South African tour operators have have begun waiving booking cancellation fees for Chinese visitors who cannot make the trip to the country. Currently the Chinese government has restricted its citizens from travelling outside the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In an update on their website, South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) indicated that there is no impact on visitors to South Africa and no travel or trade advisories or restrictions have been put in place for travelling to South Africa, except those imposed on Chinese citizens by the Chinese government.
SATSA says it supports its members’ decision to waive cancellation fees for Chinese citizens due to forc majeure.
“SATSA supports our members’ decision to waive cancellation fees for Chinese citizens due to force majeure (Chinese government ban on travelling) and thereby protecting the reputation of brand South Africa. We are however aware that tourists of other nationalities are also requesting cancellation fees to be waived. We advise that these tourists should rather postpone their trips with fewer penalties or be liable for the standard cancellation fees.”
South Africa has been on high alert with the Department of Health implementing additional screening at OR Tambo. These additional screenings have been mainly targeted at airlines flying in from high risk areas including :
- Cathay Pacific
- Hong Kong