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David Frost responds to President Ramaphosa’s statements on visa regulations

David Frost spoke to 702’s Xolani Gwala on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement around visa regulations and requirements for foreign minors entering South Africa.

Listen to his interview here

Abolishing South Africa’s unabridged birth certificate regulations augurs well for tourism growth – SATSA CEO

JOHANNESBURG, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 – After over three years of tireless lobbying by SATSA and industry partners, Cabinet has announced that it will be introducing amendments to regulations applying to foreign minors travelling to South Africa, which will be gazetted in October.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Within the next few months, amendments will be made to the regulations on the travel of minors; the list of countries requiring visas for South Africa will be reviewed and an e-visa pilot will be implemented. The visa requirements for highly skilled foreigners will be revised.

“These measures have a huge potential to boost tourism and to make business travel into our country more conducive. Tourism continues to be a great job creator. Through these measures, we are confident that many more tourists will visit South Africa and South Africa opens its arms to welcome the millions of tourists who will be streaming our way following this architectural reconstruction.”

South Africa’s restrictive immigration laws have greatly hampered the country’s attractiveness as a tourism destination, and subsequently impacted the number of tourists who choose to visit South Africa.

“The requirement of carrying an unabridged birth certificate has been a hurdle that damages our competitiveness as a destination. It creates a barrier to entry with financial and/or opportunity cost that a prospective tourist needs to overcome in order to travel to South Africa,” says David Frost, CEO Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), which is the voice of inbound tourism in Southern Africa, and has been at the forefront of campaigns to abolish the requirement since it was introduced in 2015.

The news comes as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa announced that business performance in the sector had declined in the first half of 2018.

The direct and indirect impact to the broader economy that this onerous entry requirement is estimated to have been a R7.5bn loss to the tourism economy. Overseas tourist arrivals to South Africa in the first six months of the year also indicate a decline of almost 2%, with reduced or stagnant tourist arrivals reported from most of South Africa’s key inbound markets.

Frost welcomed Cabinet’s decision to ease onerous visa requirements for certain markets. “We have already seen the positive impact that removing visa requirements has on inbound tourism, with the removal of visa regulation requirements for Russia. We have seen a 47% increase in arrivals for that market just in the second quarter of 2018, one of the only growing overseas market, albeit off a low base.”

Government, he says, should introduce visa waivers for key markets immediately. “We need decisive action and an easing or abolishment of visa requirements for source markets like China, India, New Zealand and the UAE immediately. We can’t wait another six months to implement visa waivers, we must act now.”

Says Frost: “I want to personally thank Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and the Cabinet for their foresight in finally considering progressive changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations, which will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on our efforts to position South Africa as an attractive tourism destination.

“This is an indication of how seriously this Cabinet takes its mission to drive South Africa’s inclusive economic growth, and the long-awaited recognition of tourism’s role as a critical sector in helping them achieve their ambitions goals.”

Frost further encourages government to make budget available for the tourism sector to get out to South Africa’s key markets, as a matter of urgency, and spread the word that the destination is making it easier for travellers to visit.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with David Frost, CEO SATSA, please contact Natalia Rosa on 083 449 4334 or email:

Cabinet approves amendments to foreign minor immigration regulations

Over three years of tireless lobbying by SATSA and our industry partners to lessen the burden of onerous immigration regulations may be gaining impetus. Cabinet this morning announced it would be introducing amendments to regulations applying to foreign minors travelling to South Africa.

While details about these amendments have yet to be released, we believe these will be gazetted in October, along with the finalisation of visa requirements for certain countries.
This follows a joint report from the Ministers of Home Affairs and tourism respectively, on a number of visa-related reforms which will make it easier for tourists, business people and academia to come to South Africa.

SATSA is awaiting clarification on what this means in practice, and will communicate details as soon as these have been confirmed and are clear.

Updated invitation to South African Tourism’s Middle East and Turkey Roadshow – Date change

Dear SATSA Members

As a follow-up to our June 2018 communication regarding the “SAVE THE DATE” for the ‘Learn SA’ Middle East Roadshow, South African Tourism has been informed that there will be a South African Heads of Mission Conference that will take place in South Africa over the same period. This means that they have to consider alternative dates for the Roadshow.

Due to this unforeseen development, the new dates for the ‘Learn SA’ Middle East Roadshow will be from 17 – 27 November 2018 in Iran (Tehran); UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi); Kuwait (Kuwait City) and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah). Dates include travel days with the actual event starting in Iran on 19 November and ending in Jeddah on 26 November.

South African Tourism received an overwhelming response for participation in the Roadshow, however, space is limited to only 25 exhibitors that will be segmented into tour operators, accommodation establishments and experiences.

In line with the South African Tourism’s strategy for the Middle East region, preference will be given to exhibitors who meet the following criteria:

  1. Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprise (SMME) emerging businesses that are currently investing in the market
  2. Exhibitors who offer Muslim-friendly packages and are able to demonstrate that the offerings take into account the basic faith based needs of these specific markets
  3. Exhibitors that offer experiences should have a minimum of three experiences to offer on the Roadshow
  4. Exhibitors should demonstrate that their offerings align to South African Tourism’s strategy which is clear regarding the inclusion of geographical spread within South Africa. While this is not a pre-requisite, it would be advantageous

South African Tourism will not charge a participation fee, however the cost of flights, accommodation, visas and land transfers will be for the exhibitor’s own expense. Estimated costs of flights and accommodation will be approximately R 35,000.00.

