TBCSA Media Update 03 on Travel Facilitation Concerns
Festive Season Intervention Plan Mooted to Ease Airport Congestion
The aim of this statement is to update journalists and their audiences on the latest developments regarding the Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s (TBCSA) efforts to resolve the challenges facing the travel and tourism industry as a result of the implementation of the Amended Immigration Regulations. The specific challenges relate to the unintended consequences of biometric data capturing for international visitors into the country, which has led to congestion and delays at our international airports; as well as the continued requirement of the Unabridged Birth Certificates (UBCs) for minors under the age of 18 travelling into our country.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is pleased to hear that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has considered its recommendations to ease traffic flow and the level of congestion at the country’s international airports in the upcoming festive season.
Furthermore, the Council is encouraged by Government’s willingness to engage further, through the Immigrations Advisory Board (IAB), on the redrafting of regulations relating to travel facilitation for minors under the age of 18.
The latest update on TBCSA’s efforts to resolve the persisting challenges facing the travel and tourism industry as a result of the implementation of the Amended Immigration Regulations is that DHA has engaged the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) on the current situation at the airports. TBCSA has learned of Government’s intention to implement a Festive Season Intervention Plan that will be geared towards easing the level of congestion and delays at immigration counters – especially at OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
TBCSA CEO, Mmatšatši Ramawela says although the full details of this plan are yet to be announced, the Council welcomes Government’s efforts and stands ready to provide additional logistical support where required. “We don’t have the full details of how this plan will unfold, however we are ready to support Government as best as we can. We are keen to hear the details of the plan, particularly the extent to which it will be implemented to coincide with the tourism peak season (which by the way goes beyond the December holiday season) and the specifics around how the plan will be managed”.
Earlier this month, TBCSA proposed a number of short to medium-term interventions that could be adopted to address the challenges of airport congestion and delays; and the uncertainty around the requirement for UBCs. Read More
Click Here to download the pdf version of this press release.