Reserve Bank's warning on visa rules vindicates tourism industry

The bank says new regulations for people travelling to SA are beginning to have an impact on the economy.

Cape Town International Airport. Picture: Andres de Wet/Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - The Tourism Business Council of South Africa says the Reserve Bank's warning that new Home Affairs regulations for people travelling to South Africa are beginning to have an impact on the economy are a vindication for the industry.

Several months ago new regulations came into effect, requiring children travelling here to come with unabridged birth certificates along with requirements for people to get biometric visas before arriving.

In the Reserve Bank's quarterly bulletin, it says as tourism is growing in importance to overall domestic economic activity, a decline in travel receipts could widen the deficit in the current transfer account.

Tourism Council CEO Mmatsatsi Ramawela says that vindicates their warnings.

"With all the stress and all the pressure the global economy is facing, South Africa does not need another hurdle."

While Tourism Services Association CEO David Frost says the inter-ministerial committee examining these regulations is not meeting in public.

"They set a date for it to take place between ministers and officials and at some stage we will be pronounced upon."

The Reserve Bank also says the number of people travelling with children here is declining sharply.