Covid cut jobs in SA’s tourism sector by a third and a full recovery will take years Business Insider SA, 20 MAY
South Africa’s tourism sector shed close to 500,000 jobs during the first year of the Covid-
19 pandemic, with stubborn travel restrictions in 2021 piling further pain onto the embattled industry.
Covid-19 crippled the global travel industry. Border closures, flight suspensions, and onerous entry requirements led to a tourism meltdown, with far-reaching consequences for the broader hospitality sector.
South Africa’s tourism sector, which prior to the pandemic contributed around 3.7% to the country’s total GDP, was one of the hardest hit. The sector, which relies greatly on foreign arrivals for higher visitor spend, was suppressed by targeted travel bans following South Africa’s discovery of new Covid-19 variants.
Tourist travel to South Africa dropped by 78% in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to Stats SA, with overseas visitors down 85%.
Almost 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs were supported by South Africa’s travel industry prior to the pandemic. This level of employment dropped to less than 990,000 in 2020, representing a reduction of 32.4%, with little reprieve in 2021, as revealed by Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu during a budget vote speech on Thursday.
Direct jobs supported by the industry include hotels, travel agents, airlines, and other passenger transportation services, while indirect employment extends further to employment within hospitality, restaurants, and leisure industries.
“Like a bolt of fire from nowhere, our bustling tourism was brought to a sudden halt with the advent of Covid-19. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was immediate and devastating,” said Sisulu during her address before parliament.
And although travel to and within South Africa has shown signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2022, tourism activity is still a long way off pre-pandemic levels.
The industry’s recovery has been further hampered by the July unrest and recent devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal, as noted by parliament’s portfolio committee on tourism. These factors have resulted in a “negative brand image” for South Africa, further dissuading potential travellers and slowing the recovery process.
And there’s no telling when or even if international travel will return to levels seen before the pandemic.
“Global tourism is rebounding despite lingering Covid restrictions and the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, but tourist arrival numbers are not back to pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery is slow and uneven across world regions, and this is due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates, and traveller confidence,” said Sisulu.
Most experts believe that international travel will only return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, at the earliest, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
South Africa’s tourism department receives a budget of R7.6 billion over the medium term. The bulk of this money will be spent on tourism research, policy, and international relations management.
“Budget allocation has reverted to 2019 allocations as a result of the lifting of global lockdowns and travel bans and vaccination rollouts. The increase in allocation is aimed at recovery initiatives for the sector,” noted the portfolio committee.
More than R350 million has been allocated to tourism sector support services, its focus being to enhance transformation, increase skill levels, and support the development of the sector.
‘We have thousands of SMMEs throughout our townships, rural areas, and small dorpies offering authentic creative experiences throughout our tourism value chain,” said Sisulu of the various initiatives, including the Tourism Incentive Programme, Grading Support Programme, and legally troubled Tourism Equity Fund (TEF), aimed at empowering small businesses.
“These SMMEs are crucial for our goal of inclusive, sustainable tourism and help spread the benefits of tourism to communities outside the traditional tourism hotspots.”
In light of the above answer the questions that follow
1. Examine the case study above and discuss any two (2) major external factors that have had an effect on businesses mentioned above. Provide excerpts to substantiate. (10)
2. Explain the impact of COVID 19 on the operations of businesses in the past two and half years. (10)
3. What opportunities does the tourism sector present for businesses in this industry? Use excerpts from the case study to support your answer. (10)
QUESTION TWO 
Provide a suitable definition for the term Management. (5)
Critically discuss the levels of management in relation to the types of planning in an organisation (15)
Primary activities are those involved in the physical creation of the product, marketing and transfer to the buyer, and after sales support. Outline the primary activities as described by Michael E Porter. (10)
QUESTION THREE 
The Classical Management School that emerged in the early 1900s was influenced by the economic, technical and cultural changes which were brought about as a result of the industrial revolution and the introduction of steam. The Behavioural Management and decline prosperity as well as failure of the Classical Management School to provide for workplace harmony.
In relation to the above distinguish between Classical Management Approach and the Behavioural and Human Relations Approach.
QUESTION FOUR 
With the aid of examples, outline each of the general management functions that are undertaken by management.
Get completed answers on questions from Business Management
Answer 1: An analysis on the given case study indicates that it is based on the South African tourism industry, and it is evaluated that there are many external factors that have directly affected the performance of the South African tourism industry. Among the major factors, the most crucial one is identified in the form of Covid 19 which has resulted in travel restrictions and targeted bans across the country. It is also evaluated that the South African tourism industry is adversely affected because of devastating flood in KwaZulu Natal, and this has adversely affected the brand image for South Africa. The tourism industry in particular has a significant impact of all these external environment changes.
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