New Tourist Regulations May Hurt South Africa’s Tourism Industry

South Africa’s tourism will take a hit with the new requirements for visas. That’s according to Democratic Alliance MP James Vos.

Vos said the new regulations regarding immigration are causing a backlog in the tourism industry, leading to unnecessary red tape. It’s placing a burden upon the industry and is restricting growth in the job-creating sector.

Foreigners who were trying to visit the country were already dealing with red tape with the enacting of the new biometric visa requirements.

Vos said visitors now must apply for visas in person, creating an unnecessary financial hardship for people who don’t live near any South African visa centers, consulates or embassies or live in countries that don’t have these facilities, it’s a real burden.

The new regulations were set forth last month.

Helen Zille, premier of Western Cape, said these new laws were a threat to the province key tourism industries – leisure, business and film. She said she will go to court with the national government over the issue.

Vos talked to Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and urged him to brief the Parliament’s tourism portfolio committee on the steps his department would take to get past the negative impacts the new regulations would cause.

He said the tourism minister cannot ignore this issue. He must come in now and protect the jobs the tourism industry creates in the country.

Statistics SA shows that the tourism industry employs nearly 600,000 South Africans and gives the GDP nearly R90-billion.

Vos said a good number of countries are trying to relax their tourist visa requirements; a trend the ANC must have missed entirely.

A month before the announcement of new regulations, the tourism department said its international tourist arrivals for the country were set to break the 10 million mark (an all-time high).

According to Sapa, between 2011 and 2013, the country’s international tourists arrivals had a 7.4 percent yearly growth rate, a percentage that exceeds the worldwide average of 4.5 percent.

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Posted by on Jun 25 2014. Filed under New, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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