national carrier, LAM, has resumed flights connecting Johannesburg to two key Mozambique tourism cities, Vilanculos and Beira, effective August 6 2023.

3. SA: The South African carrier has signed a new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa, with immediate effect. This means agents can book their clients on Lufthansa to Johannesburg and continue to other destinations on SAA with a single ticket and one seamless baggage check-in.

4. SA : The 18th annual SA National Parks Week will take place from September 16-24 2023. The week, hosted by South African National Parks (SANParks), grants free access to most of the country’s 21 national parks for South African day visitors.

5. SA: South African domestic and regional carrier FlyCemAir has recently announced a new service to Kasane, Botswana, starting September 16 2023. These two weekly non-stop flights will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays between OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Kasane International Airport.

6. CT: Due to a surge in demand, Swiss airline Edelweiss is bringing the winter season route to Cape Town forward to August 30 2023 instead of the end of September as previously stated.

1. Accolades: Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) has won its eighth consecutive award for ‘Best Airport in Africa’ and third consecutive award for ‘Best Airport Staff in Africa’ at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, held recently at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Amsterdam.

2. SA: Airlink has advised that some of its operations at Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay have been disrupted by the suspension of certain instrument-assisted flight approaches which came into effect March 28.

3. SA: Middelpunt Nature Reserve (MNR) in Mpumalanga has been declared South Africa’s 29th Ramsar site. A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, also known as ‘The Convention on Wetlands’

4. SA: A major global golfing event is to be held on SA soil as the BMW collaboration extends to the BMW Golf Cup World Finals in March next year. It will be hosted at one of South Africa’s most prestigious golfing destinations, Fancourt.

5. SA: At least ten airports across South Africa have suspended their instrument landing system procedures but airlines say this is no cause for panic, as the biggest risk is delays and disruptions.

6. SA: OR Tambo is to introduce E-gates. The gates will have biometric scanners that will allow South African passport holders to be processed through immigration without visiting an immigration officer.However, no specific date has been given for the E-gates’ execution, only that it will follow their implementation at Cape Town International Airport.

7. CT: On 18 April, flights to Cape Town could not land due to technical problems.
Airports Company SA (ACSA) says flights were affected after a fibre network fault at the airport, which meant that the necessary instrument landing technology was not available to land planes in heavy fog, which hit Cape Town on Tuesday morning. International flights were also reportedly impacted.

1. Global : The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its Hotel Sustainability Basics verification programme. This is a globally recognised set of 12 criteria that all hotels can easily implement to drive sustainable travel and tourism.

2. SA: South African Airways will officially return to Malawi on March 16, with ticket sales for the service having already begun on February 6. SAA is preparing to start its long-awaited service to Malawi on Thursday, March 16. The airline will operate a triangular schedule, on SA172, Johannesburg-Blantyre-Lilongwe-Blantyre-Johannesburg.

3. SA: Fly Toucan a new full-service airline, will launch in May this year. The airline says it will start by servicing destinations that include Southern Africa (SADC), West Africa (ECOWAS Region), East Africa and its offshore islands, Middle East, Asia, UK, Cuba, The Caribbean and The Americas.

4. SA: President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the highly anticipated Cabinet reshuffle where Patricia de Lille was appointed to the portfolio of Minister of Tourism.

5. SA: Durban’s King Shaka International Airport will be undertaking maintenance works on the canopy structure above the drop-off area (elevated roadway) from March 3 for completion by the end of July 2023.

6. SA: Uganda Airlines has reinstated its Wednesday flights between Entebbe and Johannesburg last week, this new route is scheduled five times weekly.

7. SA: Emirates will add a third daily flight to Johannesburg from Dubai starting on March 1. This will increase their total frequency into South Africa to 42 weekly flights.

8. CT: Domestic and regional carrier CemAir will start four weekly flights between Cape Town and the Northern Cape provincial capital of Kimberley from February 17.

9. CT: CTIA fuel supply is back to normal. Acsa has reported that after a few days of shortages of jet fuel at Cape Town airport, the situation was restored to normal on Monday March 6.

10. CT : The V&A Waterfront’s Cape Wheel has reopened after a seven-month break during which it was moved to a new location – the V&A’s Breakwater Boulevard.

11. CT: ‘We Are Victoria Falls’ and Cape Town Tourism have signed a partnership to embark on a joint marketing programme that cross-promotes the two tourism destinations on the theme of ‘The Ultimate African Adventure’.

1. SA: SA implemented a visa exemption for Kenya. Kenyan citizens can now enter the country visa-free for up to 90 days annually.

2. SA: The ban on flights between SA and Madagascar was lifted on January 30. The service recommences with a single weekly flight on Mondays, increasing to three flights weekly from February 14 with the intention of reinstating daily services as demand increases.

3. SA: Air Algérie is planning twice-weekly flights from Algiers to Johannesburg, from March 26. The airline says it will use an Airbus A330-200 for the service. The Johannesburg service will connect in both directions with Brussels, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London Heathrow, Milan Malpensa, Metz/Nancy (in the Lorraine region, eastern France), Paris CDG and Paris Orly.

4. SA : Cathay Pacific has announced the long-awaited news that it will resume flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong in August.

5. SA: Eswatini Air is poised to fly, the carries has gotten its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) in December and is preparing for its launch however no date has yet been fixed.

6. SA: South Africa’s Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, has announced that no new COVID-related regulations will be imposed after the first case of the XBB.1.5 sub-variant was detected in South Africa last month.

7. CT : The V&A has reopened the revamped Alfred Mall. The newly refurbished Alfred Mall, which adjoins the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in the Quays District is in the heart of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

8. CT: On February 1, Emirates reintroduced its second daily flight from Cape Town. With this new addition , the airline has fully restored its operations to pre-pandemic levels. There are now once again fourteen flights on the Dubai-Cape Town route.

9. SA: The Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve in Ceres in the Western Cape reopened on February 1 after the reserve and Kuganha tented camp were closed following flooding in December.


