TBCSA is an umbrella organisation representing the voice of organised travel and tourism businesses in South Africa. They serve to contribute to a competitive, responsible and inclusive travel and tourism economy that in-turn makes a greater contribution to the broader economy of South Africa. Their members are businesses whose total contribution to GDP in 2015 reached R375,5 bn (9.4% of SA GDP); that have generated a total of R115.0bn in visitor exports; and have a total of R63.7bn in investments (7.8% of total investment) – according to the 2016 SA economic impact report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Since 2014, the TBCSA has been working to address the concerns of its members and the broader industry on the introduction of specifically two regulations included in the Amended Immigration Regulations, namely: a) the capturing of biometric data for all international visitors into the country; b) the continued requirement for unabridged birth certificates (UBCs) for travelling minors. Through engagement and consultation with various role-players in the private and public sector (including the intervention by the Cabinet Inter-Ministerial Committee on Immigration), some progress has been made.

Unfortunately, the well-meaning concession that led to the introduction of biometric data capturing on arrival at their airports, is now being compromised by the lack of resources within the Home Affairs Department. This has led to congestion and delays at the immigration zone – mainly at OR Tambo International Airport. With the traditional festive season, fast approaching and the anticipated increase in tourist numbers, concern is growing since there hasn’t been any confirmation on contingency measures being put in place to address this urgent challenge facing the industry. In addition, the amendments made to the UBC requirement does not go far enough to address the concerns of the trade and that of tourists wanting to visit South Africa.

The resulting effect is that two years after the introduction of the new immigration regulations, business in the travel and tourism industry is unable to fully capitalise on the weak Rand and the buoyant global travel market.

To address these matters in a collaborative and partnership manner, the TBCSA continues to engage relevant stakeholders both in the public and private sector. They recently addressed the newly- established Immigration Advisory Board and the Tourism Parliamentary Portfolio Committee with their recommendations on addressing the concerns of the industry. These matters will also be raised at the upcoming Captains of Industry meeting with the Ministers of Tourism and Finance. It needs to be noted that in putting forward its concerns and recommendations, the TBCSA and its members took care not to disregard the security concerns of the country.

Through these actions, they wish to validate their commitment to continue their stakeholder engagement – to use all dialogue opportunities to finding lasting solutions to these challenges. The leadership of the TBCSA believes that solutions to these challenges are possible through continued dialogue and a spirit of partnership and collaboration.

Media Contact:

Ms. Kagiso Mosue
Tel: +27(0)12 664 0120
Tel: +27(0)73 015 4530

About TBCSA:

Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is a member-based organisation, made up of Trade Associations as well as leading corporates operating in the Travel and Tourism sector. The Council seeks to ensure that the industry is unified and speaks with one voice when engaging stakeholders and partners on macro-economic issues affecting the sector. The TBCSA is a member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), an organisation that seeks to unify the VOICE of business in South Africa. The sectoral associations affiliated to the TBCSA are as follows:

  1. AHI – Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut
  2. AASA – Airlines Association of Southern Africa
  3. AAXO – Association of African Exhibition Organisers
  4. ASATA – Association of Southern African Travel Agents
  5. BARSA – Board of Airline Representatives of South Africa
  6. EXSA – Exhibition& Event Association of Southern Africa
  7. FEDHASA – Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa
  8. NAA –SA – National Accommodation Association of South Africa
  9. PHASA – Professional Hunters Association of South Africa
  10. SAACI – Southern African Association for the Conference Industry
  11. SABOA – Southern African Bus Operators’ Association
  12. SATSA – Southern Africa Tourism Services Association
  13. SAVRALA – Southern African Vehicle Rental Association
  14. SAYTC – South African Youth Travel Confederation

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