SA tourism suffers due to poor immigration laws

Published on : Tuesday, November 8, 2016

South AfricaSouth Africa’s tourism industry has suffered a loss of at least R7,5 billion, due to new immigration regulations, and to avert further revenue loss and damage for the country’s tourism industry, immediate action is required from the Department of Tourism in the coming festive season. SA’s immigration regulations reflect problematic birth certificate requirements, as well as new biometric data capturing systems. Although the DHA said that it would initiate changes in November, the real effects are yet to be seen. SA’s tourism industry has suffered a loss of R7,5 billion due to these ruinous regulations.

Although the DHA submitted appeals in the Parliament for the regulations to be changed and implement e-visas, which will ease tourism, reduce turnaround time and make visa application easy and safer, they are yet to come into effect. Implantation of biometric data capturing will make immigrations easier in the future and pave the way for e-visas and self check-in counters and other futuristic immigration procedures.

With the festive season approaching fast with expected increase in tourist numbers, there hasn’t been any confirmation or appropriate measure yet to address these challenges. On Friday, 4 November, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBSCA), along with other tourism stakeholders as well as the Ministers of Tourism and Finance in SA, held an emergency meeting to discuss ways to avoid such a crisis situation and three long-term solutions were agreed upon to be proposed for approval.


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