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Satellite technology gives SA tourism an opportunity to level the digital divideBy ATTA®
Loss of custom has been the biggest driver of collapsed incomes in the tourism industry as Covid-19 lockdown prevented both loyal and new clients reaching remote establishments. Lockdown also compromised the ability of many operations to maintain their relationships with family, staff, service providers and suppliers. Even after lockdown, ongoing electricity supply challenges - especially in deep rural South Africa where so many of the country's most unique tourism assets reside - continue to present both operational hurdles and security challenges.
Even before lockdown, affordable and reliable internet was cited as a principal obstacle to business by 60% of South African SMEs. This was even higher in the tourism and leisure sector.
South Africa’s far flung tourist establishments have long been accustomed to the challenges of distance and poor connectivity, dealing with the loneliness, insecurity and lack of social interaction as best they can. In the country’s most remote rural areas without access to electricity the sense of social isolation and lack of meaningful human interaction is acute.