South Africa has granted nationals from four new countries visa-free status in a move that is aimed at boosting tourism in the country.
Nationals from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand can now visit the Southern African country without a Visa.
“As from today travelers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit South Africa for holidays, conferencing and business meeting visits,” South Africa’s home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement.
The Minister noted that the home affairs department was exploring ways that will boost economic growth and promote job creation.
“We took this decision unilaterally but we are engaging these countries to see how they can relax entry requirements for our citizens. I am glad to say that Qatar has already waived visa requirements for South Africans and this will enable our people to attend the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 easier.”
Motsoaledi revealed that visa waivers for Ghana, Cuba and Principe and Sao Tome will be implemented after talks with these countries have been finalised.
The Cyril Ramaphosa-led country has already waived the visa requirement for 82 of the 193 countries who are UN member states.
The number of visitors going to South Africa has been on the decline recently prompting the country to revisit policies to ensure the number of arrivals improve. Year-to-date the number of arrivals has also dropped by 1 per cent with total arrivals recorded for 2018 at 958 311.
Women’s Danger Index, a new survey which ranks the world’s most dangerous countries for women travelling alone ranked South Africa world’s most dangerous country for women on solo trips.
The government of South Africa is currently working on several projects to ensure tourists visiting are safe. Some of the measures they intend to take include:
⦁ Identify and analyse key tourism hotspots
⦁ Enhance crime prevention projects
⦁ Establish a database of crime against tourists
⦁ Ensure the joint implementation of an optimised policing and security strategy in the tourism environment.
Featured Image Courtesy: andBeyond