“We would have liked to have seen an immediate visa waiver for visitors from the Middle East‚ and New Zealand‚ a source market which has seen a decline of 30% in arrivals since visas were introduced.”
It said what South Africa’s tourism sector needed‚ while this process remained open-ended‚ was immediate action.
“Our key markets of India and China remain constrained because of the inability of Home Affairs to issue visas timeously. We need urgent implementation of measures to improve visa requirements for these markets so that President Ramaphosa’s vision of tourism contributing to the growth of South Africa’s economy can become a reality now‚ not later.”
Meanwhile‚ the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) said it was disappointed and frustrated that South African minors would still be required to present unabridged birth certificates when travelling.
CEO Otto de Vries said that if government wanted to stimulate the country’s economy‚ the requirements for unabridged birth certificates needed to be scrapped for all travellers‚ including South Africans.
“The controversial requirement for travelling families has stifled outbound tourism‚ as it is making it difficult for local families to travel internationally. Why would you continue to apply a policy that will hamper and frustrate them?” De Vries questioned.
He urged government to apply the new policy consistently and across the board.