South Africa experienced a decrease in the number of arrivals in August, compared to last year, according to Statistics South Africa’s monthly tourism and migration figures.
According to the statistics, released on Monday afternoon, foreign arrivals decreased by 6.4% in August, compared to August last year. Departures of foreign travellers decreased by 4.2%.
On a month-to-month basis, foreign arrivals decreased by 2.9% in August, compared to July this year. On the other hand, departures and transits increased by 4.2% and 19.2%, respectively.
In total, data collected by Department of Home Affairs immigration officials showed that South Africa had just under 3.8 million travellers (arrivals, departures and transits) in August.
The state of the travel and tourism industry came under the spotlight following the introduction of the controversial visa regulations.
The new rules required parents and guardians travelling with children under 18 to provide unabridged birth certificates, and applications for visas to be made in person so that biometric information can be recorded.
After much criticism, the government last month backed down and eased some of the visa requirements, which were introduced to curb child trafficking.
In one of the key concessions, the government announced that, within three months the Department of Home Affairs will accept visa applications by post for visitors and medical travellers from those countries where no South African missions exist.
Thereafter the biometrics and photos of these travellers will be captured at ports of entry.
Siseko Njobeni, Fin24
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