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ASATA responds to sudden implementation of Irish visa requirements for South Africans

Johannesburg, South Africa, 8 July 2024 – The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) has expressed frustration at the Irish government’s abrupt decision to impose visa requirements on South African travellers, effective 10 July 2024. Although the change had been under consideration for some time, the sudden implementation has caught many travel agents and travellers off guard, particularly during the peak European summer season.

“While we understand the need for governments to review and adjust immigration policies, the lack of notice and immediate implementation of this decision is regrettable,” said ASATA CEO Otto De Vries. “Ireland has long been a favoured destination for South Africans, and this change will undoubtedly impact travel between our two nations.”

The new visa requirement poses a significant challenge for travellers who have already made plans to visit Ireland, as well as those considering future trips. The association is concerned about the additional financial burden the visa application process will place on travellers and the potential for disruptions to existing travel plans.

ASATA urges all South Africans planning to travel to Ireland to seek guidance from a reputable ASATA-accredited travel agent. These professionals are well-versed in the latest travel regulations and can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the visa application process and ensuring a smooth travel experience.

“In light of this sudden change, it is more important than ever for travellers to turn to trusted travel advisors who can provide accurate information and support,” added De Vries. “ASATA members are committed to helping South Africans navigate these new challenges and continue to explore the world.”

ASATA calls on the Irish government to consider providing a more extended grace period or transitional arrangements to minimise disruption for travellers who have already made plans.

***ENDS ***

About ASATA 

Established in 1956, the Association of Southern African Travel Agents is a representative forum registered as an Association of Persons, that promotes professional service in the travel industry for both members and their clients. Representing over 99% of the travel industry in terms of market share, ASATA’s membership is voluntary and includes South African retail travel agents, travel management companies, wholesalers and suppliers of travel-related products and services. 

For more information about ASATA, please visit  

Issued by Big Ambitions: 

Kim Taylor 

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