Comfort Travel Blog

South Africa revitalizes tourism to value the Chinese market

In order to revitalize the tourism industry, South Africa has recently adopted various measures to attract overseas tourists, especially the development of the Chinese source market. Since the beginning of this year, the development of tourism has been strong.

Tourism Minister of South Africa Derek Hanecomb said on the 14th that South Africa’s tourism industry has shown encouraging growth this year. The number of foreign tourists in the first three months exceeded 1 million, which was not seen since 2009.

Hanekom said in a report that the South African tourism industry, which was once sluggish, began to pick up momentum since last October. In January this year, the number of tourists coming to South Africa exceeded 1 million for the first time, an increase of 15.4% over the same period of last year, among which the number of Asian tourists increased the most, reaching 45.6%.

Hanekom said, “This news has revived the industry”. Although South Africa’s tourism industry has experienced a period of depression, it has great potential for development. This potential has now been re-released. The increase in foreign tourists will not only promote the development of tourism in South Africa, provide more employment opportunities, but will also promote the overall economic development of South Africa.

The industry believes that there are several major factors to promote the strong growth of tourism in South Africa. First, the South African government has relaxed visa restrictions, especially visa restrictions for Chinese tourists. Second, the South African currency Randt depreciated sharply, reducing the cost of foreign tourists. In addition, South Africa's tourism industry itself has the strength to meet the different needs of various types of tourists.

In May 2014, despite the strong opposition of the tourism industry, the South African government began implementing stricter visa regulations and required all foreigners wishing to go to South Africa to apply for entry visas in person and leave fingerprints and other biological information. As the South African embassies and consulates are only located in the capital or in individual cities, this undoubtedly increases the difficulty and cost of applying for visas, which has led many people to abandon the South African tourism plan. In that year, the number of Chinese tourists coming to South Africa fell to 83,000, which is about a quarter less than the 109,000 people in the previous year.

After reviewing the situation, the South African government began to relax visa regulations in the second half of last year and was determined to revitalize the tourism industry and put the Chinese market as its key business target. The South African Tourism Administration recently held industry seminars in Shanghai and Beijing respectively to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation and exchanges with China in the field of tourism. Honecomb also personally "stands up" to express his concern for the Chinese market.

At a seminar held in Shanghai, South Africa Tourism Bureau launched the 2016 marketing theme “Walking in South Africa, the ultimate experience”. The relevant person in charge of the South African Tourism Bureau stated that it will continue to promote South Africa’s true nature tourism experience and provide Chinese tourists with more attractive new tourism products. It also hopes that more and more Chinese tourists will come to South Africa to experience “the country of rainbows” "The unique charm.

In order to allow Chinese tourists to apply for visas, South Africa has four visa centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. From January 4 this year, Chinese tourists crossing South Africa to their six neighboring countries no longer need a transit visa.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency; Reporter: Plateau)


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