Department of Tourism deploys airport patrollers to boost security
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South Africa on Monday deployed 120 tourism monitors at its two busiest airports to boost safety and visitor information services.
The Department of Tourism and Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) said the 120 trained youth will be deployed at OR Tambo and Cape Town international airports for an initial period of three years as part of the Tourism Monitors Program aiming to enhance the visitor experience as well as improve the safety of tourists.
"Ensuring the safety of tourists is a priority for the tourism sector. The Tourism Monitors Program is a key intervention adopted to enhance safety awareness and reduce tourist vulnerabilities at tourism attractions and sites across the country," said Lizzy Mathopa, Chief Director of Visitor Services at the Department of Tourism.
"We implement this program in partnership with the police, preparing the youth through a rigorous 12-month training program ensuring their proficiency as tourist guides and provide critical occupational health and safety skills," she said.
She said that the patrollers would raise tourism awareness, report crimes to the police, and support tourists in distress.
Meanwhile, South Africa will introduce its long-awaited e-visa system next year in an effort to simplify the visa application process.
In the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) last Thursday, Finance minister Enoch Godongwana revealed that the e-visa system will be rolled out to 15 countries by March 2022.
IOL Travel reported in 2019 that the country was in the process of introducing a "world-class e-visa system" in a bid to reduce the red tape that travellers face when visiting the country.