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from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban, South Africa
DURBAN – AN industry executive has encouraged the tourism industry and governments to work together to resuscitate the sector from the impact of the coronavirus .

Tourism was arguably the industry’s most impacted by the pandemic since it emerged at the end of 2019 and spread to Africa at the beginning of last year.

Cuthbert Ncube, chairperson of the African Tourism Board, urged stakeholders to collaborate in order to help the continent’s tourism to recover.

“We need to start breaking the barriers that had separated us,” he was speaking in Durban at the just-concluded Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021.

Ncube said in the past two-and-half years, the continent had experienced the worst negative impact on its tourism sector.

“That brought our tourism economies to a standstill,” the executive said.

The spread of the COVID-19 prompted countries to countries sealing their borders and airspaces.

During resultant lockdowns, hotels and restaurants in most countries were barred from providing accommodation or catering services.

The COVID-19 pandemic and recovery was a common theme across the Investment Forum at IATF.

Dr Acha Leke, Senior Partner and Chairman of McKinsey & Company: Africa, said there was general optimism among investors about Africa.

He said while 150 million jobs were not lost as earlier feared, 30 million were lost.

“So generally, we were not as affected as we feared by the crisis which makes it more exciting on one hand for investors to come and continue to invest in these markets,” Leke said.

– CAJ News