Many South Africans were left in a particularly difficult situation due to the requirement of Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with minors. However, foreigners will now be able to travel with a minor without the need of such documentation.
South African Tourism (SA Tourism) acting CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, has welcomed the news that international minors travelling to South Africa no longer require Unabridged Birth Certificates or consent letters when travelling with their parents.
Home Affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced this change and it comes into effect immediately.
All ports of entry including airlines and maritime industries have been informed following the signing of the waiver by Minister Motsoaledi on Friday, November 8, 2019.
“The news will certainly be welcomed by all in the tourism industry, both in South Africa and around the world,” commented Dlamini.
“In all our markets, family travel is a key driver for arrivals and we compete with many other destinations for the share of family travel. The waiver announcement will allow us to proactively and aggressively market South Africa as a family-friendly destination again. Following our recent roadshows to UK, Central Europe and North America, some of the feedback received was that we were starting to lose ground on the family travel market as families were choosing other destinations ahead of South Africa due to the regulations around travelling with minors. With this changed, we can now work on regaining this market,” explained Dlamini.
South Africa offers the perfect destination for a family getaway and this move is expected to increase visitors from all around the world.
“There is an abundance of fun to be had in South Africa for families travelling with children of all ages and certainly enough experiences to leave lasting memories in both parents and children. As we look to achieve the goal set by President Cyril Ramaphosa, of 21 million arrivals by 2030, waiving the Unabridged Birth Certificate for international minors will certainly prove to be a catalyst for us to achieve the goal,” concluded Dlamini.
To ensure the impact of the unabridged birth certificates requirement is immediately reduced ahead of the upcoming tourist season, the Cape Town and the Western Cape tourism industry will be launching a collaborative marketing campaign in direct response, and in celebration of the long-awaited change in the unabridged birth certificates requirements.
The marketing campaign, “Come to Cape Town & the Western Cape, where kids stay free!”, will launch in January 2020. The campaign will entice families to book a holiday in Cape Town and the Western Cape over a specified period. Participating partners will offer all children free accommodation over this period. Terms and conditions will apply.
Founding partners of the campaign are Cape Town Tourism, SATSA, FEDHASA Cape, Tsogo Sun, The President Hotel and Wesgro.