1. Global Accolades: Last week, the City of Cape Town was granted accreditation as an international Wetland City at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP14) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

2. SA: The short-term rental sector in South Africa is seeing a significant uptick in bookings from digital nomads.

3. SA: Uber has launched its latest travel feature, Smart Itineraries, which forms part of its Travel suite of offerings. Riders will earn 10% back in Uber Cash every time they book a Reserve ride with Uber Travel, which means they can plan ahead and earn Uber Cash.

4. CT: Yesterday (November 29) the City of Cape Town (CCT) announced the expansion of its Tourism Safety Unit, while the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched its own Tourism Safety Unit with Chrysalis Academy graduates.

5. CT: The City of Cape Town is suspending its MyCiTi Airport Service from today (December 1). Unfortunately, the demand for the service has not recovered since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

6. CT: United’s new three times weekly flight to Cape Town is the first-ever nonstop service between Washington DC and South Africa’s legislative capital. The new route joins United’s existing nonstop three times weekly service from Cape Town to New York/Newark, providing a nonstop six-times weekly service from Cape Town to the US, as well as a daily service from Johannesburg to New York/Newark.

7. CT : Delta will touch down at Cape Town International Airport on Saturday, December 3. The new seasonal service will increase the carrier’s capacity in South Africa by 67% year-on-year. Delta already reports tremendous demand for the first flights between Cape Town and Atlanta.

8. CT: British Airways will double its seasonal capacity between London Heathrow and Cape Town International from Sunday, November 20, when it increases its flights to two a day.

9. CT: Virgin Atlantic re-launched its direct flights between Cape Town and London Heathrow on November 5, not a moment too soon for the hordes of December holidaymakers wanting to travel in both directions between the two points.

10. CT: Air Mauritius resumes Cape Town flights.The twice weekly flights between Cape Town and Mauritius signify the value and strength of the connection between the two destinations and will contribute to the growth and recovery of the tourism sector.

1. Global Accolades: FlySafair was named the Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa for the second year running by Skytrax

2. Global Accolades: Cape Town has been named Africa’s Leading City Destination 2022 at the World Travel Awards for the second year.

3. SA: Tourists flying to SA this summer will be greeted by a video on how to stay safe

4. SA: SAA is bringing into service an additional three A320 aircraft, bringing its total number of A320s to five to support the high-capacity demand. The first of these was delivered on September 25 and the rest will be delivered in October and November.

5. SA: The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden in Worcester launched a Braille trail on September 30.
The 154m trail has been designed to be easily accessible to the visually impaired, with special bricks laid on the path and boards containing information in Braille about various plants dotted along it.

6. SA: Schiphol in chaos as SA flights are cancelled. The airport has caps on departing passengers. Airlines were required to reduce the number of outbound passengers by 18% in the summer period through to the end of October. They were most recently asked to implement reductions up to 22% until the end of March.

7. SA: Iberia and TAAG Angola Airlines initiated their codeshare agreement this week, strengthening the connectivity between Africa and Europe. The agreement also includes connections to flights from Luanda to Cape Town and Johannesburg, Windhoek and Maputo. TAAG will offer connections to Iberia flights from Madrid to Barcelona, Oporto, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Rome and Milan.

8. SA: Condor kicked off its twice-weekly Johannesburg service on Saturday morning, November 5, with the arrival of its first flight from Frankfurt. The Johannesburg flights augment the Cape Town services, which began on October 8.

9. SA: Emirates pours capacity into SA by focusing on rapidly restoring its South African services to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 49 flights a week by May 2023.

10. SA: SAA to open 4 key Africa routes. SAA says it will start flights to two cities in Malawi, Windhoek and Victoria Falls, the airline will increase its frequencies from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban as well as Accra, Harare, Lusaka, Mauritius and Kinshasa.

11. SA: Qatar connects US airline to southern Africa. From Doha, JetBlue customers can connect to Qatar Airways’ direct flights to Addis Ababa, and one-stop flights to Harare (via Lusaka) and Windhoek (via Cape Town). 

12. SA: Lift launches highly anticipated CPT-DUR route. Domestic airline, Lift, opened sales for its newly launched Cape Town-Durban route. And with this announcement, is officially completing the popular Golden Triangle between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

13. CT: KLM ups Cape Town frequency – the carrier celebrated the route’s 30th birthday by increasing the schedule to 10 flights a week


1. Global Accolades: Cape Town has been shortlisted as a World nominee in the 29th Annual World Travel Awards in the following categories: World’s Leading City Break Destination 2022 , World’s Leading City Destination 2022, World’s Leading Festival & Event Destination 2022, World’s Leading Seaside Metropolitan Destination 2022.

2. Global Accolades: Cape Town Tourism have been named finalists in this year’s highly anticipated 2022 City Nation Place Awards. The brand is shortlisted in two categories; Best Communication Strategy: Tourism for our Find Your Freedom interactive travel experience and Best Use of Data – Source Market Data Evolution.

3. SA: The first direct air link for more than 20 years between South Africa and Belgium has landed in South Africa. Air Belgium has also partnered with Airlink to provide connecting flights to 16 domestic destinations and 24 regional destinations on the African continent.

4. CT: On December 2, Delta will begin flying its four-times-weekly triangular route. This will complement Delta’s nonstop service from both Cape Town and Johannesburg to Atlanta and will mean both cities will have daily operations to the US by the end of this year. The Cape Town-Atlanta, non-stop, thrice-weekly route will commence on December 17.

5. CT : More airline seats to Cape Town will be available this summer. 1.5m two-way seats will be available in Cape Town from various airlines between November 2022 and March 2023.

6. CT: KLM will add three weekly Cape Town flights to its schedule ahead of its 30th anniversary on the route. From November 1, it will offer 10 weekly services between Cape Town and Amsterdam.

7. SA: Emirates is elevating up its South Africa services and, by March 1, 2023, the airline will be conducting no fewer than 42 services a week to South Africa.

