Maynard: Stats show how Visa blunder cost SA – and the sensational rebound

South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with its appeal enhanced by a weak exchange rate. Once tourists look past sensationalistic headlines and decide to visit, they rarely leave disappointed – often serving as the best possible ambassadors for one of the country’s most important industries. For reasons best known to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, five months after his appointment he effected a drastic change to Visa regulations that soon impacted tourism numbers. The rebound since he recanted was immediate. An example of how it would usually be in taxpayer’s best interests if politicians were paid to do nothing rather than interfere and muck things up. – Alec Hogg       

By John Maynard*

I have highlighted a few of our biggest inbound tourist countries (excluding African countries) to see if there was a significant drop in the number of tourists because of the new Visa regulations introduced.

The line at October 2014 shows when the new requirements were introduced – reflecting a significant drop in the next nine months, The numbers were already improving as we moved towards the official relaxation of the rules in October 2015 after Government finally heard please from the tourism sector.

The Graphic is interactive. When scrolled over, it gives monthly tourist numbers per country. And one can select and deselect countries by clicking on the name of the country.

  • John Maynard is the nom de plume of an independent economist who is obsessed with official statistics – and uses these facts to blast through misleading narrative and propaganda. For more of his unique insights click here.
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