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South African Tourism (SA Tourism) has warmly welcomed Government’s decision to open borders to international leisure and business travellers from anywhere around the globe.

“We are excited by the full opening of our international borders because this is a strong testament of the fact that we are open for both business and leisure travel. This opening brings certainty for South Africa, as a travel destination putting us back on the map and on the radar for many travellers who want to come explore our beautiful country,” says SA Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sisa Ntshona.

The scrapping of travel bans for travellers arriving from high-risk countries was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week and came into effect on 11 November 2020. Other travel requirements remain in place. For example, all travellers must supply a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID test on arrival in South Africa, which is not older than 72 hours from the date of departure from their country.

“While we know that there won’t an immediate influx of tourists as other countries are now experiencing second waves of the pandemic and have imposed travel restrictions for their citizens, we look forward to welcoming those tourists that are able to come. They can finally get to enjoy the wide-open spaces, scenic landscape, unique and authentic cultural experiences that South Africa has to offer,” says Ntshona.

Earlier this year, a survey by Tourlane showed that their community identified South Africa as their number one choice of destination for a post-COVID escape outside of Europe. This was in part because of the outdoor adventure options it offers, as well as safaris and beach holidays.

More recently, a number of South African tourism products were identified as the best in Africa, at the World Travel Market Awards. These include Sun City being voted Africa’s leading casino resort, Plettenberg Bay voted as Africa’s leading beach destination and Durban voted as Africa’s leading city destination.

These achievements are positive indicators that a healthy recovery is possible, especially when paired with the globally-benchmarked health and safety protocols that the South African tourism industry has put in place.

Ntshona added his thanks to all of SA Tourism’s partners, both local and international, for their ongoing support and patience. “As we gradually welcome tourists and business travellers from all over the world, we look forward to engaging with our partners once again as we work together to package South Africa for various tourists’ needs,” he adds.

To access all of the requirements for entering South Africa, click here.

Photos supplied by South African Tourism.