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Tourism Industry loses $550bn to COVID-19

AFRICA’S Tourism is not luxury, but livelihood for people on the Continent.

On a continent where safaris are a powerful tourist magnet, the sector has been badly hit by lockdowns that shuttered air, land and sea borders.

Thus, the decline in revenue for Travel and Tourism.

AFRICA’S travel and tourism industry records revenue loss of about $55bn, due to the closure of borders to limit the spread of Covid-19, the AU said Thursday.

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The impact is really severe,’ AU commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid said at a virtual briefing organised by the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

We are talking here about $55bn loss within three months in a year when we were supposed to see an increase in travel and air transport,” she said.

Abou-Zeid reiterated that the borders were going to be opened adding that, Africa is now pushing for Intra-African tourism.

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He also called for lower taxes, reduced ticket fees and visa facilitation to encourage ‘Africans to see Africa.’

WHO Regional Chief, Matshidiso Moeti has warned of a ‘certain underestimation of cases’ due to test kit shortages and the tendency to test only symptomatic patients.

Despite a steady rise in coronavirus cases, countries across Africa are forging ahead with plans to resume air traffic.

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A handful of states reopened their borders last week, including Zambia and Sierra Leone. Senegal has announced the resumption of international air travel from July 15.

She hoped the reopening of the airlines would cushion some of the serious impacts on air transport and tourism.

Africa has recorded more than 420,000 coronavirus cases and over 10,000 deaths.

By Agnes Melissa Yovo | Talksafrica.com

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