Shock as tourists cancel SA travel plans over Ebola

2014-08-18 09:29

Cape Town – Tourists from various eastern countries have been cancelling their trips to South Africa, citing the rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa as their reason.

Die Burger reports that scores of tourists who were meant to be travelling to South Africa in August, September and October have cancelled their air tickets and accommodation bookings out of fear that they might contract the virus while on the African continent.

According to David Frost, executive head of the  Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), a group of 1 500 tourists from Thailand who were set to visit the country in September have cancelled their trip, while smaller groups from Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan have done the same.

Tour operators fear that if someone should test positive, it would cause mass hysteria and lead to absolute chaos in the tourism industry.

This comes after a man was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday to be tested for the dreaded haemorrhagic disease.  

The department of health has, however, said that the chances are slim the South African will test positive.

In the meantime, all ports of entry into South Africa are being closely monitored. Special thermal scanners have been set up at International airports to aid in screening passengers who have raised temperatures.

Once identified, the travellers will be assessed by medical officials at the necessary facilities available, with special attention being given to patients with a travel history to West Africa. 

Do you think international tourists’ fears over ebola are legitimate, even though the outbreak occurred thousands of kilometres away from South Africa?