8. South America: LATAM Airlines will resume its commercial route between São Paulo (GRU), Brazil, and Johannesburg. As of July 2023, LATAM Brazil will operate direct flights from São Paulo Guarulhos to Johannesburg, three-times weekly.

9. SA: Accommodation-sharing service Airbnb announced a new partnership deal with 20 destinations around the world to make it easier to live and work anywhere, including Cape Town. The partnership agreement will include a range of initiatives, including a dedicated custom-built Airbnb hub for Cape Town that will showcase top local long-term listings and information relating to entry requirements and visa policies.

10. SA: The recent killing of a German tourist in Mpumalanga has shaken the industry. This, following a spate of kidnappings that has gripped parts of the country. Cape Town Tourism has issued a warning to foreign visitors to be cautious when visiting the Mother City.

11. CT: ACSA has reported that it has managed to increase the reserve of jet fuel to 4,5 days’ stock at Cape Town International Airport and indicated that flight movements will continue as per schedule.

1. Global Accolades: CNN Travel voted Cape Town as one of the best places to go for fall.

2. Global Accolades: Kirstenbosch National Botanical was awarded the Best of the Best status for 2022 as part of TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.

3. Global accolades: Cape Town was Voted 11th Best City in The World (And 2nd Best in Africa) by TimeOut.

4. SA: Cyril Ramaphosa approved the merger of South African Tourism and Brand South Africa. The merger is expected to smooth the path towards much-needed investment by avoiding duplication increasing impact.

5. SA : SAA’s are reportedly in discussions with British Airways to explore the possibility of a BA franchise agreement in South Africa.

6. Germany: Lufthansa pilots are planning a second strike to start Wednesday, 7 September. The all-day pilots’ strike on Friday (2 September) brought most flight operations to a halt. Around 130,000 passengers were affected by the cancellation of more than 800 flights. Lufthansa said the action cost it €32 million ($32 million).

1. Global Accolades: Cape Town International Airport was ranked as the best in Africa, according to the latest Skytrax World Airport Awards.

2. Global: Airbnb has announced a new partnership deal with 20 destinations around the world to make it easier to live and work anywhere, including Cape Town. The deal is an extension of Airbnb’s ‘live and work anywhere initiative’ to identify some of the most remote worker-friendly destinations in the world.

3. USA: United Airlines announced a new direct flight between Washington Dulles Airport and Cape Town, becoming the first airline to provide the nonstop roundtrip service. The airline will operate three weekly direct flights, which will commence on November 17, 2022. This service will be year-round.

4. USA: Delta Air Lines is adding a new nonstop flight from Cape Town to Atlanta, effective December 18. The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, conveniently timed to depart Cape Town at 22h50 and arrive in Atlanta at 08h00 the next day. This service will be year-round.

5. South Africa: At the end of July, a high-level meeting including SATSA and the Department of Transport (DoT) regarding the back-log of transport operator licences and renewals took place. A statement released shortly afterwards by the DoT indicated that the backlog had been cleared was misleading and premature. SATSA have indicated their hope for clear deliverables and solutions, with a concrete timeline.

1. Global Accolades: Cape Town International Airport was ranked as the best in Africa, according to the latest Skytrax World Airport Awards.

2. Global: According to the latest WTTC country-specific report, South Africa’s Travel & Tourism’s growth is set to outpace the national economy for the next 10 years.

3. Global: The after-effects of the pandemic are currently having a devastating effect on the aviation and airport industries and their passengers. Both airlines and airports are severely understaffed and underequipped to manage the demand. This has led to difficult working conditions at many European airports, which are now seeing strikes in every part of the business.

4. SA: As of Wednesday, 23 June 2022 all remaining Covid-19 pandemic regulations have been dropped. Face masks, limits on gatherings and border checks for Covid-19 – and the need to be vaccinated to enter South Africa were all dropped.

5. SA: Wine tourism in South Africa contributed R4.1 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 and is expected to reach R5.7 billion by the end of 2022.

6. SA: and local British Airways operator Comair has been grounded permanently with business rescue practitioners saying they no longer believed the airline could be rescued.

7. SA: South African tour operators are still struggling to get tourism transport licences because of government’s ongoing systemic failures. Vehicles transporting tourists on South Africa’s roads need to have operating licences granted by the NPTR, which falls within the department of transport. For the past two-and-a-half years, the NPTR board has been vacant, adding to the pre-existing backlog of applications and halting the ability for new tour guides to operate legally.

1. Global Accolades: Cape Town has been nominated for a string of accolades at the World Travel Awards Africa region 2022. The nominations and voting process can be found here

2. Global Accolades: Cape Town and South African MICE businesses have been nominated at the 3rd annual World MICE Awards. The full list of nominees can be found here

3. Global Accolades: Cape Town has been named the Most Promising Muslim-friendly City
Destination of The Year (Non-OIC) in the HalalTrip Travelers Choice Awards category at the inaugural Halal In Travel Awards.

4. Cape Town: Together with the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism signed a partnership agreement with visitBerlin (Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH), the destination marketing organisation for the German capital. The partnership will see the two destinations market their respective cities to their audiences. Find out more here:

5. SA: Comair has announced an agreement with Airlink to accommodate affected customers holding a British Airways (operated by Comair) (BA Comair) flight ticket for travel from June 3-12, 2022. BA Comair customers impacted by the suspension of Comair services have the option of rebooking for cancelled BA Comair flights with Airlink at no additional cost, subject to availability. 

6. UK: Virgin Atlantic has announced it will resume its seasonal flights between London Heathrow Airport and Cape Town International Airport from 5 November 2022. The airline will return with its daily direct route.  

7. USA: United Airlines officially announced that it has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation for more flights to Cape Town on the Washington DC-Cape Town route. The airline wants three non-stop and direct flights a week. 

