TANZANIA WAIVES VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH AFRICANS
(Posted 09th October 2013)
Tanzania’s tourism sector has welcomed the government’s move to abolish Visa requirements for South African citizens, as stakeholders see new opportunities arise to market safaris and beach holidays in the South African market place.
Already is Mango, one of South Africa’s low cost carriers, flying twice a week now between Johannesburg and Zanzibar, after ‘upgrading’ the flight from charter to a scheduled service. According to previous information a third flight in fact is planned for the upcoming high season to cater for the anticipated strong demand, which will only be accelerated by no longer requiring a Visa from South Africans.
Still pending though is the start of flights by FastJet from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, after South African civila aviation bureaucrats threw a spanner in the works on the eve of the inaugural flights, demanding for yet more documents in an apparent move to give home boys South African Airways a few more clear weeks to milk the market with ridiculously high fares.
‘We have been to Indaba many times and there is strong demand for holidays in Tanzania, especially Zanzibar. When it gets cold in South Africa during their winter the people want to get away and we in Tanzania can offer competitive packages. Our quality of Zanzibar resorts are equal in many ways to some of the Indian Ocean island South Africans are used to travel to. Our safari lodges and camps are rated highly too. Removing Visa requirements was the right move to open the doors wide for a lot more South African people to come to Tanzania and enjoy our beaches and parks’ commented a regular source before adding ‘When FastJet finally can take off with their flights to South Africa, they have very very affordable airfares on the market to come to Dar es Salaam and from there can easily take the ferries to Zanzibar, or fly with FastJet to Kilimanjaro and start a safari from there. My colleagues and I are very excited about these prospects’.
Tanzania, besides being a member of the East African Community is also a member of SADC and as such has been keen in recent months to accelerate economic and political cooperation with SADC’s lead nation South Africa. Watch this space.