Patricia de Lille, South Africa’s minister of tourism, applauded the launch of the Saudi Arabia e-visa system, which will ease South Africans’ travel to the Kingdom.
“This development makes me very happy since South Africa is now the first African nation on the list. This will undoubtedly have a significant positive impact on Umrah and leisure travellers, as well as our efforts to increase tourism between Saudi Arabia and South Africa,” Minister de Lille recently stated.
The one-year multi-entry e-visa permits visitors to stay in the Kingdom for up to ninety days at a time. The price is 535 Saudi riyals, and health insurance is included.
Regarding the South African visa regime, visitors from Saudi Arabia are classified as visa-exempt nations and can enter the country for up to 90 days without a visa.
Increasing Travel To Other Countries
Additionally, the Department of Tourism and the Tourism Department of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their shared goals of increasing tourism between our two nations.
Recently, Minister de Lille travelled to Saudi Arabia on official business to attend the ‘International World Tourism Day Conference’, where several events were held to improve ties and collaboration between Saudi Arabian stakeholders and the tourism industry.
The Saudi Tourism Authority and the team from the Ministry of Tourism’s Air Connectivity Programme were among the Saudi Arabian partners that Minister de Lille met with.
Enhancing Air Travel To Saudi Arabia
Actions required to enhance air connectivity between South Africa and Saudi Arabia as well as a cooperative marketing plan to advertise both locations to travellers in both nations were discussed.
Additionally, it has been stated that, as of December 1, 2023, direct flights between Jeddah and Johannesburg will resume operating under the name Saudia, or Saudi Arabian Airlines.
To support the idea of a direct route between Jeddah and Cape Town, we presented study findings to the Saudi Air Connectivity Team throughout our interactions.
“Since many of South Africa’s Muslim citizens travel for religious reasons, the introduction of e-visas is significant. This will facilitate travel for many tourists, particularly for religious tourism and pilgrimages, in addition to the direct flights,” according to Minister de Lille.
The tourist visa permits the visitor to engage in events, visits with family and relatives, leisure, and Umrah (except the Hajj); it does not let the traveller engage in other activities, such as studying.
“We will continue working with our counterparts in Saudi Arabia, through the Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, to look at new and innovative ways to grow tourism between our countries, as this key sector is an important part of our countries’ economies and a key job creator,” the minister concluded.