6 May 2019
President Ramaphosa has highlighted the need to reduce bureaucratic red tape that tourists wishing to visit African countries face.
The president was speaking at the Africa Travel Indaba in Durban.
He added that this required African countries to streamline their tourist visa regimes.
As regards South Africa, president Ramaphosa confirmed that government was “committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa free travel and a single African air transport market”.
“We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world class e-visa system.”
Ramaphosa also emphasized that it was necessary to address crime and “counter the perception that Africa is an unsafe tourism destination”.
“This means we have to devote more resources to tackling acts of criminality, particularly crimes against tourists.”
Other challenges that needed to be addressed included for African governments to forge stronger public-private sector partnerships to foster new tourism products and offerings, ensure that tourism offerings are well aligned with technology flowing from the Fourth Industrial Revolution and “be open to international benchmarks that we should use to drive-up the standards, competitiveness and the quality of our domestic tourism industry”.
Speaking earlier, the tourism minister, Derek Hanekom, declared that African countries need to implement the AU Agenda 2063 in particular with respect to free movement of people on the continent and the easing or dropping of visa requirements to facilitate this.
The minister also called for all countries to sign the Single African Air Transport Market.
Currently 23 countries have signed so far.
“It’s intended to drive down airfares by allowing more airlines to freely access and increase frequency of flights to more countries.”