Family travel to SA hit by new visa rules

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Cape Town - New visa rules introduced in South Africa to combat child trafficking are seriously affecting family travel, according to the latest figures from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day.

The data shows that international family arrivals have been growing by 1.8% compared with the same period last year. But since the introduction of the visa restrictions on June 1 2015, family arrivals have fallen 10%.

The new rules require that any child arriving in South Africa must carry an unabridged birth certificate, or have submitted this earlier when applying for a visa.

READ: Visa rules putting 1 million jobs at risk

The ForwardKeys analysis shows a negative effect on family travel to South Africa from a wide range of countries, most notably France, down 29%, Sweden, down 29%, the US down 18% and Germany, down 16%.

“Our data provides strong evidence of the negative impact the new rules are having on this important market segment in South Africa. The restrictions are hitting travel from countries around the world,” explained Olivier Jager, co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys.

“The family segment was growing at 1.8% before the new requirements were introduced, unlike other segments, which were falling.”

Jager said there is concern among tourism industry leaders about the current situation – an issue likely to be discussed at the World Routes conference taking place in Durban from September 19 to 22 2015.

Olivier, who will be attending the conference, said the effects of this new visa development are still emerging and FowardKeys will continue to monitor the situation in South Africa to see how it develops further.

ALSO READ: Visa rules could sink SA language schools

ZAR/USD
17.54
(+0.10)
ZAR/GBP
22.98
(+0.04)
ZAR/EUR
20.66
(-0.01)
ZAR/AUD
12.59
(+0.05)
ZAR/JPY
0.17
(-0.04)
Gold
2034.54
(+0.03)
Silver
28.27
(+0.11)
Platinum
961.50
(+0.38)
Brent Crude
44.55
(-1.53)
Palladium
2166.01
(+0.63)
All Share
56757.73
(-1.56)
Top 40
52435.65
(-1.72)
Financial 15
9897.96
(+0.10)
Industrial 25
74671.49
(-1.98)
Resource 10
58948.78
(-1.89)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 937 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6260 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1286 votes
Vote