South Africa Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane today said that her country has a positive outlook for the Indian market.
Kubayi-Ngubane, who is here to facilitate an e-visa facility for Indian tourists that will be rolled on a pilot basis from next week, said that her country is in talks with India for granting a multiple-entry visa to South Africa.
"South Africa has taken several measures to provide ease of access to Indian tourists including bringing changes in visa regime. The online visa application system pilot testing will happen from the next week. If the pilot project goes well, a full rollout will take place from April 1, 2020," she said.
"We have a positive outlook for the Indian market and are also in talks with India for granting a multiple-entry visa to South Africa," she added.
A high-level delegation including the Minister as well as Chief Operating Officer of South African Tourism Sthembiso Dlamini engaged with the key officials from India''s Ministry of Tourism and reiterated their commitment to enhancing the destination-marketing support to New Delhi, its eight largest international source market.
As South African Tourism aims at doubling international tourist arrivals from 10.5 million to 21 million by 2030, India is expected to play a significant role in achieving this long term goal.
With the aim of reinforcing and strengthening tourism ties between India and South Africa, Kubayi-Ngubane further indicated that the piloting of e-visas for the market was under serious consideration.
From January to October 2019, South Africa welcomed 81,316 Indian visitors. This year, the country aims to increase the momentum with a 1.3 per cent rise in Indian travelers.
Tourism is one of the key contributors to the growth of South African economy. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report estimates that by 2028, almost 2.1 million jobs in South Africa will depend on travel and tourism.