By Victor Nze
South Africa’s Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa, Wednesday, expressed concern that an incident in which Dutch tourists were robbed could damage the country’s tourism Industry.
Thirty-six Dutch tourists who arrived in the country on Sunday were robbed in their tour bus after leaving Johannesburg’s main airport, the Police Ministry said in a statement.
The bus was stopped by a vehicle with police markings, the statement said, adding that one man was also dressed in police uniform.
A group of armed men boarded the bus, tied up the tour guide and driver, and robbed the tourists of their belongings, local media reported.
“That kind of a barbaric incident sends a very bad reputation about our country,’’ Xasa said on a World Tourism Day. We want to market South Africa as a safe destination,’’ she said.
The tourists cancelled the rest of their trip and have now returned home, according to Dutch media.
The Netherlands’ ambassador to South Africa, Marisa Gerards, tweeted about the incident on Tuesday, calling it “a shocking, tragic & impactful robbery Very traumatic for these NL tourists.’’
South Africa is notorious for its high crime rates.
Britain updated its travel advirosy for the country, warning its nationals to “be vigilant in and around the airport and when driving away.’’