Thursday, April 18, 2024

SA Tourism Minister wants harmonised visa regime across Africa as 2023 Travel Indaba opens in Durban

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South Africa’s Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille has called on African governments to harmonise their visa processes in order to grow tourism across the continent.

Ms. De Lille said African must have a harmonised visa regime to make it easier for visitors to move from one country to another.

She said the continent must also simplify the e-visa application process and reduce visa costs to make Africa a more attractive destination for both Africans and international travellers.

She was speaking when she opened the 2023 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) in Durban on Tuesday under the theme, “Unlimited Africa”.

Zambia is represented at the Travel Indaba by Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba and officials from the Zambia Tourism Agency.

Ms. De Lille revealed that South Africa has visa waivers for several African countries for a specified period and up to a maximum of 90 days, including SADC countries such as Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique, Mauritius, Malawi and Botswana.

“We have also rolled out the e-visa system to several countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo and we are expanding the e-visa system to an additional 20 countries,” she said.

Ms. De Lille also stated that to reposition African travel and tourism market, Africans have to engage in healthy and balanced collaborations and competitions.

She said competition was often considered to be the life-blood of destination marketing and tourism.

“While healthy competition can drive growth and innovation, unhealthy competition can lead to a race to the bottom, with businesses and destinations undercutting each other on price and quality,” she said.

“As the tourism industry, let us foster a culture of healthy competition, where businesses and destinations are encouraged to compete on quality and innovation. Let us remember that long-term success in the industry depends not only on competing but also on recognising the value of collaboration and partnerships.”

“So, each player in the value chain has a unique role to play, and by working together, we can create seamless and memorable travel experiences for visitors – that is the spirit of Africa’s Travel Indaba,” she said.

She said the 2023 ATI, at near the pre-pandemic scale, also demonstrated that Africans could host world-class safe events.

Earlier, Nomasonto Ndlovu, Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism (SAT), said the theme for the event was crafted with the observation of the enormous potential Africans possessed as well as their ingenuity.

“The theme for this year’s Indaba speaks directly to African countries’ immerse potential which will be showcased in the course of this expo. The energy here is absolutely electrifying and I am happy to be here today,” she said.

This year’s Indaba has attracted more than 1000 buyers from across the tourism ecosystem and just under 1 000 exhibitors with over 350 tourism products being showcased.

The attendees include destination marketing bodies, hotel groups, airlines, tour operators, and 10 African Tourism Boards and 21 African countries represented.

SA Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille and Premier of Kwa Zulu-Natal Province Ms. Nomusa Dube-Ncube ring the bell to symbolise the start of trading at Africa's Travel Indaba in Durban
SA Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille and Premier of Kwa Zulu-Natal Province Ms. Nomusa Dube-Ncube ring the bell to symbolise the start of trading at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban
Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba poses for a photo with his Malawian counterpart Vera Kamtukule at the official opening ceremony of the Africa's Travel Indaba in Durban
Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba poses for a photo with his Malawian counterpart Vera Kamtukule at the official opening ceremony of the Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban
The Zambia Tourism Agency stand at Africa's Travel Indaba at Durban ICC in Durban
The Zambia Tourism Agency stand at Africa’s Travel Indaba at Durban ICC in Durban

6 COMMENTS

  1. Very intelligent woman. I agree. Unlike that f00Iish tourism minister in zambia who is just good at dressing up and acting busy. Harmonize visa. I love partying in South africa.

    • You are a dummy. If visa free entry was wonderful, why do Western countries charge Africans an arm and a leg to enter their countries? The only people who support this rubbish are the bootlickers of white owned hotels who want their white relatives to come in free so that the money we should be making from fees go into their pockets. If giving things free is what drives up traffic, why don’t these rich white people give free food and beer so that more people can patronise them? Why do the people of Zambia have to always subsidise their profits?

  2. SA has more to gain and Zambia has more to lose. Already we have the single entry visa for SA and Zambia. The SA gvment markets our tourism industry as a part package where tourists pay into SA companies and have a stopover in Livingstone to view the Victoria falls spend two nights in SA affiliated lodges.

    • Exactly. No we should be increasing visa fees. The white from South Africa have invaded and are looting our country’s natural resources. Ever since Chiluba let them in, our national parks have seen animal populations drop. Now their fascination is with Lower Zambezi. And if it was not because that park shares animal traffic with the better protected Manna Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, our Lower Zambezi would be as empty of wildlife as Kafue National is, due to the poaching and stealing of these foreigners… No…

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