Eas­ing the visa process

As­pir­ing to grow and build a strong re­la­tion­ship with In­dia, Sisa Nt­shona, CEO, South African Tourism wants to work on re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers between the two coun­tries, in­clud­ing the visa-regime.

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In­dia is an ex­tremely im­por­tant mar­ket for South Africa, be­lieves Sisa Nt­shona, CEO, South African Tourism. Talk­ing he said, “We want to grow and build strong re­la­tion­ships with In­dia but at the mo­ment, we want to work on re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers. We ea­gerly look for­ward to this mar­ket for part­ner­ships and col­lab­o­ra­tions and make ef­forts to­wards mak­ing it pos­si­ble”. The main bar­rier, ac­cord­ing to Nt­shona, is that their visa regime is not user-friendly. But he is pos­i­tive about a de­vel­op­ment in this area as he says, “What is en­cour­ag­ing is that our Pres­i­dent about two months ago stated for the dou­ble the num­ber in tourism and was very clear about var­i­ous steps he wants to take, which in­cludes re­mov­ing the bar­ri­ers. Now this is hap­pen­ing in the back­ground and hope­fully, we can make some good an­nounce­ment soon. Once they change, it moves some of the bar­ri­ers.” The sec­ond bar­rier between two coun­tries is of the con­nec­tiv­ity as South Africa is a long-haul des­ti­na­tion. The point-to-point air­line con­nec­tiv­ity makes things eas­ier. Speak­ing about how his coun­try is pre­serv­ing its re­sources, he men­tions a small town called Kim­berly which is the world’s largest home for di­a­monds. “We are con­sid­er­ing it to make it a tourist des­ti­na­tion be­cause the town has a his­tory around it,” he said. South Africa has many re­gions which are very dif­fer­ent in na­ture. “We be­lieve that we are dif­fer­ent in unique des­ti­na­tions. We are blessed with hav­ing a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties around the coun­try. Each of our nine dif­fer­ent re­gions are all very unique in their own way,” Nt­shona said. He is also very op­ti­mistic about South Africa as a tourist des­ti­na­tion. “Africa is the last dis­cov­ered con­ti­nent in the world. The prob­lem is many peo­ple are ig­no­rant about the coun­try’s ge­og­ra­phy. They think Africa is a coun­try. The con­ti­nent has 54 dif­fer­ent coun­tries and th­ese coun­tries have dif­fer­ent cul­tures with dif­fer­ent cur­ren­cies. It is very im­por­tant to con­stantly in­form and up­date the au­di­ence in the mar­ket. That’s what how they know about the lack of re­sources, so that you can thirds in ex­am­ples, there is been a lot of re­sources to get in In­dia, So that they can sell it with com­pe­tence”. To en­sure qual­ity among tourists in South Africa, he says, “We want jobs, we want to im­prove our lives. So, how are we po­si­tion­ing it as a tourism cen­tre, how do we grow? We grow in a way that in­cludes new places and en­sure you have a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. To make sure that South Africa is a tourism des­ti­na­tion, Nt­shona stressed on the need to bring in new ex­pe­ri­ences and a suite of in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that will help the coun­try grow.

We want to build strong re­la­tion­ships with In­dia but cur­rently, we want to work on re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers. We ea­gerly look for­ward to this mar­ket for part­ner­ships and col­lab­o­ra­tions and make ef­forts

to­wards mak­ing it pos­si­ble

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