Tourism Update: Immigration amendments could hurt SA’s neighbours

With much of Southern Africa’s inbound tourists following multi-country itineraries, there is strong possibility that South Africa’s new immigration regulations will cause fall-off in tourist numbers for the region at large.
 
South African tour operators and product owners are already reporting worrying cancellations due to the more onerous visa application processes.  These include ‘apply in person’ conditions for biometric visas, and birth certificates for the under-18s.
 
Kwakye Donkor, Marketing and Communications Director for Retosa which represents 15 Southern African countries, said it was difficult to give any indication of cancellations or a reduction in arrivals at this point, as no scientific research had yet been conducted, but it was imperative that all stakeholders in all countries provided sufficient and correct information to tourists.  Retosa would be using its regional and global platforms to communicate the changes to the media, its international partners and tour operators.
 
Ross Kennedy, Chief Executive of Africa Albida Tourism in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa Director of the African Travel & Tourism Association (Atta), sees the new regulations as a “non-user friendly” and a “massive hindrance and  impediment” to arrivals across the region...
 
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