The head of two of the world’s biggest travel and tour operator groupings on Tuesday slammed South Africa’s new visa regulations as a measure to scare off all families from travelling to South Africa.
This comes as more concern was voiced at the International Air Transport Association annual general meeting about the impact and effectiveness of new South African visa regulations, especially the requirement for unabridged birth certificates for minors travelling to the country.
Lars Thykier, president of the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association and managing director of the Association of Danish Travel Agents and Tour Operators, has been active in discussions about the unabridged birth certificate requirement since the issue was brought to the table in early summer 2014.
“I basically see the introduction of the unabridged birth certificate rules as a means to scare off all families from travelling to South Africa, families that would otherwise want to travel there for tourism purposes. Was that the intent?” he asked Fin24 in an exclusive interview.
Responding to the argument that if other countries require it, why not South Africa too, Thykier gave a short reply: “Nonsense.” He then expanded: “You can’t compare South Africa’s unabridged birth certificate rules with anything that’s been developed by other countries in the world in order to control tourism arrivals.”
Thykier pointed out that the country is trying to target potential traffickers by putting in place rules that are very difficult for legitimate and regular