South Africa Ebola free and far from outbreak

South Africa Ebola free and far from outbreak
By admin


South African Tourism Roadshow arrived in Sydney last night, showcasing not only the sites, tastes, rhythms and energy of South Africa, but driving home the message the country is Ebola free and open for business.

The ‘Meet South Africa’ theme gave agents the chance to gain valuable product knowledge, while networking with the airline, Australian wholesalers and South African operators and provinces during one on one sessions. 

The evening also brought to light conversation on what many described as “Ebola hype”, and the need for the public to be educated to understand the locale of the affected countries in relation to South Africa.

Africa is a big country, a 18.8 million-square-kilometer land mass which comprises of 54 countries. Referring to “Africa” as one entity may make mistakes in understanding just how big of a threat Ebola actually is, who might have been exposed to it, and what the likelihood of an individual contracting it might be.

South Africa is some 4800 kilometers from the outbreak zone, over which the land crossing would be difficult due to lack of roads and even war zones. South Africa is almost as far from the outbreak zone as you can get while still being in Africa.

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South Africa Tourism general manager Australasia, Lalie Ngozi, further put this into context, stating that when looking at the world map to better understand where Ebola is in the West African countries, “these countries are closer to Europe than South Africa.”

Ngozi told Travel Today that South Africa is very concerned about Ebola and is giving all the support they can to the West African countries that are affected by the disease.

“Since news broke of Ebola, South Africa has been doing what is necessary to protect its nationals and also to help those countries,” Ngozi said.

From the beginning of August, no flights from the countries affected by Ebola have been able to come into South Africa and no South Africans have been allowed to travel to countries where there is Ebola risk.

Ngozi drove home the message that “South Africa is open for business and there are absolutely no reported cases of Ebola in the country.”

While some South African operators said they have experienced a slight decline in bookings recently, a majority have found travellers are still visiting, so be it at a deferred date.

This is Africa managing director Patrick Barden told Travel Today that bookings so far this year are still up 15% on last year, and they had not had any cancellations to date.

Travel agents who missed out on attending the Roadshow can become a South African Specialist by visiting the SA Specialist program, and learn more about South Africa by visiting http://aublog.southafrica.net.

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