COVID-19 Tourism impacts in South Africa: Government and industry responses

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103 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic is having devastating economic and social consequences in the global South. This article is a rapid response critical assessment and examines COVID-19's emerging impacts for the tourism sector of South Africa, one of the world's worst affected destinations. Specific focus is upon responses by industry and government to the crisis and its unfolding impact for the tourism sector. The study is situated within the context of an expanding tourism scholarship and debates around the pandemic. Findings show a hollowing out of the South African tourism industry is taking place at an accelerating tempo with the most severely impacted being tourism small and micro-enterprises. The study highlights the occurrence of conflicts between key stakeholders and especially the frustrations of the tourism industry about the chaotic and changing policy regulations towards the sector as well as the weakness of government support interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalGeojournal of Tourism and Geosites
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Government
  • Industry responses
  • Lockdown
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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