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Home Affairs: Tourism industry should blame itself for low numbers

The dept says the tourism industry deliberately caused confusion about the new visa regulations.

Cape Town direction signs. Picture: Calhoun Mathews/Primedia

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Home Affairs on Thursday said the tourism industry only has itself to blame for low numbers because they've deliberately caused confusion about the new visa regulations.

The South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) said new figures show that plane tickets sold to South Africa were down by over 30 percent for the month of June.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has also said that the regulations will be reviewed because of the damage they're causing to the industry.

The new rules require unabridged birth certificates for children and biometric visas for adults.

The department's Mayihlome Tshwete said these numbers are the fault of the tourism industry itself.

"If there is any sabotage in tourism its being done by the very same people who claim to be protecting it. Instead of taking the information that we have given them and educating their constituencies, they're deliberately trying to cause confusion."

WATCH:'New visa rules will threaten the economy'

Satsa CEO David Frost said these regulations are seriously damaging the industry.

If Hanekom does want to review these regulations, he will have to take on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.