South Africa: COVID-19 Gives Tourism a 'Snotklap' - Lessons for a Climate-Altered Future


South Africa's 'new gold' industry - tourism - is one of the first to feel the shockwaves of the Covid-19 global economic shutdown. This is a forewarning of what's to come as the global economy begins its inevitable and rapid decarbonisation in order to slow climate collapse. The coronavirus is a reminder that we can either plan for this change, or be sunk by it.

When hiking guide Fatima Sait headed off into the Cape mountains on Monday, 9 March, business was ticking over nicely after a good summer season. Without phone reception, she had no idea that everything was about to change. When she logged back on to her social media feeds four days later, she had returned to a very different world.

The 44-year-old freelance guide from Lotus River in the Cape Town suburbs was in "total shock" as she picked up on the industry buzz: other guides and tour operators were reporting mass cancellations, particularly from foreign visitors. Her own clients - also mostly international bookings - were cancelling their trips.

Two weeks later, with global travel ground to a halt and South Africa approaching lockdown to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Sait's work diary...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.