8. USA: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added its list of Level 3 ‘high risk’ travel destinations for COVID. The CDC says it has added SA to its ‘high risk’ list of countries due to the rise in cases. 

9. WTTC: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called on nations to adopt a simple one-stop digital solution to replace the use of paper and QR codes. The WTTC believes that this is a critical step in the right direction as travel continues to recover. 

10. AMSTERDAM: KLM will increase its Cape Town flights from six days a week to daily effective from July 11. Even more flights will be added from the beginning of November 2022, when KLM will begin operating 10 flights a week to the Mother City.   

GLOBAL AND SOUTH AFRICAN SUMMARY: April-May 2022, published 10 May 2022

1. Global Accolades: The UK’s Telegraph newspaper has named Cape Town the third greatest city on Earth. The newspaper says Cape Town was ranked third because its topography and geography make it stand out above others, but the city’s poor safety record prevented it from taking the number one spot.

2. USA: NYC & Company has launched a new Halal travel guide. This travel guide is the first-ever Halal Travel Guide released by a US tourism organisation, dedicated to highlighting and encouraging visitation to the abundance of halal restaurants, Muslim history, and art exhibitions as well as sharing tips and advice from Muslim travel experts.

3. USA: The USA travel industry has called for the elimination of the pre-departure testing requirement for entry to the United States. The industry representatives wrote a letter to the White House calling for an urgent cancellation of the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated international air travellers.

4. USA: According to the Western Cape government, Delta Air Lines’ application to fly a triangular route between Atlanta, Johannesburg and Cape Town has finally been approved by the national government. However, the Department of Transport is yet to confirm if its aware of the decision to grant Delta access to Cape Town.

5. UNWTO: On 7 May 2022, the United Nations General Assembly met for a first ever dedicated session on tourism and its key role in inclusive recovery and growth. The UNWTO has called on public and private stakeholders to recognise tourism’s unique ability to drive positive change.

6. WTTC: The WTTC has launched its ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’, a globally recognised and coordinated set of criteria for hotels to drive responsible travel and tourism. The initiative was launched at WTTC’s Global Summit in Manila and will help every hotel address its environmental impact.

7. ZIMBABWE: The German long-haul holiday carrier, Eurowings Discover has added Victoria Falls to its SADC region’s flight plan. The carrier will fly three times weekly from Frankfurt to Victoria Falls via Windhoek, Namibia.

8. SA: As of 5 May 2022, the national government announced and gazetted that unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are not required to show proof of a negative COVID test to enter the country. This is a move widely welcomed by the tourism industry as it is a step in the right direction to welcoming family travel back into the country.

9. SA: The SA tourism industry has called on the national government to remove the current gathering limits regulations. Currently, all gatherings are limited to 50% capacity. The industry welcomed the new regulations gazetted by the government but calls for this last hurdle to be removed.

1. CTT: Cape Town Tourism has launched its biggest international initiative to date – Find Your Freedom immersive travel experience. The interactive interface uses game-style graphics to empower global travellers to choose their Mother City adventure, based on the guide they identify with – the Fearless Foodie, Nature Warrior, or Urban Adventurer.

2. BELGIUM: Air Belgium is set to begin flights to South Africa in September 2022. The airline will operate two scheduled flights a week from Brussels to Johannesburg and two to Cape Town, one of which is direct.

3. CT: Cape Town became the first city in Africa to welcome the luxurious Turkish Airlines’ B787-9 Dreamliner on Friday, 1 April 2022. The city has been selected as the priority destination for the aircraft on the continent.

4. SA: Discovery has launched a new travel booking platform – Vitality Travel. The intention is to make travel easier for Discovery Bank clients by offering them unprecedented discounts on a wide range of flights, accommodation, car hire and exciting local and international travel experiences.

5. SA: President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted South Africa’s national state of disaster more than two years after it was first declared in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This came into effect on 5 April 2022. There are transitional regulations that are still in place which will lapse after 30 days which can be viewed here.

6. SA: KLM has announced that it will increase the flight schedule between Cape Town and Amsterdam as a result of increased demand for flights between the cities. The airline has increased flights between Cape Town and Amsterdam to six flights per week, with daily flights commencing on 11 July 2022.

7. SA: South African Tourism North Europe has launched a new digital campaign ‘Lekker Local Tips’ which is a localized version of the ‘Live Again Campaign’. The campaign gives travellers in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden the opportunity to experience South Africa through the eyes of locals who use their ‘lekker local tips’ to highlight the beautiful parts of the country.

8. SA: The tourism industry has approached the Department of Health to reconsider the amendment to Adjusted Level One Lockdown regulations that require children between the age of five and 12 to provide either a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test to travel. The industry fears that this may deter families with children under the age of 12 from travelling to South Africa.

1. UK: The UK government scrapped all remaining Covid-19 travel measures on Friday, 18 March 2022.

2. EU: Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called on governments in the EU region to scrap all Covid-19 travel regulations intra-EU and Schengen area travel. This includes all testing requirements, the need to present proof of vaccination or complete a passenger locator form.

3. CT: Table Mountain has opened a new Wi-Fi lounge which can be used as a remote working facility by digital nomads and remote workers. The Wi-Fi Lounge offers ample working space, refreshments and food, stable internet connectivity.

4. SA: Industry bodies, SATSA and TBCSA have called on the SA government to stop being indecisive about scrapping the PCR test requirement for inbound travellers. TBCSA believes that the PCR test requirement has the potential to deter over 47% of the potential 2022 long-haul inbound market to South Africa.

5. SA: South African Civil Aviation Authority imposed a 5-day suspension of Comair’s operating license from 12 March 2022. According to SACAA, the decision was reached following an investigation into the recent spate of safety incidents at the Operator (Comair). The suspension was lifted on 16 March 2022.

6. SA: SA Tourism has launched a new global campaign targeted at the international tourist market. The ‘Live Again’ global campaign was launched with the hope to position South Africa firmly in the hearts of international travellers. The ad can be viewed here.

