Impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector

Review of the virtual exchange for Sub Saharan Africa on 12th November 2020

The tourism sector has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This ranges from the from SMEs to the international sector players including the airlines, the hotel industry, travel agencies and other associated players. Many African countries are tourist destinations thus must have been dented by the lock downs and closure of airspaces. Upon opening though, a lot of domestic tourism has been promoted.

Connective Cities sought to understand the nature of the impact on the sector players and some of the measures being put in place to cushion against the negative impacts and future pandemics.


With the knowledge that a lot of the players in this sector come from the private sector, little wonder it is that the 11 participants were drawn from the private sector. This was a moderated session and the examples from Mpumalanga in South Africa, those from Asia and the global perspective on response to the pandemic gave a clear picture of the impacts and response measures. In this session we sought to answer these questions:

  1. What have been the core challenges for the sector players?
  2. What measures have you put in place?
  3. Have there been any lessons learned already for long term strategies to improve the sector’s resilience (i.e. preparedness for pandemics or similar events in the future)?


Tourism recovery process- the case for Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Mr. Oupa Pilane

Covid-19 and the tourism crisis: how some municipal authorities around the world are supporting tourism sector recovery
Ms. Jennifer Bartlett

Responding to Covid-19 challenges- how Nepal’s tourism sector is finding its way out
Deepak Adhikary


  • Tourism in Mpumalanga province was on a positive trajectory until Covid-19 struck and the sector was adversely affected like in many other countries where tourism is a major economic activity
  • Massive job losses experienced in many countries as well
  • Mpumalanga thus collaborated with the private sector to develop the tourism recovery plan that will protect & rejuvenate supply, re-ignite demand and strengthen enabling capability.
  • From a global lense, a lot is going on with expected post-crisis growth in market demand for nature-based & wellness travel.


Sophia Kamau | Connective Cities

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