Month: July 2014

We acknowledge that governments everywhere have an obligation towards their citizens to constantly review possible threats and to ensure that every effort is made to protect them.

Since the 9/11 attacks on the US, the travel industry has learnt to adjust the way in which it does business, time and time again, ensuring it and its clients are informed of the myriad rules and regulations that affect their travel plans.

Unintended consequences result but, in most cases, changes to rules and regulations are globally agreed upon and implemented and are communicated effectively to ensure that all parties can prepare and change their behaviour to meet these new requirements.

On May 22, South Africans heard that amendments to the Immigration Act had been passed into law.

Of particular concern to the travel and tourism industry was a new requirement for all children younger than 18 years, exiting or entering the country, to carry a copy of their unabridged birth certificate.

At the time of publication of the amendments, the implementation date was set for July 1, a short five-and-a-half weeks later. Thankfully, following an outcry from the travel and tourism industry at large, the date was pushed back to October 1 — a short three-month reprieve.

While every effort is being made to get the message out, the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) remains of the opinion that there is insufficient time to educate and inform the public of the new requirements, and for them to prepare to comply with these.

We also doubt that the Department of Home Affairs can meet its obligations in issuing these documents in time to meet the implementation deadline. The Asata office has received reports from its members and the public that the waiting time for an unabridged birth certificate is between eight and 12 months.

I am gravely concerned about the time frames provided for the implementation, the lack of consultation with the sector and the poor communication and execution of the amendments.

We have also yet to see what data and research have informed the government’s decision to introduce a requirement that travellers carry an unabridged birth certificate as an additional travel document.

Our own research has shown that no other country in the world has implemented a similar requirement.

In light of this, we question the effectiveness of this new requirement in meeting the department’s objective to reduce child trafficking.

Click here to read more

Article Source: BD Live

From having only 61 hotels in 2008, Angola has rapidly climbed the ranks and currently has a total of 176 fully functional hotels. According to the Ministry of Tourism, a further 111 hotels may be inaugurated this year which illustrates the booming confidence in the country at the moment.

Read more here

Article Source:

South Africa’s hospitality sector is poised for further growth in the next five years as traffic of inbound travellers into the African continent increases, a PwC report has revealed.

“Although South Africa’s economy has weakened, growth in international travel and tourism and rising room rates have bolstered the hospitality sector,” said Nikki Forster, PwC Leader of Hospitality and Gaming.

According to PwC’s 4th edition of the ‘Hospitality Outlook: 2014-2018’, by the year 2018 the overall occupancy rate across all sectors in South Africa will increase, rising to an estimated 58.4 percent.

“Occupancy rates are expected to increase for hotels over the next five years, overtaking guest houses, bush lodges and guest farms to again become the leading category,” adds Forster. Occupancy rates for hotels are projected to increase from 58.9 percent in 2013 to 71.1 percent in 2018.

Click here to read more.

Article Source:

Image Source: Ventures Africa