14 C
Cape Town
Wed, Nov 25, 2020
Home Tourism Marketing South Africa to roll out e-visas for Nigeria, China and India in...

South Africa to roll out e-visas for Nigeria, China and India in 2019

-

2 min read

The South African government is looking at introducing e-visas for Nigeria, India and China before the end of the year, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom announced at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019.

Hanekom explained that India and China both feature in South Africa’s top 10 source markets, while Nigeria is showing incredible growth potential. Although South Africa recently eased visa applications for certain categories of visitors from India and China, more needs to be done, the minister said.

The process for Nigerian travellers to apply for a South African visa is particularly difficult. Nigerian travellers can’t go directly to the consulate in Abuja or Lagos, but instead they have to ‘have an appointment at the visa facilitation centre to make an appointment for their visa application’. “This is frustrating and needs to change,” Hanekom said. “In the context of a commitment towards free movement in Africa, we need to move to an e-visa system.”

The Minister explained that the government might consider the recognition of valid visas for other countries that apply stringent tests such as a Schengen visa or the UK visa. He referred to Mexico as an example, whereby Mexico recognises the US visa as an acceptable visa to enter the country. “This is something we would consider in South Africa as it is an easy measure to introduce without compromising our own security measures.”

Although the priority for e-visa roll-outs will be Nigeria, India and China, Hanekom explained he would like to further extend the e-visa model to more countries. When South Africa introduced a visa waiver for Russia, tourism to South Africa from Russia increased by 52%. These figures indicate that a visa reform is imperative, according to the Minister.

Said Hanekom: “We need a significant visa reform that will benefit every country. I feel very strongly about this, and so does the President. The President has indicated he would like South Africa to have a world-class e-visa system.”

Dorine Reinstein
Dorine Reinstein
Dorine Reinstein is a seasoned travel writer and editor, who is passionate about retail travel as well as inbound tourism. She has written for award-winning publications. Dorine has completed her Honours Degree in English and Dutch Literature in Belgium as well as her Honours Degree in Drama in France. When moving to South Africa, she obtained her Advanced Journalism Diploma in Johannesburg. She has a knack for languages and can write effortlessly in English, Dutch and French.

Must Read

Flight Centre Travel Group RSA repositions Flight Centre Business Travel and Corporate Traveller for post-COVID growth

Flight Centre Travel Group RSA today announced the integration of the wholly-owned Flight Centre Business Travel brand into the award-winning global Corporate...

Fedhasa urges Insurers to ‘do the right thing’ as the hospitality industry continues to bleed

Fedhasa has condemned Santam’s decision to appeal the unanimous decision by a full bench of the Western Cape High Court requiring the...

Airlink and Amadeus partner to boost growth and enhance the traveler experience

Airlink adopts Amadeus solutions that will allow its customers to benefit from a better travel experience and improved efficiency as well as...

Five ways you can adapt your corporate travel programmes to the ‘new normal’ in time for 2021

FCM Travel Solutions today launched a travel policy benchmarking tool to help travel managers see how their policy compares to other businesses in their...

Detour. Travel that connects you, teaches you and changes you

Detour. Often defined as taking a roundabout route to visit somewhere along the way, and now a fabulous new touring style to...