Stupid is as Stupid Does
A few weeks back, we wrote how tourism industry businesses were groping at the recently introduced WTTC Safe Destination badge, without understanding the dangers that this free-for-all approach to covid-proofing a business posed.
And today, none other than the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) - an industry uber-association supposedly representing the interests of South Africa's tourism sector, proudly announced that they had been awarded the right to issue this token. To hell with the fact that there was a perfectly sound and internationally competitive label already available in South Africa, the TBCSA chose to support a 'johnny-come-lately' system of covid-whitewash! Rather than support and establish a national approach and label, they chose to align with a self-audit alternative that will surely lead to further transmission of this virus because they could. It makes absolutely no sense to align with a marketing campaign that exposes travellers to unnecessary risk purely because they want to be seen as part of the 'club'.
As a national tourism body, the TBCSA should be more concerned at the potential any further outbreak will cause to the tourism sector, rather than playing with the futures of every tourism business in this manner. By not supporting a system that provides and requires independent verification of compliance to a NATIONAL and international standard, they are condemning a generation of businesses to an uncertain future. It will take just one transmission through non-existent application of standards to destroy our industry forever, yet the mandarins of this industry feel they have the right to do so.
Stupid is as stupid does hardly covers the irrational thinking behind their decision, and aligns the industry's spokespersons and leaders to the hypocrisy that South Africa's government has shown to tourism in this country. As a tourism body, the TBCSA - and others, should be supporting local initiatives first and foremost - and then aligning to international marketing initiatives such as the WTTC knowing that what is being labelled meets the standard completely.
An absolute mockery of leadership if ever there was!