Exhibitors wishing to attend the Roadshow will need to provide the following:

  • A CIPC certificate with proof of rights to use trade names (if different from the registered business name)
  • Tax Certificate
  • Third Party insurance compliance
  • Proof that you belong to an association and from your local provincial authority that you are a registered tourism partner. You may also provide the latest verified certification as this will be accepted

Please indicate your interest, together with the required documents and a motivation based on the criteria to by no later than 30 September 2018.

For more information or any queries to joining the South African Tourism’s ‘Learn SA’ Middle East Roadshows, please contact Sadiq Dindar at

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hannelie du Toit
Chief Operating Officer
Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA)


Calling all local buyers/consultants to participate in the Garden Route Mega Fam

Dear SATSA Members,

You are invited to discover the hidden gems or the Western Cape’s Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

The SATSA Garden Route Chapter, in partnership with Wesgro, has put together exciting itineraries to uncover the lesser-known experiences of this region. We want you to familiarise yourself with this beautiful area and keep it top of mind when your clients book their December holidays.

When: 11-14 October 2018
What: All flights, accommodation, transport and meals will be covered by Wesgro and SATSA.
Offical Invitation: Click here

Click here to apply and complete your application form by no later than 24 September 2018.
Spaces are limited!

Yours in travel,
David Frost (CEO SATSA) and Judy Lain (CMO Wesgro)

Interested in joining Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s post-WTM Irish Roadshow?

Dear SATSA KZN Members,

If you will be travelling to Europe around the time of WTM London this year, and would be interested in joining Tourism KwaZulu-Natal on an Irish Roadshow, potentially scheduled for Dublin on 8 November and Cork on 9 November, could you please indicate your availability and interest in participating here, on or before 13:00pm Friday 21 September 2018.

The aim of the Roadshow will be to highlight the tourism offering in KwaZulu-Natal , especially in light of the direct flight from London.

Please note that the Roadshow has not been confirmed yet, and we are awaiting details regarding possible costs.

Many thanks,
Graeme Watson

Mpumalanga SATSA Chapter meeting

We are excited to invite you to our next SATSA Chapter meeting. SATSA CEO, David Frost, will give an overview of SATSA’s current work & new developments and will also use the opportunity to start discussions with SATSA members on the protest actions that are plaguing the area. This will be in preparation for a potential meeting with the Minister of Tourism the following day.

Meeting Details:

Date: 5th October (Friday) 2018
Time: 15:00 – 16:00 followed by networking drinks
Venue: Casterbridge Hollow Boutique Hotel, Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre, R40, White River
RSVP: Sharon Gengan – or 011 886 9996 by 3 October 2018

Draft Agenda:

14:30 – 15:00 = Registration
15:00 – 15:10 = Welcome, Attendance and Apologies
15:10 – 15:12 = Confirmation of Agenda
15:12 – 15:15 = Minutes of Previous Meeting
15:15 – 16:15 = SATSA Update & New Developments, including discussions on protest actions
16:15 – 16:25 = Other Matters
16:25 – 16:30 = Next Meeting
16:30 Onwards = Closing and networking drinks

Should there be any items you would like to add to the agenda, please send through your suggestions to Melissa Brockmann at

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Melissa Brockmann
SATSA Mpumalanga Secretary
Tel: +27 013 741 2238
Cell: +27 82 903 3481

False Bay White Shark Adventures

Shark Explorers is a dive center based in Cape Town, South Africa.

At Shark Explorers we offer customized, predator based, expeditions that will take you directly to some of the most exciting dive locations in South Africa and across the world. Our base in Southern Africa is home to some of the most biodiverse coastal habitats in the world.

The Shark Explorers team takes pride in delivering the best quality service on all of our marine expeditions. It is our mission to make sure you are in the right place at the right time to witness the remarkable animals and oceanic events that we at Shark Explorers are fortunate to provide access to.

Western Cape Chapter Meeting and Networking Event

We are pleased to extend a warm invitation to attend the Western Cape Chapter Meeting and Networking Event as follows:

Date: Thursday 27th September 2018
Time: 14h30 (Registration) Meeting will commence at 15h00 until 17h00
Venue: Nelson Mandela Gateway, Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront

There will be a presentation on the Robben Island Trade Partnership Strategy and a Demo of the exciting new Trade Booking Portal.

SATSA’s CEO, David Frost, and COO, Hannelie du Toit, will both be in attendance and would love to spend some time catching up with Western Cape Members after the meeting at the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront.

RSVP: Please confirm attendance to by no later than Tuesday 25th September 2018.

We look forward to seeing you at the event.

Travel Fridays

South African Tourism is inviting you, as a valued Tourism business and service provider, to partner with them as they intensify efforts to market South Africa to the world!

On the 28th of September 2018, they are opening their doors to Tourism business and service providers ranging from tour operators, hotel groups, bed & breakfast establishments and any other Tourism experiences for an opportunity to engage with various South African Tourism team members and to present and educate them about your products and services.

South African Tourism value partnerships and collaborations highly. Accordingly they are very excited about this initiative where they will get to connect with you.

This engagement is to ensure that their teams are exposed to an even bigger range of South African products, and are therefore fully equipped when selling South Africa both domestically and internationally.

The following time slots on the 28th of September 2018 are available:

09:00 – 09:30
09:30 – 10:00
10:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00

Please click here to read the frequently asked questions, that covers the event.

For more information on this initiative and to secure your space please email: by no later than the 14th of September 2018 as space is limited.

Click here for directions to their office.