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Visa rules impact number of UK visitors to SA

A tourism services association says the number should be much higher over this time of year.

FILE: Many Britons are still experiencing problems coming to the country due to stricter new visa regulations. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) says the number of visitors from the UK to South Africa should be much higher over this time of year.

Many Britons are still experiencing problems coming to the country due to stricter new visa regulations.

The association says government still isn't properly communicating how the details of the new rules work.

Many are up in arms over the regulations, which require foreigners to apply for visas in person at South African embassies abroad.

They also have to travel with unabridged birth certificates if they are travelling with minors.

The Home Affairs Department says there's been a three percent increase in the number of UK visitors to South Africa over the past few weeks.

Satsa's David Frost says, "That figure should be a double digit with the exchange rate that we've got at the moment. What the Home Affairs Department just seems to be absolutely blind to, is that it's not the actual number of people who were turned away, it's the negative PR."

Frost adds the new rules and the confusion around the stipulations are hurting tourism.

"We pronounced on this and we have looked at this. This is inimical to tourism and it in no way benefits tourism."