7. SA: Cabinet has confirmed the names of South Africa’s new International Air Services Council (IASC) and Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC). Both councils will be responsible for reviewing new applications for domestic and international routes which for over a year the DoT has not been able to.

1. USA: UNITED Airlines has applied for regulatory approval in the US and South Africa (SA) to introduce year-round flights between Cape Town and Washington DC, starting with three flights per week.

2. IRELAND: Ireland has dropped all Covid-19 entry restrictions on arrivals, regardless of vaccination status. Travellers are no longer required to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid-19 test on arrival.

3. FRANCE: On 14 March 2022, France will suspend rules requiring people to show a Covid-19 vaccine passport to access venues.

4. SA: Cape Town will host the Sevens Rugby World Cup 2022 from 9-11 September 2022. The tournament has already sold over 60 000 tickets. The games will take place at the Cape Town Stadium.

5. SA: SAA has added a second domestic route to its local network. The new JNB-DUR route which started on 04 March 2022 will see 3 daily flights between the two cities. This comes five months after SAA resumed its operation.

1. USA: From 5 June 2022, United Airlines will offer three non-stop flights a week, year-round, between Cape Town International Airport and its New York/Newark hub.

2. USA: Delta Airline has applied for flights to Cape Town, again. Delta wants to operate nonstop flights from its hub in Atlanta to Cape Town by November 2022.

3. UK: UK government will relax the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday, 24 February 2022. The government will lay out plans for “living with Covid-19”, which include ending free Covid testing by 1 April 2022.

4. AUSTRALIA: On Monday, 21 February 2022, Australia welcomed their first international tourists in nearly two years. Travellers can enter all states except Western Australia, which remains closed until 3 March 2022.

5. QATAR: Qatar Airways require passengers travelling from South Africa, Zambia, and Mozambique to wear visors on top of face masks. The airline hasn’t disclosed the reasons why this is the case even though the government of Qatar has all three countries on its green list.

6. SA: The Department of Home Affairs is looking to introduce a remote working visa to attract digital nomads. This remote working visa should allow foreigners employed outside of South Africa to stay for longer, along with their dependents.

7. SA: Lufthansa Group’s new leisure airline, Eurowings Discover, will start flying from Frankfurt to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Mbombela in November.

8. SA: SA Tourism has launched a campaign to entice Indian travellers. The “More & More” campaign is expected to increase summer outbound traffic to South Africa and contribute to the recovery of tourism sectors in both countries.

9. SA: The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has reiterated its call for South Africa to remove the negative PCR test requirement for incoming travellers who are fully vaccinated to stimulate inbound tourism demand.

10. SA: SA’s Blue Train is suspended ‘until further notice’ following a fire and derailment. In November 2021 the luxury train was derailed and recently caught fire while being repaired.

1. Global Accolades: According to Big 7 Travel, Cape Town ranks number 22 on the ‘Top 50 Most Instagrammable Places 2022’ list.

2. NETHERLANDS: South African travellers who are fully vaccinated can now enter the Netherlands without the need to quarantine. The Dutch government moved SA from a ‘very high-risk country’ and recently classified the country as ‘high risk’. Travellers will need a PCR test taken 48 hours before departure to the Netherlands.

3. GERMANY: Fully vaccinated travellers from South Africa can now enter Germany without having to quarantine for 10 days. This comes after Germany announced on the 30th of January that it has removed South Africa from the list of high-risk countries.

4. UK: From 11 February 2022, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a Covid-19 test to enter England.

5. EU: The Council of the European Union has adopted a revised recommendation to its member states for COVID-based restrictions on travellers to be based on the individual situation of persons arriving in the EU, and no longer on their region of origin. As of 1 February 2022, a traveller’s COVID-19 vaccination, test, or recovery status, proven by a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate, should be the ‘key determinant’ of what regulations should be followed.

6. UAE: As of 29 January 2022, the UAE has lifted travel restrictions on travellers from South Africa. Those travelling from South Africa will have to obtain a negative Covid-19 PCR test 48 hours prior to departure and a negative rapid-PCR test at the departure airport. Passengers will also be tested on arrival

7. UAE: Emirates Airlines has resumed flights between Dubai and South Africa. The airline now operates a daily flight to and from Johannesburg, as of 29 January 2022, and double daily services from 1 February 2022. Flights to and from Cape Town and Durban resumed daily operations on 1 February 2022.

8. UAE: National carrier of the UAE, Etihad is planning to resume flights between Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg from 3 March 2022. This is following the UAE Government’s approval of passenger flights to and from South Africa.

9. THAILAND: Thailand is now welcoming fully vaccinated travellers from South Africa. In addition to a pre-departure test, travellers must book and pay in advance for two more tests to be taken at an approved hotel in Thailand. Health insurance is also a requirement upon entry into Thailand.

10. SA: The Cape Town Carnival is back for 2022. The Carnival will take place on 19 March, after a two-year, coronavirus-induced break.

11. AUSTRALIA: On 21 February 2022, Australia will begin welcoming fully vaccinated international tourists to the country.

1. ITALY: Italy has ended its ban on travellers from South Africa. Even so, strict conditions for entry still apply and tourism is still strictly forbidden. Fully vaccinated travellers from SA will be allowed entry into Italy if travelling for work, health, and study reasons.

2. UAE: Emirates have extended the ban on outbound flights from South Africa. The latest extension will last until 31 January 2022.

3. BELGIUM: Belgium has lifted the travel ban imposed on travellers from Southern African countries. Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries will be allowed entry into Belgium if they have the required documentation.

4. UK: The UK government issued a statement that the government was reviewing testing arrangements for travel. This comes after industry bodies said that testing has become more of a hindrance to the business, because it may put them off travelling.

5. SWEDEN: As of 18 January 2022, Sweden has abolished the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test before entering the country. The Swedish government said that “Travelers are no longer considered to pose a particular risk of affecting the spread of Omicron in Sweden.”

