With the country moving to Level 1 of the national lockdown today, Monday 21 September 2020, we asked our #AAVEA2020 board members and representatives of some of South Africa’s top attractions and visitor experiences to share their re-opening insights with us.

Alichia Nortje, Two Oceans Aquarium:

  • Visitor loyalty has been reassuring: Members of the public are absolutely delighted to visit the Aquarium again.
  • Visitor feedback is important: Our visitors, especially our annual members, are extremely complimentary of our efforts and commitment to our business. It has been incredibly rewarding to engage with our visitors and get their direct feedback during the early days of re-opening.
  • Timing is key: We also suspect our offering was reopened in the nick of time as parents are clearly desperate for something to do with their families.it’s a good time to be in the experience business, even as we continue to practise caution in terms of our financial recovery and future visitation trends.
  • Work on your annual membership offering: We have definitely seen uptake in annual membership sales at this early stage, with the value of this annual ticket being especially apparent to visitors right now.
  • Sales increase: Our souvenir shop and onsite restaurant have also been pleasantly surprised by the amount of sales they have seen since opening.

Mandi Jarman, City Sightseeing South Africa: 

  • Visitors ready to explore safely: People are happy to be out and about. There is a respect for COVID protocols which makes implementation easier to manage.
  • Discount expectations: We  have  found  that  visitors are expecting special rates on entrances and fares.

Mantombi Tofile, uShaka Marine World:

  • Training is a must-have: Conducting on-the-job training to staff with regulations has helped boosting their confidence in carefully being hospitable to our visitors.
  • Manage your visitor flow: A traffic flow system with demarcation in the park assisted with keeping visitors within the regulatory parameters to maintain social distancing
  • Special visitor rates can be helpful: Re-opening of uShaka Sea World with a special rate showed positive response considering the current financial climate that everyone is caught in.
  • Sales affected: At the uShaka Village Walk beach mall, the first two months were absolutely dismal with some tenants not doing any sales for the day on some days. This has since recovered with August being the best month since the lifting of the lockdown.