South African Tourism Regional Africa and Domestic Director, Phumelela Dhlomo, has revealed that the countryâ€™s marketing plan in Nigeria is to have many Nigerians as possible visit South Africa for leisure.
South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, JKN Mamabolo, middle, with Aaron Munetsi, South African Airways Head of Africa and Phumi Dhlomo, South African Tourism Regional Director or Africa and Domestic Market at a press briefing in Lagos during the week. Photo by Jimoh Babatunde
He explained that the recently signed joint marketing agreements with Nigeriaâ€™s top outbound tour operators is one of the areas to boost tourist arrivals into South Africa.
Speaking with journalists in Lagos during the week, Dhlomo said South Africa Tourism wants to work with these partners in order to make sure they get people into South Africa, â€œbut over and above that we want to make sure that this visibility we are seeing most of the time in Nigeria to be available.â€
â€œOur government, in close cooperation with the tourism industry, is continuously investing in tourism services and facilities in order to provide domestic and international tourists with an exceptional experience. The success of the 2010 World Cup must motivate all of us to continue to strive toward the highest standards.
He added that they are working on having packages that are affordable to the generality of Nigerians and which will make their country accessible for families to visit with friends for holidays and not business only.
While thanking Nigerians for the support during the 2010 FIFAâ€™s World Cup hosted by South Africa, Phumelela Dhlomo said the relationship between South African Tourism and Nigeria which started about a decade ago has since blossom into increased growth arrival from Nigeria.
â€œSince Nigeria is a key source market for South African Tourism with more than 45, 527 tourists arrivals in 2009 and 14,085 in the first quarter of 2010 (January and April), this campaign presents an opportunity for us to showcase the sophistication, range and depth of our tourism offering to Nigerian travellersâ€™, explained Phumi Dhlomo,
He also pointed out that visitors from Nigeria, in addition to leisure, represent a significant business tourism source market for South Africa adding that; â€œthe only way we will grow arrivals is by building strong relationships with our trade partners who allow us to directly reach our target market in Nigeria, for the benefit of both destinations.â€
It will be recalled that South African Tourism appointed five new trade partners in Nigeria to promote and sell affordable travel packages to South Africa in a drive to increase Nigerian business and leisure arrivals.
The new trade partners who are among Nigeriaâ€™s leading outbound tour operators include; Tour nd Brokers International, World â€˜Nâ€™ Traveland, TTL Tours, Tourways International and Abuja_based CGSK Tours.
Also speaking during the media parley, Aaron Munetsi, South African Airwaysâ€™ Head of Africa, said though the Fifa World Cup is over, but for them in the SAA, the fans and travellers are still there.
He reveled what they did at the airline to airlifts millions of soccer fans to South Africa during the soccer fiesta, â€œbefore the World Cup, we increased our fleet to Nigeria and we equally upgraded the aircrafts we used in Nigeria.â€
Aaron Munetsi disclosed that SAA is one of the few airlines that can do a D- check, â€œSAA Technical (SAAT), a full-service maintenance, repair and overhaul organisation boasts the largest most advanced maintenance provider on the African continent.