Tourism industry witnesses peak ‘revenge’ travel


VFS Global Sub Saharan Africa Head, Hariprasad Viswanathan

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – WITH the number of visa applications by travellers from South Africa at their highest post the pandemic, applicants are advised to apply early for their documents.

This is one of the main tips offered by the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions.

VFS Global noted the number of visa applications processed until May 2023 from South Africa had already exceeded the 2021 total volumes and at nearly 70 percent of 2022 volumes.

Schengen locations like Italy and The Netherlands have emerged as the top locations for outbound travel in terms of visa application volumes, along with Canada and Australia.

VFS Global services 18 governments in South Africa through an extensive network of 36 Application Centres across 11 locations.

The agency discloses that into the first five months of 2023, there is convincing evidence that reveals global travel will continue to be on the rise, including in countries like South Africa.

The surge in travel activity in 2022 took the industry by surprise, exceeding the conservative recovery projections, and is continuing into 2023 with visa application volumes in South Africa nearly tripling versus 2021 already.

Hariprasad Viswanathan, Head – Sub Saharan Africa, VFS Global, explained the demand for visas has increased due to the high pent-up travel demand.

They expect the increase in international travel from last year to continue this year as well.

“With the opening of international borders and easing travel restrictions, the industry is witnessing peak ‘revenge’ travel,” Viswanathan said.

He said when planning their travels, applicants need to apply for their visas in advance, like their flight and hotel bookings.

“Seeing the surge in demand for outbound travel in the initial part of this year and with limited appointment slots available, we encourage our applicants to apply for their visas as early as possible,” Viswanathan encouraged.

He advised applicants to be sure to carry all the requisite documentation, including a printout of the checklist, to submit along with the duly filled application form.

It is recommended that applicants must check their passport’s validity before planning an international trip.

– CAJ News




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