The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) has pledged to work with the Tourism Ministry and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) to find meaningful solutions to the Unabridged Birth Certificate issue which will continue to impact South African families travelling internationally.
The travel industry this week voiced its disappointment about the announcement that South African minors would still be required to produce an Unabridged Birth Certificate for travel, while this is no longer needed for foreign minors.
As a result, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane convened an urgent meeting with ASATA and the TBCSA to discuss the concerns of ASATA, which represents over 90% of the retail travel industry.
Seeking Practical Solutions
“We had a very constructive meeting with Minister Kubayi-Ngubane, which was swiftly convened to address our concerns,” says ASATA CEO Otto de Vries.
“ASATA is committed to engaging closely with the Tourism Ministry, the Department of Home Affairs and the TBCSA to assist in finding practical solutions to the problem. We will continue to lobby for these onerous requirements to be removed, as they have been for foreign minors,” says de Vries.
Balancing Safety and Tourism Needs
ASATA has for several years called for a thorough consultation process.
“We are grateful to Minister Kubayi-Ngubane for addressing our concerns so swiftly and are looking forward to meaningful engagements so we can find a balance between the concerns of government around safety and security, while also looking at the needs of the travel and tourism sector,” concludes de Vries.