6. WHO: The World Health Organization said bans on international travel have proved ineffective. The international travel bans “continue to contribute to the economic and social stress” of countries and do not provide any added value. WHO says that countries should consider adjusting some measures, including testing and quarantine requirements, “when appropriate,” that put a financial burden on travellers.

7. SA: Cape Town welcomed its first cruise liner, MSC Orchestra since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and it will depart with fully vaccinated guests only. The MSC Orchestra officially marked the opening of the cruise season.

8. SA: The City of Cape Town has called on the president to scrap the 50% COVID-19 capacity restrictions for outdoor venues, allowing for the full resumption of public, entertainment, and sporting events. The City argued that the resumption of public, entertainment and sporting events should be a priority for aiding economic recovery. 

1. GERMANY: As of 4 January 2022, Germany no longer considers South Africa a “virus variant area” and has reopened to travellers from SA. Fully vaccinated travellers and those with proof of recovery from Covid-19 will be exempt from the quarantine rule.

2. USA: On 31 December 2021, the USA lifted travel restrictions on southern African countries. Fully vaccinated travellers from these countries will be allowed to enter the US and will not need to quarantine upon arrival.

3. UAE: Emirates Airlines have recently announced an extension to the ban on South African travellers, with outbound flights from Johannesburg now suspended until at least 10 January. The initial ban was supposed to have been lifted on 31 December 2021.

4. AUSTRALIA: On 4 January 2022, Qantas resumed their direct passenger flights between South Africa and Australia after a 21-month break. The airline will operate three weekly flights on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

5. QATAR: Qatar Airways will start flying passengers out of South Africa on 13 January 2022. The airline will operate 21 weekly flights, servicing Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

6. FRANCE: As of 6 January 2022, South Africa has been removed from France’s “red list”. Fully vaccinated South African travellers will be allowed to enter France without the need to quarantine.

7. UK: On 7 January 2022, England will phase out pre-departure tests for arrivals into England. The travel industry in England has praised the move as a significant step in helping the industry recover and making travel affordable.

8. SA: South African Airways have denied the Kenya Airways merger. This is after it was reported by Kenyan government officials that a move to merge the airlines was on the cards.  

1. Global Accolades: Cape Town has been named the world’s leading festival and event destination for the second year in a row. 

2. GERMANY: Germany has banned travellers from the UK due to the spread of the Omicron variant. Only German citizens and residents will be allowed to enter Germany from the UK and must produce a negative test and quarantine for two weeks, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.

3. FRANCE: France was amongst the first countries to implement a ban on entries from the UK citing Omicron concerns. Only French citizens are allowed to travel between the two countries for essential travel. 

4. UK: The United Kingdom has lifted the travel ban it imposed on Southern African countries after the emergence of the Omicron variant. This change in the travel regulations came into effect on 15 December 2021. 

5. ZAMBIA: The Government of Zambia has announced that with immediate effect, the entry regulations have changed and only a PCR test taken within 72 days is required for South African arrivals. 

6. RWANDA: RwandAir has announced the resumption of daily services to Southern Africa, to both Johannesburg and Lusaka, effective 23 December 2021. 

7. SA: According to Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), the ongoing travel bans could cost SA R25 billion and more than 200 000 jobs if not reversed immediately.  

1. USA: On 1 December 2021, United airlines resumed flights from New York to Cape Town. The non-stop flight is scheduled to run three times a week and is the only non-stop flight that connects SA to USA. 

2. UK: UK government has reintroduced pre-arrivals testing for travellers entering the UK. Arrivals must once again show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test before they will be permitted entry irrespective of their vaccination status.

3. Canada: Canada has announced that PCR tests from South Africa will not be recognised for entry into the country. Canadian citizens travelling from South Africa are required to stop over in another country to get a PCR test.

4. France: Air France has resumed flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, after grounding its South African operations for more than a week after the news of a new variant. Before boarding, passengers will need a compelling reason for travelling to France and will have to quarantine for 10 days irrespective of their vaccination status.  

5. UNWTO: UNWTO urges governments to abolish the travel ban on South African countries. The tourism governing body reminded governments that travel restrictions remain discriminatory and ineffective measures that don’t comply with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

6. Africa: The African Union (UN) called for urgent lifting of travel bans imposed on SA. The AU has also called on member countries to set an example following the measures act “as a disincentive for information sharing in the future, potentially posing a threat to health security on the continent and globally”.

7. SA: CTT and the City of Cape Town will be running the Pocket-Friendly campaign for domestic travellers for the second year. The relaunch of the domestic campaign includes discounts on flights, accommodation, and attractions in Cape Town.

8. SA: According to SATSA, FEDHASA and SAT (South African Tourism), the hospitality sector has lost over R1bn in bookings over the December – March period in the 48 hours following the announcement of the new variant.

9. SA: Government is expected to announce their decision on mandatory vaccinations by the end of the week in response to the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

10. SA: SAA and CemAir have signed a co-operation agreement. This inter-line arrangement enables connection and flexibility for passengers and adds more destinations to the route network of both airlines.

1. SA: NICD confirms new Covid-19 variant known as B.1.1.529 has been detected in SA. Over 2,465 new Covid-19 cases of the new variant were recorded in SA, with the majority in Gauteng. 

2. GERMANY: Germany is expected to declare South Africa a virus variant area today (26 November 2021) after the detection of a new Covid-19 variant. This means that entry into Germany from South Africa will be limited to Germans returning from their travels only.  

3. UK: UK has placed SA back on the travel red list over concerns of new variant. 

4. WORLWIDE: Israel and Singapore have also banned travellers and the EU is currently proposing bans.  

5. GERMANY: Germany has announced tougher regulations, including requiring people to prove they are vaccinated, cured, or have recently tested negative for the virus before they can travel on public transport or go into the workplace.  

6. EU: On 19 November 2021, Austria announced the beginning of a 10-day lockdown to curb the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases. The country also became the first Western democracy to announce that it would require Covid vaccinations for its entire adult population from 1 February 2022.  

