African Tourism Board asks governments to adopt the Nepal Approach
ATB Suggested Strategy for new visa regulations during COVID-19
Coronavirus arrived in Africa! In response to this the African Tourism Board, today issued a recommendation to African Countries and their governments to avoid tourism to stop on the African Continent due to COVID-19
ATB suggested to African Governments:
Coronavirus has become a challenge for every country in the world, including many African nations and tourism source markets for Africa in Europe, North America, India, and Asia.
Protecting the African People and the African Travel and Tourism Industry should be the highest priority for anyone working in the sector and for any citizen residing in a country that relies on earnings from the visitors’ industry.
Africa has a clear advantage in the world. Other regions Europe, North America, Asia, became an early victim of this epidemic and even with the latest state of the art facilities and plenty of financial resources are facing a very difficult time to find a way out of the crisis.
Africa still has relatively low numbers of virus cases, and this must be maintained.
Unfortunately, we in Africa do not have the facility, nor do we have the money to sustain or fight such an epidemic.
Currently, Africa only has 168 cases of Coronavirus infections:
South Africa: 16
Burkina Faso: 2
Ivory Coast: 1
Since every nation in the world is fighting COVID-19, we will not see the assistance Africa received during previous challenges, such as Ebola for example.
Travel and tourism business is a long term solution to rebuild and sell your destinations. This should be done once the world emerges out of the COVID-19 crisis.
The African Tourism Board applauds and will join the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to support all governments, particularly those which are implementing strong policies for a prompt recovery as outlined by WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara today.
To stop the spread of the virus in our countries and to maintain the potential and the future of the travel and tourism industry, we all have to work on the same page.
Africa has to unite now!
The virus doesn’t know borders and it doesn’t know politics.
The African Tourism Board’s mandate is to unite and see Africa as one travel destination. Therefore we urge all African countries, tourism leaders and stakeholders to adopt a new trend just set by Nepal.
Similar to many regions in Africa, Nepal is also dependent on tourism and registered just one case of Coronavirus within its borders.
Nepal had big hopes for travel and tourism this year and declared 2020 the “Visit Nepal Year.”
This opportunity may no longer be realistic, but Nepal has now a long term approach that protects tourism and protects the Nepalese people. Nepal is considered a poor country and would not have the medical facilities and the money to deal with a widespread outbreak of this virus.
Nepal had the courage this week to secure its tourism future for their country in stopping infected people travel to their country.
We in Africa should do the same.
Closing the country for tourists without stopping tourism, taking no risks with the virus, canceling visa on arrival for every nationality, requiring a foreigner to provide a swab PCR health test and in addition require a 14-day quarantine is an approach that has several layers of security, but it also effectively stops the flow of infected people. Of course, for many, it will, unfortunately, interrupt tourism in the short term.
The short-time for such drastic regulations was set by Nepal to April 30, unless the virus keeps attacking the global travel and tourism industry. In the long term, this move may have just saved Nepal’s travel and tourism industry.
The African Tourism Board is urging African countries to follow the trend Nepal set.
Therefore we recommend to immediately implement a new policy in your country or region. It will only work if this is done immediately and if many countries participate.
- Eliminate temporarily visa-free or visa on arrival for all foreigners. This will allow you to eliminate applications from nations with very high outbreak without discriminating against any foreign nationality.
- Require visa application at your diplomatic posts and/or online and ask to have a certificate of health provided with the application
- Require all foreigners who had been approved for a visa to submit a swab test with the application and arrive within 7 days of the PCR health certificate issued
- All foreign nationals entering are should be subject to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their arrival.
- Foreigners with diplomatic and official visa entering for the first time of traveling back should be subject to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days
- Foreigners with business, study and working visa traveling back are subject to stay in self-quarantine for 14 days
The African Tourism Board and our rapid crisis response experts under the leadership by Dr. Peter Tarlow are standing by for assistance.
Signed by the African Tourism Board Executive Board
Cuthbert Ncube, chairman
Alain St. Ange, president
Doris Woerfel, CEO
Simba Mandinyenya, COO
Juergen Steinmetz, CCMO
More information on the African Tourism Board go to www.africantourismboard.com