More than 500 people in the travel industry attended ‘The South Africa Show’ recently as South Africa announced it would relax COVID-19 travel restrictions.
‘The South Africa Show’ took place both virtually and in-person in Sydney.
The show was hosted by Aussie comedian Julia Morris and those who attended in-person gathered at South African Tourism’s immersive 10m high dome installation in Martin Place, which transported attendees through a guided virtual safari with the sights and sounds of safari echoing through the dome.
The activation also included South African drumming and dancing, South African wine and canapes, and posing in a South African scene in the interactive photo booth.
The installation, which had just concluded after being open to the public since Monday, was created to celebrate the reopening of international travel and marked South African Tourism’s most recent campaign “Beat Your Bucket List” which encourages Aussies to not delay ticking off their bucket list.
Following the virtual safari experience in Martin Place, attendees made their way to the Sofitel Hotel to join virtual attendees at the ‘The South Africa Show’.
Host Julia Morris chatted to people around the country, exploring 18 South African experiences including paddling with the African Penguins at Boulders Beach, sleeping in a luxury treehouse, rhino ear-notching with veterinarians, and jumping off the world’s highest swing at Oribi Gorge.
Throughout the night, attendees also experienced the real beat of South Africa with South African drummers, and a trio jazz band led by singer and Neighbours actor, Barry Conrad.
Mosilo Sofonia, South African Tourism Hub head of Australasia, said the event was an opportunity to activate South Africa for trade partners in lieu of not being able to travel for so long and by offering just a taste of what’s on offer in South Africa.
“It’s been a challenging few years for everyone, and our trade partners have been waiting patiently to welcome people back into South Africa with open arms,” Sofonia said.
“We would like to thank all of our partners for their ongoing support in encouraging people to travel to South Africa, we’re thrilled the joy of travel has returned once again.”
This event came as South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced the nation has further relaxed COVID-19 regulations, requiring international arrivals to have proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, no older than 72 hours with travellers offered vaccination on arrival, where requested or required.
The capacity for gatherings will be increased to 50 per cent for all venues, for both indoor and outdoor gatherings and the wearing of masks will no longer be required when outdoors in a public area, however, masks are required when indoors.
“We welcome the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, as this presents great news for the tourism sector’s outlook towards recovery,” said South African Tourism acting CEO, Themba Khumalo.
“Providing international travellers with a choice between producing proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours adds to South Africa’s accessibility, as a competitive and attractive tourism destination.”
Khumalo added that the MICE industry is a major contributor to the economy and the easing of restrictions on gatherings would allow the sector to host events with more delegates.
“After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South African Tourism’s flagship leisure tradeshow, Africa’s Travel Indaba is back and will take place from 2 to 5 May 2022,” Khumalo said.
“We look forward to hosting the world on our shores once again to showcase all that Africa has to offer travellers from around the world,” Khumalo concluded.