LIMPOPO PROVINCE, POLOKWANE: Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA) is deeply concerned and about the rushed decision by some international destinations to put South Africa back on the red list due to the newly detected Omicron variant of COVID- 19. These countries include United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Malaysia, Seychelles, Japan, European Union states, United States of America (USA), Australia, Egypt and Rwanda. This denotes that South Africans are barred from travelling these countries while there will not be any flight to South Africa. Other five countries from the SADC region that have also been red listed are, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia. President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address yesterday, the 28th November 2021 said, “The Omicron variant was first described in Botswana and subsequently in South Africa, and scientists have also identified cases in countries such as Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Israel”. LTA is concerned as this decision by the UK will cause serious disruptions with so many cancelations of bookings from these countries including the UK. The Acting CEO of LTA, Mr. Moses Ngobeni said: “What worries us even more is that this has a direct bearing on the economy as flights and accommodation of many prospective visitors to the province have been cancelled. We are confident that our government will engage with these countries to have this impasse resolved so that travel is made possible to sustain our already ailing economy. This will also save several jobs in the tourism sector, which was hard hit by the pandemic. Most of our tourism facilities in the province already had bookings from the some of these countries and this decision will undoubtedly scare other visitors away”. The entity will continue with its drive of the Summer Campaign to encourage the citizens of South Africa and Limpopo to travel destination Limpopo to help resuscitate the economy but also grow domestic tourism. “Limpopo Province will this weekend be abuzz with motorcycles from all parts of the country and beyond the borders of the country as the province will host another rally of Sapa Yopa on the 4th December 2021. The bikers will descend the province from the 2 nd November 2021. We really welcome this continued gesture by the leadership of Sapa Yopa to make this province the home of their annual rally as this boosts the economy while growing tourism in the province”, reiterated Ngobeni. Ngobeni further said, “LTA will also send an activation team to North West Province, Sun City, at Gary Player Country Club from 2-5 December 2021 for the SA Open Championship. LTA has partnered with Sunshine Tour for this event and will use this as an opportunity to create awareness about destination Limpopo and what it has on offer to the golfers and non-golfers attending the event. We are confident that this will boost the numbers of domestic trips to our province”. Released on behalf of LTA by: KGATLA NTLHEKENG MEDIA LIAISON OFFICER LIMPOPO TOURISM AGENCY Tel : 015 293 3600 Cell : 082 041 5116 Email :