BRICS sets new standards in job growth, visa accessibility, and air travel

South Africa’s travel & hospitality sectors are set to benefit from fast-tracked job creation, streamlined visa processes, and improved air connectivity if the BRICS bloc expands as intended next year. On Thursday, 24 August 2023, the group ruled in favour of expansion, formally inviting six more countries to become full members from 1 January 2024.

“The expansion of BRICS signifies economic growth and creates a world where every traveller feels at home, no matter where they are. It’s also set to fast-track job creation in hospitality, all while building bridges between cultures and boosting local economies. In fact, there’s currently talk of creating a special BRICS visa aimed at entrepreneurs striving to develop economic trade among the bloc member states, supported by Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams,” comments Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chairperson.

The proposed new member nations, each rich in history and culture, will also undoubtedly be the building blocks for new and exhilarating travel experiences.

“The benefits of cultural exchange cannot be overstated. By opening up markets and fostering mutual understanding, the group is boosting tourism and strengthening the bonds of friendship between nations,” Anderson adds.

Welcoming potential new members

The recent celebration of the BRICS Business Council’s 10th anniversary at the Melrose Arch Gallery was a testament to the alliance’s strength and vision. Busi Mabuza, the BBC Chairperson, emphasised that the upcoming decade demands a more grounded and sincere approach to collaboration. This is to ensure economic empowerment and prosperity for all member states of the BRICS formation. Anderson agrees:

“The BRICS members make up a diverse family. There needs to be an ethos of unity and warmth, ensuring we always welcome each other with open arms. As we expand our family with potential new members, the positive ripple effect on our tourism and hospitality industries will be monumental. We are hopeful that the inclusion of new members will pave the way for all member countries to easily visit the beautiful landscapes and vibrant cultures of South Africa. We also look forward to visa streamlining, allowing South Africans to travel to these member countries – and, of course, allowing citizens from the member countries to visit us – without hindrance.”

The future of air connectivity

Another promising development is the commitment of BRICS partners to enhancing air connectivity. This focus on cooperation and collaboration is set to revolutionise the aviation industry.

“By aligning the visions and goals of member countries, we are looking at a future where airport infrastructure is state-of-the-art, where there’s a shared vision for aircraft manufacturing and technological advancement, and where aircraft maintenance meets global standards. Such advancements will make travel more efficient and enjoyable for tourists and business travellers alike,” says Anderson.

The BRICS legacy and what lies ahead

The BRICS alliance has always been a force to be reckoned with. Representing a quarter of the global economy, a fifth of global trade, and accounting for over 40% of the world’s population, the influence and potential of this coalition are unparalleled. And as we stand on the brink of this new chapter, the world of inbound travel is poised for a renaissance.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s acknowledgement of the prosperity and infrastructural advancements brought about by BRICS membership is a testament to the alliance’s potential.

“As we look to the future, it’s clear that the landscape of inbound travel is set to be redefined, with South Africa playing a pivotal role in this transformation,” Anderson concludes

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