The tourism sector stands ready to procure COVID 19 vaccines for its employees in order to help jumpstart the economy and return the sector to growth, Hospitality & Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) said this week.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT: This will reduce burden on government as the tourism sector has been the hardest hit by the lockdown restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
WHAT DID HATAB SAY: HATAB says it has the capacity to mobilise resources towards procurement, storage, distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to save the industry. The body that represents the interests of the tourism sector explained that businesses will be willing to fund the costs of vaccines for some family members of their staff, to reduce risks of cross-infection and improve the welfare of the families.
WHAT ELSE DID HATAB SAY: The organisation proposed that tourism staff be designated Essential Workers and that they be assigned high priority in the allocation of vaccines. It said if that doesn’t happen, there may be dire consequences for the industry which is already affected lockdowns and rolling curfews. Without early vaccines, there is threat to the growth of the sector as potential tourists will consider other destinations. This will defer recovery of Botswana's tourism industry until the busy season of 2022. The tourism sector contributes significantly to the country’s national output.
ABOUT HATAB: HATAB is tourism advocacy body which represents interests of hospitality and tourism sector including: Airline & Air Charter, Camps & Lodges, Conservation & Wildlife Management and Hotels.