Tourism in South Africa has been an important contributor to the South African economy for many years. The tourism sector directly contributed 2,9% to South African gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. The industry has contributed more jobs than that of the manufacturing sector from 2012 to 2016. BRICS countries have been the biggest contributors towards the growth of the tourism economy in South Africa.
The South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has announced that according to the bilateral agreements signed at the 10th BRICS Summit in South Africa last month where South Africa and China agreed to ease their visa policies, the ministry is introducing new visa policies that will make it easy for Chinese tourist to enter South Africa.
The new visa law will allow Chinese tourists holding a valid passport and a Schengan visa, U.S. visa or Australian visa to enter the country without the need to apply for a separate South African visa. The minister said: “South Africa is working hard to increase its share of China’s huge tourism market and hopes to increase the share tenfold in the next five years.”
BRICS countries have contributed 6.1% towards inbound travelers to South Africa, tourists from China making up the largest portion of that increase.
By Ntsikelelo Kuse