7. SA: On 25 November 2021, the SA Cabinet extended the State of Disaster until 15 December 2021. This decision comes as cases increase and a new variant has been detected. 

8. SA: SA to host the ICC 50 over Cricket World Cup in 2027. The country will host the event together with Namibia and Zimbabwe.

9. SA: Wesgro has launched a new domestic remote work campaign as part of a provincial strategy to attract digital nomads. 

10. SA: The Ceres Rail Company’s vintage steam train is set to resume services between Cape Town and Elgin on November 28 – after 20 months of closure due to the pandemic. 

11. SA: Airbnb has announced the launch of its Neighbourhood Support Line in South Africa, offering neighbours a direct line of communication to Airbnb to report urgent concerns about a listing or guest behaviour in their local community.

1. Global Accolades: The V&A Waterfront has won a global award at the World Responsible Tourism Awards, recognising destinations that educate, challenge, and inspire other businesses. The V&A Waterfront was recognised for its work in “sustaining employees and communities through the pandemic”.

2. USA: Fully vaccinated South Africans can now enter the US without the need to quarantine, with a negative PCR test. 

3. USA:  SA citizens who are first-time travellers to the US will have to wait until the 3rd quarter of 2022 to secure a visa appointment. The first available appointments start from May 2022 in Durban and August 2022 for Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

4. UK: From 22 November 2021, under 18’s entering England will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day eight testing and pre-departure testing

5. SA: SANParks has confirmed that, from 22-28 November 2021 all South African citizens can enter most, but not all, national parks throughout the country free of charge. This is for the 16th annual SA National Parks Week.

6. SA: Airlink is to become the first carrier in Southern Africa to trial the IATA Travel Pass. The trial will be carried out on Airlink’s flights between South Africa and Namibia during November. 

7. SA: South African Tourism has confirmed that the two signature global trade shows – Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba will be back next year. Both events will be hosted in person with limited virtual attendance. 

8. SA: Plettenberg Bay airport has been officially reopened with CemAir flights resuming on Friday 12 November 2021.

9. SA: As international travel recovers, Air France (31 October 2021), British Airways (3 November 2021) and Lufthansa Airline (1 November 2021) have all resumed their services to Cape Town.

10. SA: has increased its flight frequency on the Durban-Cape Town sighting increased demand. They launched a double daily service from 10 November 2021. 

1. Global Accolades: The V&A Waterfront has won a global award at the World Responsible Tourism Awards, recognising destinations that educate, challenge, and inspire other businesses. The V&A Waterfront was recognised for its work in “sustaining employees and communities through the pandemic”.

2. USA: Fully vaccinated South Africans can now enter the US without the need to quarantine, with a negative PCR test. 

3. USA:  SA citizens who are first-time travellers to the US will have to wait until the 3rd quarter of 2022 to secure a visa appointment. The first available appointments start from May 2022 in Durban and August 2022 for Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

4. UK: From 22 November 2021, under 18’s entering England will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day eight testing and pre-departure testing

5. SA: SANParks has confirmed that, from 22-28 November 2021 all South African citizens can enter most, but not all, national parks throughout the country free of charge. This is for the 16th annual SA National Parks Week.

6. SA: Airlink is to become the first carrier in Southern Africa to trial the IATA Travel Pass. The trial will be carried out on Airlink’s flights between South Africa and Namibia during November. 

7. SA: South African Tourism has confirmed that the two signature global trade shows – Meetings Africa and Africa’s Travel Indaba will be back next year. Both events will be hosted in person with limited virtual attendance. 

8. SA: Plettenberg Bay airport has been officially reopened with CemAir flights resuming on Friday 12 November 2021.

9. SA: As international travel recovers, Air France (31 October 2021), British Airways (3 November 2021) and Lufthansa Airline (1 November 2021) have all resumed their services to Cape Town.

10. SA: has increased its flight frequency on the Durban-Cape Town sighting increased demand. They launched a double daily service from 10 November 2021. 

1. Global Accolades: Table Mountain has been named Africa’s leading tourist destination for the 3rd year in a row by the 2021 World Travel Awards (WTA). 

2. USA: From 15 January 2022, cruise ships in the US will not be obligated to follow strict Covid-19 regulations. This comes as the US lifts restrictions to resume international travel. 

3. USA: The US government has announced new travel requirements as they prepare to open international travel again. The country will be open to fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers under the age of 18 and people who come from countries where the vaccine is not easily accessible will be exempt from the vaccination rule.  

4. USA: From 8 November 2021, fully vaccinated travellers, travelling from South Africa will be allowed entry into the USA. Fully vaccinated air travellers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding. 

5. Australia: Qantas will resume flights to South Africa via Johannesburg on 5 January 2022. The airline will return to operating three flights a week on the SYD-JNB route. 

6. Switzerland: Zurich Airport has won the WTA for best airport in Europe, for the 18th year in a row. 

7. SA: AirFrance is set to resume its Cape Town schedule with three flights a week starting on 31 October 2021. 

8. SA: SATSA has called on the SA government to remove the requirement of a PCR test for fully vaccinates travellers. SATSA says this will create a massive opportunity to lure travellers from important source markets like the USA and UK. 

9. SA: MSC cruises will return to SA waters in December 2021 in time for the summer holidays. Unvaccinated guests over the age of 18 will need to take an antigen lateral flow test at a cost of R300 per person.

10. Global: The UNWTO was part of the Future of Tourism World Summit (26-27 October 2021) under the theme ‘Barcelona: A Call for Action’. This is a statement of intent signed by governments, destinations and businesses outlining a shared vision for a greener, more inclusive, and resilient tourism, citing the sector’s potential contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and the shift to net-zero. 

1. UK: With effect from 11 October, South Africa has been removed from the UK’s red list and vaccine cards will be accepted as proof of vaccination. Fully vaccinated travellers from South Africa will be allowed to enter the UK without needing to quarantine.

