Accompanied by a number of emerging tourism businesses as well as established industry players, South African Tourism participated ın the East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) in Istanbul, Turkey from 25 to 28 January 2018.
The Middle East market is a new focus area for South African Tourism in its ‘5-in-5’ strategic goal to increase tourists to South Africa. As part of this bid to boost arrivals from this region and led by South African Tourism, 10 South African exhibitors have participated EMITT last week.
The United Nations World Travel Organisation recently announced that more than 1.3 billion trips were taken around the world in 2017, a leap of 7%, with international tourist arrivals in Africa booming by 8%. Between January and October 2017, South Africa saw an almost 5% increase in tourists arriving from Middle Eastern countries, when compared to the same period the previous year.
Noting this trend, South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona, said: “Tourism is currently a powerful global economic engine, which gives South African Tourism extra impetus in our mission to constantly explore new markets in pursuit of our 5-in-5 strategic goal.”
A selling point of South Africa’s tourism offering is its diversity of experiences. Ntshona noted that research had found that travellers from the Middle East appreciate value-for-money destinations, making South Africa a perfect fit, and that their favoured travel season is during the northern hemisphere summer months of May to September – which coincides with South Africa’s low tourist season.
Going forward, South African Tourism plans to train members of the Middle Eastern travel trade in how to sell South Africa as a destination, sign more joint marketing agreements with trade partners, and explore platforms for South African trade players to gain access to the region’s markets, such as business-to-business roadshows.