Drop in airline ticket sales prove visa regulations must go

9 September 2015

The latest figures provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) provide further proof of the devastating impact the new visa regulations are having on the South African economy.

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According to these figures, ticketing stats show a 26 % decline in year-on-year revenue for tickets purchased to South Africa in June 2015.

The Democratic Alliance has  called for the suspension of these draconian travel regulations and to have them replaced with biometrics on arrival or electronic visas. These systems have proved to be very effective and safe in the countries in which they are in operation.

Sadly the DA’s attempts have fallen on deaf ears.

This despite the fact that the impact of the new visa regulations on the South African economy in 2014 was a negative R 2.6 bn and the loss of more than 5 800 jobs, according to an impact assessment report by Grant Thornton, commissioned by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

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The report predicts that in 2015, the number of lost foreign tourists due to changes in the immigration regulations is likely to increase to 100 000, with a loss of 9 300 jobs and a total net loss to the South African GDP of around R 4.1 billion.

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Government must now face the fact that South Africa is facing a full-blown jobs crisis. We simply cannot afford to wait for committees to meet – and report back – while jobs are being lost.

The vibrant tourism economy in Western Cape alone has lost R 330 million in the first quarter of 2015, indicative of a countrywide crisis meaning the tourism industry is losing growth which would translate into jobs.

The tourism industry creates jobs at all skill levels and is able to absorb a high number of unskilled workers

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