Patricia de Lille, South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, has expressed her approval of the new online visa application process for visitors from Saudi Arabia.
As the first African nation to be included to the list, South Africa’s inclusion is considered to be a huge step forward for the growing tourist industry in both South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
The multiple-entry e-visa is valid for a full year and admits visitors for stays of up to 90 days in the Kingdom. Insurance is included in the price of 535 Saudi riyals. If you are a citizen of one of the nations on the list of visa-exempt countries, you do not need a visa to enter South Africa and stay there for up to ninety days.
At the same time, international travel to South Africa is on the rise. The Department of Tourism and its counterpart in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed an MOU outlining their shared goals for expanding tourism between the two nations.
Minister de Lille has recently travelled to Saudi Arabia for the International World Tourism Day conference, where she participated in a number of events and meetings intended to forge closer ties between the tourist industry in both countries. The Saudi Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism’s Air Connectivity Programme team were among the attendees of Minister de Lille’s meetings in Saudi Arabia.
One of the goals in the near future is increasing Saudi Arabia’s and South Africa’s aviation links. Both countries’ tourism industries were discussed, as well as the steps that should be taken to enhance air connection between the two areas.
Additionally, on December 1, 2023, Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines) will resume operating a direct service between Jeddah and Johannesburg.
“During our engagements, we shared research with the Saudi Air Connectivity Team to motivate for a direct flight between Jeddah and Cape Town.
“The e-visa development is significant for South Africa as many Muslim citizens travel for religious purposes. Along with the direct flights, this will ease travel for many tourists but especially for religious tourism and pilgrimages,” Minister de Lille emphasized.
Tourist visa holders are restricted to attending events, visiting friends and family, engaging in leisure activities, and doing the Umrah (but not the Hajj) but are not permitted to engage in any academic pursuits.
The officials in the two countries will explore new and creative methods to expand tourism as this crucial industry is an essential component of the economies of both nations and a significant job generator.