2. UK: Following the country’s removal from the red list, Virgin Atlantic announced that it was expanding its portfolio of flights to South Africa. From November 8, flights between Johannesburg and London Heathrow will increase from three times a week to a daily service.

3. UK: Virgin Atlantic plans to reinstate a direct flight between London and Cape Town in mid-December due to high demand.

4. AUSTRALIA: From 1 November, Sydney will allow fully vaccinated international travellers entry without the need for quarantine.

5. SA: SATSA and TBCSA are calling on the government to remove the PCR test requirement for vaccinated travellers to attract more international tourists to SA.

6. SA: SAA and Emirates Airline have reactivated their long-standing codeshare deal which is aimed at increasing connectivity for both carriers on the SA-UAE route.

7. SA: SA launched its Global Advocacy Program in hopes of attracting tourists from key source markets. The program was initiated by SAT and TBCSA in an effort to correct the damaging narratives and misinformation reported globally about South Africa.

8. SA: Etihad Airways has announced that it will reinstate flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town from 25 November. The airline will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

9. SA: On 8 October, the digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate launched and South Africans are able to download their digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate. More updates are expected at the end of October.

10. SA: On 4 October, Table Mountain Cableway celebrated its 92nd birthday and in celebration are offering local tourists a discount throughout October.

1. USA: Covid-19-related travel restrictions will be lifted for travellers from the European Union, United Kingdom and other regions still to be announced from November 2021. Foreign travellers will be allowed to fly to the US if they are fully vaccinated, undergo testing and contact tracing.
2. UK: A simplified system for international travel from the UK, a single red list of countries and territories will replace the current traffic light system. Changes come into effect on October 4th. 

3. AFRICA: United Airlines and regional airline, Airlink, have entered into a new codeshare agreement that will offer customers more connections between the US and Southern Africa. The new agreement is still under review and is subject to government approvals.

4. SA: SATSA has launched its latest campaign – the Let’s Go movement, which aims to newly position and showcase South Africa’s tourism offerings for local and international consumers, DMCs and tour guides. The campaign seeks to establish a new way of collaboration among stakeholders across the Tourism, Events, Arts and Culture, and Heritage sectors.

5. SA: Netflix conducted a Cultural Affinity survey with subscribers from Canada, Germany, the US, the UK, Brazil, and France which found that, international viewers are three times more likely to visit SA after watching SA-based shows. The full study can be found here.

6. SA: From 1 October, SA has moved to lockdown level 1. The new level 1 restrictions can be found here

1. Global Accolades: In the latest edition of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, Cape Town has been voted as the best city in Africa and the Middle East.
2. USA: The United States is developing a “new system for international travel” that will include contact tracing for when it eventually lifts travel restrictions that bar much of the world’s population from entering the country. 

3. EU: European countries are re-imposing travel restrictions on U.S. travellers following the EU Council’s decision to remove the U.S. from its “green list” at the end of August. This is despite the WTTC calling on this move a step that will slow down recovery.   

4. UK: The UK’s “traffic light” travel system could be scrapped from next month. The UK may potentially allow vaccinated travellers to go to countries with similarly high levels of vaccination as the UK without the need for quarantine.

5. Canada: Fully vaccinated South Africans can now visit Canada for non-essential purposes without needing to quarantine. Children between the ages of 12 to 17 also need to be vaccinated to avoid quarantine.

6. Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has lifted its travel ban on South Africa, allowing for movement between the two countries. Tourists need to be fully vaccinated and will have to prove their status via mobile app. 

7. Seychelles: As of 13 September, South African travellers, whether vaccinated or not are allowed to visit Seychelles without quarantine. A negative Covid-19 PCR test and a completed Health Travel Authorisation form is required.  

8. SA: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has secured 15 international conferences which could bring approximately 22 000 delegates to Cape Town and create an estimated R594 million for the local economy over the next six years. 

9. SA: South African Tourism is hosting the 2021 China Virtual Road Show and Virtual Fam this week (September 13-17) to reconnect Chinese buyers with the South African trade while testing market readiness.

10. SA: As of 12 September, South Africa moved to alert level 2 lockdown.

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 accolade: Cape Town International Airport has been named Africa’s best airport for the 6th year in a row by Skytrax at the World Airport Awards. 

2. EU: Austria has opened to fully vaccinated South Africans as the rest of Europe slowly reopens to travellers from SA. Fully vaccinated travellers will be free from mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival to Austria.   

3. UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon the UK government to abandon the traffic light system. WTTC has called the traffic light system both “confusing and damaging” for the tourism industry and travellers.  

4. UK: As of 12 August, the UK requires visitors with doses of two different COVID vaccines to quarantine on arrival for 10 days when arriving from an amber list country. The UK has said that they do not recognize people who had mixed vaccines as ‘fully vaccinated’.

5. UK: British Airways intends to resume its service to Cape Town from 01 November 2021.  

6. USA: Travel bodies in the US are making a plea to the presidents’ administration to relax restrictions on non-essential travel as soon as possible to allow the industry to recover.

7. UAE: Emirates will introduce more flights to SA and has entered into a codeshare agreement with the regional airline – Airlink. The deal will give travellers to and from South Africa access to more than 40 domestic and regional destinations in Africa.

8. SA: SATSA is continuing their lobbying efforts to remove SA from the red list. The petition, targeted at UK citizens is gaining momentum with more than 23 000 signatures received to date (19/08/2021). The petition can be found here.

9. SA: FEDHASA announced their intention to work with the Tourism Ministry on new tourism opportunities for SA, including tapping into the ‘digital nomad market’ with the intention of improving the global ranking, from #16 to #3. 

10. SA: South African Health Product Regulatory Association (SAHPRA) has authorised a local biotechnology company, CapeBio, to manufacture Covid-19 PCR test kits. The objective is to decrease the price and increase accessibility to the tests.


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..