Complicated visa processes, restrictive air routes, administrative messes and animal poaching are just some of the things that are limiting tourism in South Africa, according to African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who attended a recent tourism industry indaba in Durban. The Indaba 2014 Tourism and Travel Festival is the largest of its kind ever to be held in Africa, and was attended by over 3,000 people and more than 400 exhibitors from all over the world, including other African countries such as Angola, Benin, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Reunion Island, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Speaking on what would be required from the country to gain a greater share in the international tourism market, Dlamini-Zuma said that “We must work on a simplified visa and joint visas…this will also enable tourists to land in one country but be able to travel in a number of other countries and at the same time get more value for their money.”In addition to easing access for tourists travelling across countries, she went on to discuss how poaching is impacting current and future wildlife driven tourism. According to the African Union, Africa is on the path towards being a preferred travel destination by 2063, but all of the problems listed needed to be dealt with before any progress can be made. South Africa tourism minister Marthinus Van Shalkwyk, who also was in attendance, shared that international tourist arrivals made up 3% of GDP and 4.6% of direct employment in 2012.
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