E-visa extensions, discounted airfares among South Africa’s strategies to woo tourists

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To ameliorate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on its tourism industry, South Africa is initiating a number of measures to get tourists back into the country

On top of the agenda is the extension of its electronic visa application system to more countries. The country’s Department of Home Affairs earlier in May presented to parliament its plans for the rollout of the e-visa system by the end of the 2021/22 financial year albeit it would be subject to lockdown regulations of earmarked countries due to Covid-19.

In an interview with VoyagesAfriq, Minister for tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said her outfit in collaboration with the department to ensure that the electronic visa application system is up and running.

She also mentioned that her Ministry together with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa has a fund aimed to ensure partnership with airlines to give discounts to travellers coming into the country. “This is to encourage them to come into the country”, she said.

The Ministry of Tourism is working with the Health Department to include the tourism frontline workers in phase two of South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination.

“So when travellers come into South Africa they will feel comfortable interacting with a person vaccinated as well”, Kubayi-Ngubane maintained.

On happenings in the country’s MICE sector, she said the country has won itself some bids in 2021 and is confident a number of conferences will return to the country next year.

The Minister also disclosed that two of the country’s tourism marketing entities, Brand South Africa and South Africa Tourism are being merged into a more formidable entity in tourism marketing and promotion.

Listen to the full Interview here

Story by Samuel Obeng Appah and Emmanuella Asare

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