South Africa will introduce new visa policies to attract more Chinese tourists, said South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom in a recent pre-recorded video message.
South Africa and China both agreed to ease their visa policies, signing many bilateral agreements at the 10th BRICS summit held in Johannesburg on July 25-27.
The minister disclosed that the new policies will allow Chinese tourists holding a valid passport and a Schengen visa, U.S. visa or Australian visa to enter the country without the need to apply for a separate South African visa.
In addition, the minister explained that the country will strive to reduce its crime rate, to make a friendlier destination for Chinese tourists.
“South Africa is working hard to increase its share of China’s huge tourism market and hopes to increase the share tenfold in the next five years.”
Tourism Deputy Minister, Elizabeth Thabethe, emphasized that tourism has played an important role in South African economic development, and development of tourism is sure to benefit both countries.
South African tourism from the BRICS countries grew by 6.1 percent during 2017, Chinese tourists making up the largest portion of that increase. Tourism is becoming the driver of South Africa’s economic growth, the deputy minister noted.