THE Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) is campaigning among businesses and individuals in the province to ensure more people get their coronavirus vaccination in an effort to avoid a possible fourth wave of infections and disruption to South Africa’s peak domestic summer travel season.
Acting CEO, Barba Gaoganediwe, said the GTA hoped to see nine million individuals vaccinated in Gauteng by December. According to numbers issued by the South African National Government in August, there is capacity to administer around one million vaccines across the country every three days.
“Jabs for Tourism has been our pioneering project. We coined the term and mobilised our teams and municipalities to join us,” said Gaoganediwe.
He said staff on the hospitality, tourism and travel frontline had been the initial target audience, but said stakeholders were using innovative measures to encourage more public participation and walk-ins at pop-up vaccination sites.
“We are using drive-throughs. People are able to get vaccinated in their car. They don’t have to queue and sit next to strangers,” Gaoganediwe said. “It’s a tall order with a huge population, but, if we can vaccinate around 10 million people, we will have made strides towards herd immunity. This will kickstart our tourism recovery.”
Jabs for Tourism will be central to the GTA’s summer promotional marketing activities, Gaoganediwe added, while pledging “everything in our power” to get the message out. He also supports the notion that those who are vaccinated should be the first allowed back into sports and events arenas, festivals and other venues.
Gaoganediwe challenged holidaymakers and the travel trade: “What will summer be like without a jab? We all want to have a ‘rooftop GP’ lifestyle experience, where we can all go out safely.
“Without a jab, we will not be able to restart our economy,” he concluded. “Jabs for Tourism is private-sector driven, government led. We can see the recovery and tourism doesn’t need major inputs to get working. If we are going to contribute to the recovery of our sector, and get young people who are unemployed back into the system, we need to see results.”