MORE LONG WEEKENDS: DREAM HOTELS AND RESORTS BACKS PUBLIC HOLIDAY PROPOSAL TO BOOST TOURISM
JOHANNESBURG 25 OCTOBER 2021 – Dream Hotels & Resorts (DHR) has announced its support of FlySafair's proposal to amend the Public Holidays Act by moving midweek holidays to either Monday or Friday.
With a portfolio of 21 properties across the country, the mixed-use accommodation group is one of the first tourism stakeholders to rally behind the efforts of South Africa’s top-rated low-cost national carrier.
"It's a bold move, but a strategic step in the right direction when it comes to aiding the tourism sector's recovery efforts," says Nick Dickson, Dream Hotels & Resorts (DHR) CEO.
Based on recent data by FlySafair, South Africans travel more when public holidays fall on either a Monday or Friday. They also reported a 20% increase in passenger volumes over long weekends.
"It's no secret that long weekends promote domestic travel," Dickson explains. "If the international travel bans have taught us anything, it's the importance of nurturing this market to ensure the survival of our industry."
Despite South Africa's removal from the UK's red list, there is still plenty of ground to cover on the road to recovery. Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the Bureau for Economic Research reports that the sector went from supporting 1.6 million jobs in 2018 to 640 000 in 2020.
"Aside from the boost it could give South Africa’s tourism sector, the concept of optimising long weekends not only reduces midweek disruptions but allows for extended time off without having to use up one's leave days."
As for the concern of diminishing the importance of historically important dates, the proposed changes to the Public Holidays Act by FlySafair are clear in ensuring these are commemorated.
"As an example, 1 May will still be observed as Workers Day, but the actual holiday will fall on a Friday or Monday," Dickson explains. "Our public holidays are largely centred around very significant historical events, so it's crucial to give these days the reverence that they deserve."
Similar efforts of moving midweek public holidays to either Friday or Monday have already taken place in the USA, UK, Argentina and Japan. These case studies also form the basis of the proposal which is now under review by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA).
"Once TBCSA has approved the proposition, we hope to lobby the department of tourism to bring the motion before parliament," he adds.
To table the amendments with a certain degree of clout, he also emphasises the need to garner enough support from fellow industry players, from labour, and of course, from the public.
"If Covid has reinforced anything, it's that we are an industry and a nation capable of accomplishing anything of value when we are proactive and work together towards a common goal," says Dickson.
"This small change in optimising public holidays could make a huge difference, not only in boosting our recovery but fostering national pride amongst South Africans who could use their extended weekends to venture beyond their stoep and explore this incredible country," he concludes.
For more information on how to support the proposal visit: www.flysafair.co.za/petition
About Dream Hotels and Resorts
Founded with the belief that people are connected through shared memories, Dream Hotels & Resorts was established with the dream of creating lasting memories by providing the right canvas: a varied portfolio of resorts and lodges including exclusive membership and ownership opportunities in South Africa’s most sought-after holiday destinations. Dream Hotels & Resorts’ mantra across its 21 properties, ranging from the iconic Blue Marlin Hotel in Scottburgh, the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in the Western Cape to Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa in the beautiful Cape winelands all the way to Finfoot Lake Reserve situated in the Greater Pilanesberg, is to provide an experience that makes the guest feel like the only guest. This “One Guest” approach centres around exceeding expectations to provide guests with the dream holiday they deserve.