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South Africa’s Visa System To Be Reviewed

May 23, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona declared in his parting address at Indaba 2017 that his government was in the process of addressing the situation created by the controversial New Zealand Visa requirements.

The many New Zealanders living in Australia and those in their home country are currently required to personally attend cities which have High Commission agents to apply for visas to South Africa. This sometimes expensive trip turns many people off finalising their documentation and as a result they select an alternative destination for their travels.

“We are certainly aware of the problem,” he told me in a one on one interview on Indaba 2017’s final day. “When the visa legislation was put in place tourism was not one of the government’s main focuses so we are left with some legacies that in some ways are disruptive to a smooth flow of tourists and this is one of them. We are currently in the process of reviewing all the visa requirements with a view to making it much more user friendly for potential visitors”.

With Sisa Ntshona CEO of South African Tourism

David Frost, CEO Southern Africa Tourism Services Assn (SATSA) representing inbound tourism operators added. “We have a new Tourism Minister and a new Home Affairs Minister so we’re hoping these two can deliver something better. We are certainly looking to see if this can’t be resolved, or at least moved to an e-application ASAP.”

Sisa led a group of South African Tourism leaders in re affirming the commitment they have for Indaba to be staged in Durban and managed by Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal. “The confirmation of a five year plan will ensure stakeholders can organise their agendas, investments and infrastructure for a guaranteed longer period.”

Indaba employed 300 people from around the country this year and apart from the introduction of the Hidden Gems initiative (90 new predominantly small businesses by locals) and the introduction of 20 smaller countries from around Africa, there was an accent on food, wine and hospitality as well as tourism.

Indaba decision makers present plans for next year

Despite the recent introduction of “We are Africa”, another travel trade show hosted in Cape Town, Indaba 2017 was an unqualified success and the best in the past 27 years it has been held in Durban. There were 368 international buyers, the media contingent was up on last year and more than 1300 attended the three day event.

Durban Tourism has implemented a plan to make their magnificent warm Indian Ocean beaches more of a resort style destination and to clean up the Durban landscape and make it more secure and user friendly.

In the past, Indaba was held on a weekend. From this year on it will continue to be midweek. Indaba 2018 will take place at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 8-10 May.

And for interesting statistics to close the presentation it was revealed that 70 per cent of visitation is from the UK and Angola make up the biggest spenders.

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Written by John Savage covering Indaba in Durban

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