Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom says South Africa must relax its visa requirements to enable tourism to grow and make a significant contribution to the country’s GDP.

He says he has started to engage with his Home Affairs counterpart Malusi Gigaba to discuss putting the country’s visa regime back on the agenda.

“That is the subject of discussion between me and the Minister of Home Affairs to relax some of the visa requirements. We have ample lessons that when it’s easier to get visas, the results are quite good. In 2016, we relaxed the visa requirements for Russia; in fact it was a visa waiver. In 2017, Russian tourists to South Africa grew by 5%,” says Hanekom.