SA nears 1 million tourists in June

Despite predictions at far lower levels, South Africa proved to be the place to be in June 2010 as almost 1 million foreign nationals entered the country in that time.

According to reports from government, the Department of Home Affairs clocked in 944 535 foreign travellers between the 1st and 29th June 2010.

This was an increase of 24 percent compared to the same period last year, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday.

International visitors were mainly from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana, followed by the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands, Zambia and Malawi.

And while thousands entered the country hassle-free, 180 people were barred from entering the country due to security concerns.

Airline liaison officers were stationed at airports in Amsterdam, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Lagos, London, Mumbai and Nairobi and had subsequently weeded out passengers who were without valid travel documents.

Those who were denied entry were found to be in possession of fraudulent permits, visas and stamps; and gave contradictory reasons for wanting to visit the country; or had been placed on South Africa’s Visa and Entry Stop List.

The department has a 24-hour Operational Centre and is monitoring the movements of travellers through its Movement Control System (MCS), the Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) system and deployment of the airline liaison officers.

“Through the MSC we were also able to facilitate the safe and secure movement of 24 serving and former Heads of State and Government,” Gigaba said.

The same system also helped with the smooth departure of 23 national teams that are no longer participating in the tournament.

The MCS and APP would also benefit South Africans after the World Cup, the deputy minister said.

“The systems we have put in place will remain to serve the broader interests of our country and as part of the legacy of the 2010 World Cup,” he said.

Sourced by SA – The Good News & BuaNews

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