Home news Visa regulations are frustrating our tourism industry – Ramaphosa

Visa regulations are frustrating our tourism industry – Ramaphosa

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Ramaphosa addresses delegates at the Africa Travels Indaba
Ramaphosa addresses delegates at the Africa Travels Indaba

Ugandan tour operators were furious last week after being denied South African visas to attend the third biggest tourism fair in the world, Indaba.

Some of the delegates who turned up for the Africa Travels Indaba
Some of the delegates who turned up for the Africa Travels Indaba

Some operators ended up missing the fair despite having already spent on accommodation, feeding, transport and exhibition fees to South African organisers.

However, this could be the last time such is happening.

Speaking at the final day of Africa’s Travel Indaba at the Durban International Convention Centre, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa called for the overhaul of the “frustrating visa regulations”.

He says it is through such measure that South Africa will grow its tourism industry.

Ramaphosa further urged his African counterparts to reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit African countries face as one of the ways of boosting the tourism market.

He said if tourists were held back by red tape, they would immediately give up and go to another destination.

“This clearly requires that we should streamline our tourist visa regimes and as SA we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of a visa free travel dispensation and a single African air transport market.”

On his part, he said South Africa was already in the process of overhauling their visa dispensation.

“We are in the process of overhauling, in a very radical way, our visa dispensation, for the rest of the world and introducing a world class e-visa system.”

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