Tag Archives: immigration regulations

Deputy President Ramaphosa to referee Visa Regulations battle meeting between Ministers of Home Affairs and Tourism!

PassportAlmost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.

Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.

Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.

Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.

Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.

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WhaleTale Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines : 31 July

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   SAA has announced that its former GM of Human Resources Thuli Mpshe has been appointed as its Acting CEO, after the sudden departure of Nico Bezuidenhout, who returns to Mango.

*   The Tourism Business Council of South Africa CE Mmatsatsi Ramawela has suggested that biometric data of passengers be captured on arrival in Continue reading →

SA Tourism Review commissioned by Tourism Minister Hanekom released!

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WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 21 July

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   The FNB/Tourism Business Council of South Africa Tourism Business Index has plummeted in the second quarter of this year, dropping to 84 relative to its estimated Index of 97. It is the lowest Index score since 2011! Reasons for the Index drop are the reduced international tourism demand, electricity and water shortages, the Immigration Continue reading →

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