afrol News, 14 July - The World Cup brought with it more than 1.4 million tourists to South Africa, most of whom were first time visitors to the country, national statistics show. The number was higher than expected.
According to the South African Department of Home Affairs, this represented a 25 percent increase in the number of international visitors from the same time last year. This means that some 280,000 extra tourists travelled to South Africa because of the World Cup.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told the press that the 1.4 million persons had entered the country "with minimal fuss," and that those who were not wanted in the country were successfully kept out.
Most of the investments made to smoothly receive this extraordinary rush of visitors "will remain in place," Minister Dlamini-Zuma said. Some of these included a Movement Control System in 34 air and land ports of entry, an Advance Passenger Processing system and the deployment of Airline Liaison Officers at eight strategic hubs abroad to monitor the movement of travellers into South Africa.
"The Movement Control System will be extended to the rest of the ports of entry so in the end all the ports of the country will have the same system," Minister Dlamini-Zuma announced.
According to the Movement Control System, international visitors had come mainly from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia followed by the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, to witness football teams battle it out for the acclaimed prize, as well as to enjoy the sights and sounds of South Africa.
The Advance Passenger Processing system saw 43 "undesirables" being prohibited from boarding flights to get to South Africa. The airline liaison officers deployed at international airports also had a hand in preventing 188 people from entering the country.
Those denied entry were either in possession of fraudulent visas, travel documents and stamps or had failed to meet immigration requirements.
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