Dubai-based carrier Emirates has signed a MoU with the South African Tourism Board to promote tourism and boost visitor arrivals and inbound traffic to South Africa from key markets across the Emirates network.

Badr Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, and Themba Khumalo, Acting Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Tourism Board, signed the MoU on the sidelines of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in the presence of Adnan Kazim, Emirates Chief Commercial Officer; Lindiwe Sisulu, South African Minister of Tourism; Consul-General David Magabe; members of the South African Tourism Board; and other senior officials.

Kazim said: "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 travellers who want to explore beyond our three South African gateways through our four airline partners," he noted.

Welcoming the signing of the MoU, Sisulu said: "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," she added.

Khumalo pointed out that the Middle East was 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," he added.

Aimed at supporting South Africa’s tourism recovery efforts, the MoU 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.

The South Africa Tourism Board 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.

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