The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) has finalised the payment process for the Tourism Relief Fund.
The MTPA called for tourism businesses to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Relief funding in January 2021. This initiative was in support of the National Tourism Relief Fund focusing on Mpumalanga’s small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in distress due to the pandemic.
The Evaluation and Adjudication Committee of the Tourism Relief Fund concluded its work and a total of 353 tourism businesses have been paid to date in the following categories: accommodation (42), hospitality (20), travel and related services (23), tourist guides (104), professional hunting (1), Tourism Grading Assessor (1) and informal traders (162).
CEO of MTPA, Johannes Nobunga, said: “We have 43 remaining applications that have not been finalised for payment yet due to their tax status. They have, however, been offered time to sort their affairs and will be paid once the system clears them.”
He highlighted that the tourism industry in the province had been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a number of tourism businesses in the province closing down.
“This has resulted in massive job losses and a negative impact on our various tourism offerings. This relief funding is one of the support programmes that was established as an intervention to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector,” said Nobunga.
The breakdown below is an indication of the funds that have been paid out:
· Accommodation establishments: R50 000 (€3 000)
· Hospitality and related services: R35 000 (€2 000)
· Travel and related services: R35 000 (€2 000)
· Individual Tourism Tourist Guides, Professional Hunters and Tourism Grading Assessors: R10 000 (€600)
· Informal/subsistence tourism-related businesses: R7 000 (€420)