News Articles

South African tourism has `huge growth potential`: Minister

Source: Reuters, 30/03/2018

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa will speed up visa processes and lure major conferences in an effort to boost foreign arrivals by 40 percent by 2021, its tourism minister said on Friday. The new measures are part of a goal to attract five million additional travelers ` four million international tourists and one million extra local holiday trips and will help limit the “blip” a major drought is having on South Africa’s top tourist draw card, Cape Town, said minister Derek Hanekom. “I am bullish because there is huge growth potential,” Hanekom told Reuters in an interview. “On the international front conditions are very much in our favor so its going to be easier to achieve the four million part than the one million,” he said. Tourism, which contributes more than 400 billion rand ($34 billion) to Africa’s most industrialized economy, or around 8 percent of GDP, is seen by government as key to help drive growth and reduce a stubbornly high unemployment rate. South Africa emerged from a recession last year but is struggling to grow its economy and less disposal income means locals are hesitant to travel. However, the long-haul destination still provides good value for money for foreign tourists attracted to its white beaches, iconic Table Mountain and wildlife safaris. Earlier this month, the World Travel and Tourism Council said travel and tourism would contribute around 424.5 billion rand to the overall economy in 2018, before rising by 3.5 percent a year to 598.6 billion or 10.1 percent of GDP in 2028. Besides establishing a fund which is geared to help South Africa win more global conferences and exhibitions, Hanekom said home affairs officials were also developing online visa applications, as well as possibly producing them for tourists on arrival at airports. “Of course the first prize for us and the easiest is when visitors from particulars countries don’t need visas at all,” he said. Hanekom said discussions with home affairs and foreign relations departments would consider granting more countries visa waivers for short trips, following success with visitor numbers from Russia which increased 57 percent last year. Tourism officials said current visa processes were putting off tourists from China, India and Nigeria, some of the world’s largest outbound travel markets. ($1 = 11.8239 rand)


Search

  •    THE media and the public will now be allowed to attend asylum seekers` appeals when conducted following the adoption of the Refugee Amendment Bill.... Read more...
  •    Cape Town - A Western Cape Cape High Court judge is facing a legal conundrum after three illegal immigrants arrested during a national clampdown Operation Fiela turned to the courts to test the lawfulness of their detention... Read more...
  •    The latest Henley Passport Index shows that the South African passport remains stable in Q3, ranking 50th globally and occupying third place in the sub-Saharan Africa region - following Seychelles, ranked at 24 and Mauritius at 28 globally. Somalia, Libya, and Eritrea sit at the bottom of the index in Africa, each only able to access 35 or fewer destinations visa-free.... Read more...
  •    Which was activated by a notice published in the Government Gazette, on Friday 13 July, has been criticised nationally and internationally for its approach with respect to a number of aspects. The European Union`s Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that foreigners are hesitant to invest in SA for fear that there will be a lack of protection over their investment.... Read more...
  •    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed to invest US $10 billion in key sectors of South Africa’s economy, including tourism and mining, to support the sustainable development of the country.... Read more...
  •    FLAWS: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says elitist business models and a sluggish economy are limiting jobs.... Read more...
  •    The latest Henley Passport Index shows that the South African passport remains stable in Q3, ranking 50th globally and occupying third place in the sub-Saharan Africa region - following Seychelles, ranked at 24 and Mauritius at 28 globally. Somalia, Libya, and Eritrea sit at the bottom of the index in Africa, each only able to access 35 or fewer destinations visa-free.... Read more...
  •    For the 17th year, the Travel + Leisure reader`s poll has named Cape Town as the number one favoured city in Africa and the Middle East. The publication`s poll commended the city for its favourable exchange rate, first-rate hotels, and ongoing business and leisure travel success.... Read more...
  •    Statistics SA`s analysis of tourist arrivals between 2013 and 2014 fails to take into account that 2013 tourist arrival figures included transit passengers, while for 2014 these were excluded.... Read more...
  •    THE Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, has issued a scathing indictment of the quality of administrative decision-making in South Africa’s asylum-seeker process.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News