Achieving the country’s set target of up to 15 million visitors over the next eight years will require collaboration and support, according to South African Tourism chief executive Thulani Nzima.Speaking at the opening of the annual travel show, INDABA, Mr Nzima explained the country’s private and public sectors need to focus on working together for ongoing success and growth.Describing the travel system as “only as strong as” its weakest link, he added that the future of the industry was the responsibility of “all in the tourism value chain” from operators to tours guides, Ministers and right down to waiters and flight attendants.“… all of us are equal partners in building, growing and sustaining South Africa’s tourism industry,” he said. Also speaking at the conference, South Africa’s Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told up to 200 hosted buyers that within the next eight years, the country aims to contribute up to R218 million in promoting the destination across Africa.He explained that among the promotional tactics will include launching five new officers across Africa over the next five years while also focusing on harness technology through the implementation of e-visa systems over by 2020.“There are some areas in which we need to work with those international players with whom we also compete,” he explained. “‘Co-opetition’ is the name of the new game. Competition brings out the best in all of us, but co-operation is what is urgently needed, especially on the African continent, where we have to work together to remove barriers to international travel and tourism.”Kicking off on 12 May this year, INDABA welcomed up to 200 buyers who scoped out and talked tourism with up to 1,500 exhibitors. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J South African Tourism Minister
Last year, Oman relaxed its visa rules to attract more tourists by granting Visa on Arrival (unsponsored tourist visa) for the citizens of India, China and Russia who reside in or who hold an entry visa to one of these countries – United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Schengen states to enter the Sultanate of Oman. To further facilitate the process, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has announced that effective March 21, 2018, visas will only be granted electronically via the URL: https://evisa.rop.gov.om and there will be no more hand-processed visas at the airport effective that date.A spokesperson from the Royal Oman Police, Sultanate of Oman said, “The migration to electronic visas is due to its simplicity and effectiveness, its alignment with modern technology and is in line with the e-government project of the Sultanate. Further, it will save tourists and visitors time so they don’t have to wait in long queues at the airport. The system has been thoroughly tested and more than 12,000 users have already benefited from it. The system is considered to be one of the safest and most confidential in the world, having achieved an ISO certification.”The e-visa application explains clearly the process of obtaining visas either individually or collectively such as obtaining a visa through a tourism company, in a simplified way. Additionally, the application clarifies the visa formalities for various groups of countries. In addition, specialists at ROP are available 24 hours a day to provide support. There is an official account of eVisa system on twitter @OmanEvisa where once can seek assistance.The new e-visa system, coinciding with the opening of the new Muscat international airport, supports the Oman tourism strategy in attracting more tourists and tourism investment into the country, whereby the number of tourists to Oman in 2040 will reach over 11 million by 2040.