‘South Africa needs a friendly visa system to attract international tourists and create jobs,’ says Fedhasa

A passport with visa stamps from different many countries. Picture: Unsplash

A passport with visa stamps from different many countries. Picture: Unsplash

Published Feb 16, 2024


The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) says that relaxing visa requirements for India and China is one of the ways to attract tourists into the country and create millions of jobs.

In order to attract international tourists from the biggest source markets, China and India, South Africa needs a friendlier visa system.

According Fedhasa National Chairperson Rosemary Anderson, this would be the quickest solution to economic development, creating more jobs and attracting more forex into the country.

Speaking to Elvis Presslin on a SAFM podcast, Anderson said that South Africa makes it difficult for tourists from China and India to travel into the country because of strict visa regulations.

“Currently we make it very very difficult for tourists from those two countries to come to South Africa. It takes months for them to get a visa and in fact they might never get the visa,” said Anderson.

As a solution to this issue, the national chairperson of the association for the hospitality industry, proposed that the government work towards having a friendlier visa system in order to attract travellers from the world’s two biggest tourism source markets.

Fedhasa’s national chairperson highlighted that when it comes to attracting the two biggest tourism source markets, Europe, the United Kingdom and United States are doing everything they can to attract these tourists.

She said that though tourism experiences the same problems that local consumers experience such as crime, load-shedding and insufficient water supply, which negatively affects tourists, changing the country’s visa system could foster economic development and create lots of jobs for the economy.

“It’s not building something big. It’s not going to take a lot of time or money or anything like that. We could literally do this one thing and we could literally create millions of more jobs in a wonderful industry, namely tourism,” said Anderson.

Anderson said that promoting tourism could be a major catalyst for job creation in the country and that the hospitality industry is working with the tourism minister Patricia de Lille in finding solutions challenging the industry.

“We have a very good relationship with our minister of tourism, minster de Lille, and we have spoken to her and actually put all these points across and explained how many jobs could be created.

“So we just need our other ministers to appreciate that. We can’t do what we do best, and that’s create jobs and add to the economy if they’ve got rules in place which actually stop us from doing it,” said Anderson.