Executives provide snippets following President Jacob Zuma’s State Of The Nation Address

Key executives from Grant Thornton South Africa, provide commentary and snippets specifically relating to Travel and Tourism, following President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday 12 February 2015:

On travel and tourism industry

“President Jacob Zuma’s statement that Government will prioritise the review of visa regulations to strike a balance between national security and growth in tourism is extremely important for the tourism industry.

“This directly relates to various studies we have undertaken to determine the impact of the visa regulations on the tourism industry.

“The tourism industry will welcome a review of the visa regulations.  Implementation of the amended visa regulations has had a major negative impact on tourism demand for South Africa.  The need to have stringent visa controls for improved security is recognised, but there are ways, which have not been implemented, of ensuring that legitimate travellers are not deterred from visiting South Africa.  From the President’s comments it appears that a “win-win” solution might be possible.” Lee-Anne Bac, director: Advisory Services at Grant Thornton Johannesburg. (Bac was recently appointed Gauteng Chairperson for the Women’s Property Network (WPN) South Africa for 2015)

“The President’s announcement that foreigners cannot own land immediately raises concerns about how this will impact on foreign land ownership of game farms, as well as foreign investments in hotels in South Africa.”  Martin Jansen van Vuuren, director: Advisory Services, Grant Thornton

“Airlift is extremely important to grow foreign tourism to South Africa so it is encouraging to hear that the President intends to address the issues faced by SAA.  It is hoped that the issue of whether SAA should remain state-owned or whether it should be privatised can be addressed once and for all.” Martin Jansen van Vuuren, director: Advisory Services, Grant Thornton