Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
Tourists in the Maasai Mara/XINHUA

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on Africa’s Safari Industry – Survey

An overwhelming number of tour operators are suffering from a decline in bookings of at least 75 percent due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey has found.

The survey conducted by SafariBookings.com, an online marketplace for African safari tours finds around 91 percent of operators have lost at least three quarters of the bookings they normally rely upon at this time of year.

 

As one operator told the surveyors, the impact of the virus is global and has been devastating for many people. Of course, the safari business in Tanzania is no exception. We have seen a decrease of more than 90 percent in bookings and requests, and we have been closed for more than 4 months now.”

And in Uganda one operator simply said, “this pandemic has affected the tourism sector to the extent that since February I have not received any quotes or bookings for safaris.”

An extraordinary drop in business with many operators unable to afford to even hire local staff. A Namibian operator summed up the situation in Southern Africa, “in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, our tourism is suffering badly without our usual international clients. Many places have closed until further notice, many people have lost their jobs. It’s really sad times for tourism.”

Seventy percent of operators who responded to the survey said that cancellations had increased by at least 75 percent on existing bookings. Less than 4 percent said it was business as usual. “Covid-19 has affected our business negatively and caused us to lose some of our staff members as most of our clients have cancelled for this year,” an operator from Namibia said.

As countries such as Kenya and Tanzania become beacons of hope for the safari industry, restarting international flights, there is also a more positive tone taking its first tentative steps from some tour operators.

“There are signs that some recovery will begin, probably in the next month once the border between Tanzania and Kenya opens, and as more flights are starting – we believe that the chances are high that business will improve by at least 50 percent.”

This operator from Kenya even saw the pandemic as an opportunity for improvement, “The pandemic has definitely affected business in the negative. However, but on the other hand it has caused us to think deeper about our business model, which has resulted in us designing a more strategic model that will be able to remain viable even in a crisis.”

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...