Slow paced growth of tourism industry in South Africa due to fresh visa policies, says business council

South Africa is making all efforts to recover from the downturn

The Tourism industry in South Africa is making all efforts to recover from the downturn it is facing due to the fresh visa policies. Meanwhile, innumerable immigrants were not allowed to enter SA further slowing down the pace of the tourism sector’s growth. The Business Council of Tourism in South Africa reported this to the portfolio committee of the Parliament.

Nearly 13, 246 travelers had been barred from entering the country owing to birth certificates being unabridged.

Due to the falling rate of tourists to the country from the conventional traveler sector in the last year, SA had formed a committee of ministers to probe the issue.

The recommendations that were implemented from the proposals included breach of promise undertaking removal, provision for a complete birth certificate and normal birth certificate effective from 1 November. It was also suggested that than recording the biometrics of the tourists only at the missions of SA in the native nations, the data could be captured at their arrival on ports.

Implementation of the committee’s recommendations had resulted in a growth of the number of tourists to about 18% as compared to 2015, informed TBCSA Chief MmatšatšiRamawela.

In spite of this thousand of travelers who had advanced paid vacations were not allowed to enter SA from various locations across the globe even in 2015. SAA recorded that more than three thousand tourists were not allowed to arrive in SA on the grounds of full-length certificates of birth between the period of June last year to July this year. Including the numbers from the flight agencies the numbers add up to 13, 246 tourists being barred from arrival, informed Ramawela.

She also said that the report indicated that forty-three percent of the respondents from the traveler and commercial bodies were still being adversely influenced by the reformed laws. Almost twenty-nine percent of the respondents had to call off their tours owing to the new laws.

James Vos, a member of the DA committee of tourism informed that the Home Affairs Department had not replied to its proposal to employ more officers of immigration to assist the visa processing.

The holiday season was close approaching which will witness the arrival of thousands of travelers to the country and the DA would be asking the Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom what quick measures he had in mind to tackle the situation, elaborated Vos.

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni in his interaction with the press on Friday in Johannesburg said that the visa counters required more staff and this hindrance had constrained maximum visa processing to the country.

He said that OR Tambo international airport had 87 counters for immigration and even with cent percent presence of the employees all the counters cannot have complete attendance. This was owing to the obvious human resource aspects informed Apleni.

The capturing of data with the biometric system had assisted the department to recognize and verify people with maximum possible competence, conviction, and safety he said.

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