The MoU was signed on the side-lines of Arabian Travel Market by Badr Abbas, Emirates’ senior vice president commercial operations for Africa, and The South Africa Tourism’s acting CEO Themba Khumalo.
Also present at the signing ceremony was Adnan Kazim, Emirates chief commercial officer, Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Lindiwe Sisulu and a senior government delegation from the South African Consulate in Dubai, His Excellency Consul general David Magabe and members of the South African Tourism board.
Kazim says: "For more than 25 years we have invested in, and grown our operations to, South Africa. We’re working hard to restore our services to pre-pandemic levels to help generate more opportunities for travellers from around the world to experience South Africa’s unique natural experiences, world-renowned cuisine, and local culture. Emirates is well-placed to support the recovery of South Africa’s tourism sector and help raise the profile of the destination again, offering convenient connections from over 130 destinations, and providing even more links for travelers who want to explore beyond our three South African gateways through our four airline partners."
Wonderful to connect with South Africa's Minister of Tourism @LindiweSisuluSA at the SA pavilion located at @ATMDubai. SA is here to showcase itself as a destination of choice for travellers from the Middle East and further abroad. #ATMDubai @Tourism_gov_za @SATravelTrade pic.twitter.com/emfMOfd3y8— Bizcom Tourism (@Biz_Tourism) May 10, 2022
Sisulu welcomed the signing of the MoU, citing the benefits it will yield for travel between South Africa and the Middle East. "We want to continue ensuring ease of access into South Africa for Middle Eastern travellers and this collaboration will assist us in elevating our trade efforts; in terms of packaging the destination. We look forward to welcoming more travellers from the Middle East, to experience the various quality assured products and experiences that cater for this market, including; family-friendly accommodation establishments and activities, a diverse offering of cuisine as well as wildlife and safari."
"The Middle East is a critical market for South Africa so this partnership will be very instrumental in ensuring ease of access to and from South Africa for travellers from this region. This will increase direct airlift, making room for more travellers, and as our tourism sector recovers we look forward to welcoming more visitors from the Middle East.," says Khumalo.
Aimed at supporting South Africa’s tourism recovery efforts, the partnership between Emirates and South African Tourism is part of the airline’s longstanding commitment to grow the tourism market in the country. Under the MoU, Emirates will explore opportunities to promote South Africa and encourage travellers to experience the abundance of attractions that the country has to offer across its network of over 130 destinations.
South Africa Tourism will also work closely with the airline to support travel trade partners and tour operators across the Emirates’ network to develop and promote itineraries, introduce special packages and promotional giveaways, encourage incentives, among other marketing initiatives.
Both parties will also explore opportunities to collaborate on joint advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as familiarisation programmes to South Africa for travel trade and media representatives, among other initiatives. Emirates will also support the transport of South African Tourism’s marketing collaterals to select destinations in its network.