No live SONA address a 'massive blow' to Cape Town's tourism industry
By Clinton Moodley 13m ago
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The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a top tourism drawcard for Cape Town, but like many events of the past year, the address won't draw a large crowd of guests.
This means that thousands of tourists won't flock to Parliament in their designer outfits or explore Cape Town like they would during SONA weekend.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation at 7pm tonight.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism Enver Duminy said the annual address brought in tourists and revenue. With SONA held virtually, many tourism businesses will be left severely impacted.
"We've always said that tourism is an important driver of economic growth in Cape Town, with thousands of people directly and indirectly affected across the value chain.
“Accommodation establishments that would usually house SONA attendees will not benefit from that this year, and restaurants who often host attendees won't be getting that business either.
“The pandemic has not only dealt a massive blow to leisure tourism, but also to business tourism and the economic benefits of being a city that hosts many events, including SONA," he said.
He said many businesses were battling to stay afloat due to cancellation or postponement of big local events.
"We hope to see some significant movement in the tourism and hospitality space while the restrictions are not as harsh as they were before, but we do urge everyone to continue to play by the rules.
“Always wear your mask, sanitise regularly and be responsible while out and about," he added.