Visa changes to boost South Africa Tourism economy

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SA Tourism welcomes the changes to the visa and travel documentation requirements that were recently announced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. This is the foundation the tourism sector requires to boost international visits to our country.

Tourism sector is very important for the country’s economy, and it needs to be nurtured for sustained inclusive growth. Last year, about 10.2 million people visited South Africa and tourism outperformed other key industries in terms of job creation, adding just over 40 000 new jobs to the economy from 2012 to 2016.

According to a report from Stats SA, the tourism sector is a major job creator, employing more than 686 000 people in 2016, outnumbering utilities (118 000) and mining (444 000). People working in tourism made up 4.4% of the South African formal and informal workforces, up from 3.8% in 2015, and this continues to rise. Tourism already contributes about 8% of Africa’s GDP and employs 6.5% of the workforce – this equates to 700 000 jobs, a number President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling on us to double.

We are excited that he’s put tourism so firmly on our government’s agenda, and I believe that, together, we can all see this dream through. “There is no reason we can’t double the number of tourism jobs in South Africa” – Sisa Ntshona, SA Tourism chief executive.