Although members of the tourism and travel sector express joy over the home affairs department’s recent rectification of SA’s travel advisory, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) says more work needs to be done to ensure that parents are able to travel with ease.
TBCSA’s CEO, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, said the council welcomed the changes instituted by the department as it would make a huge impact in the tourism industry, also referred to as the sunshine industry by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
However, he said more still needed to be done to assist parents travelling out of the country with their children.
“We, as the TBCSA, have been adamant about creating an environment that is conducive for tourism growth that can stimulate job creation and transformation,” Tshivhengwa said. “We welcome the progress government is making in easing regulations for tourists entering the country.
“We have to send a clear message to tourists that South Africa is ready and welcoming.”
He said the regulations governing how parents travel with their children had previously had an adverse effect on the industry, noting it may have been the reason South African Tourism did not reach its target of attracting 10.9 million tourists, but only attracting 10.5 million.
“Tourist arrivals from Africa in that period grew by 3.0%, while overseas arrivals declined by 1.5%, compared to the same period in 2017. This reflects a deterioration exasperated by stringent regulations.
“If we want to see a doubling of tourist arrivals by 2030, we need to put more effort into boosting tourism.
“The TBCSA remains committed to having robust and meaningful discussions with various stakeholders in the public and private sector in order to find long term solutions,” Tshivhengwa said.
The department warned it could take some time before the changes would come into effect.
It would come into effect once loaded onto the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Information Manual Automatic (Timatic) system where all information of each passenger travelling through South Africa is stored.