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Govt looks at flexible tourist visas

Feb 10 2011 20:14 I-Net Bridge

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Cape Town - Tourism potential in South Africa is set to receive a boost as government looks into flexible visa requirements and improved tourism infrastructure.

Addressing the nation on Thursday President Jacob Zuma said: "We are pleased with the success of our tourism sector, especially given that sixteen tourists create one job in our country."

More than 7.3 million tourists arrived in South Africa last year as compared to about 6.3 million in 2009 and South Africa will strengthen the existing tourism market, Zuma said.

"To further boost our tourism potential, we will amongst other measures, look into flexible visa requirements, improved landing slots at foreign airports as well as improved tourism infrastructure," he said.

In another part of his speech he also mentioned the successful hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"Our country also continues to be a popular destination for international gatherings," he said

In July, South Africa will host a high level sports gathering in Durban, the 123rd International Olympic Committee General Assembly Session.

Zuma said the country had already secured ninety-five meetings and conferences between 2010 and 2016.

The president said government would continue to develop the cultural industries sector, which contributes about R2bn to the gross domestic product.

"We have also seen the value of events such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which contributed more than R475m to the economy of Cape Town and created 2 000 jobs in 2010," he said.
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